Dungeon Hunter: Gameloft Continues Its “Homage” Hit Parade

dungeon_hunter_iconI’m going to get this out of the way right now: Dungeon Hunter is Gameloft’s version of Diablo for the iPhone. No need to insult anyone’s intelligence by dancing around it. Now, does that mean I enjoy playing it any less? It does not.

In fact, Gameloft was very wise in porting this game to the iPhone platform. As far as traditional-style games on Apple (s aapl) portables go, control issues can tend to muddy an otherwise well-developed user experience. Innovative platform-targeted titles like Rolando escape these nagging issues, but a straight-up hack-and-slash RPG is a different fish. Read More about Dungeon Hunter: Gameloft Continues Its “Homage” Hit Parade

Today’s Game Parade

ipod_touch_gamesNow that the iPod touch is a tried and true gaming platform, not an Apple (s aapl) event goes by that we don’t see a smattering of developers paraded up on stage to show off their shiny baubles. Today was no exception, with reps from Ubisoft, Tapulous, Gameloft and EA (s erts) all making a brief appearance.

Each studio showed off one of its new titles. While not particularly enthralling when you’re watching mostly for the thrilling possibility of revolutionary software/hardware announcements by Apple itself, considered after the fact, there were some impressive showings from third party guests at today’s presentation. Read More about Today’s Game Parade

Rise of Lost Empires: Like Warcraft for iPhone, but Not Nearly as Good

riseoflostempires

I think I may have achieved a grasp of Gameloft’s concept design strategy for their iPhone (s aapl) catalog. It seems to have something to do with being “inspired” by titles and franchises that are already wildly successful. You can’t help but see the similarity between Hero of Sparta and God of War (even syntactically). Likewise, with Rise of Lost Empires ($4.99, iTunes link), their new real-time strategy game for the platform, which resembles a certain other title in which humans and orcs do battle strategically.

Don’t get me wrong, Gameloft’s “inspiration” strategy is not something I’m against. It has resulted in some very fun games to date, and Rise of Lost Empires is, hopefully, just one more opportunity for them to get iPhone gaming right with yet another lovely homage. If the original dev studios aren’t bringing the platform any love, I’d rather Gameloft did than no one at all. Read More about Rise of Lost Empires: Like Warcraft for iPhone, but Not Nearly as Good

Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles Stealthily Invades the iPhone

altairchronGameloft continues to release big titles for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and their most recent release is no exception. The title in question is Ubisoft’s runaway success, Assassin’s Creed, which was wildly successful when released for both the Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms in 2007. Prequel Altair’s Chronicles came out for the Nintendo DS last year, but was met with less than stellar reviews. This year, Gameloft has ported Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles ($9.99) to the iPhone platform. Would it fare well on Apple’s handheld? Let’s find out.

Graphics

photo4The game looks good on the iPhone, about as good as it does on the DS, judging from the screenshots I’ve seen online. Going from dual to single screen means that some game elements change, but it never felt like I was missing out on anything by not having the second display. Gameloft throws in a video introduction which is gorgeous, with gameplay footage taken from the PS3/Xbox 360 installment of the series. It might mislead people not familiar with the graphics limitations of the platform, but it’s not a big deal.

In-game CG video segments are just plain bizarre, though. Often I had trouble figuring out what was going on, and they’re shown in little frames in the center of the screen, making them very, very small. Also, during non-playable interactions using the actual sprites, character movement was often improperly synced with voice-over audio, which just seems unprofessional in a title of this caliber from this particular developer. I also think that some video segments just plain didn’t play, because there were times when I had no idea how I got to be where I was.

Still, minor issues aside, it’s a good-looking game, and gameplay only slowed a couple of times — pretty much on par with Hero of Sparta, or Gun for the PSP. Read More about Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles Stealthily Invades the iPhone