iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 N.O.V.A. 3 Review – FPS That Sets the Standard in Mobile Multiplayer Online Gaming Sun, 27 May 2012 14:56:42 +0000 Read More]]> Gameloft have been churning out mobile games for a while now and for the most part they’ve been pushing the mobile gaming envelope especially when it comes to the graphics and N.O.V.A. 3 is no different. Does the gameplay match the beautiful and rich environments though?

N.O.V.A. 3 as the name suggests is the third in the the first person shooter series which follows the explosive exploits of Kal Wardin as he fights for no lesser prize than humankind itself. If you haven’t played either of the previous N.O.V.A. that’s not a problem, (although you may go back to them after playing this), as the game stands on its own and the short intro will soon get you up to speed.

As previously mentioned the whole look of N.O.V.A. 3 is completely immersive as the rich, massive, interactive environments are a pleasure to behold. Starting in and around the derelict buildings of San Francisco, through alien spacecraft and an explosive fire and ice wasteland the worlds look incredible.

As we’ve all come to learn though, games require more than just graphics to be a success and N.O.V.A. 3 is more than just eye-candy, in fact it’s one of the closest experiences to having a console in your pocket that I’ve ever played on a mobile device.

The audio helps this with the overall experience too, from powerful gun-shots and explosions to great voice acting and background music the aural experiences is excellent, especially if you listen with headphones.

The action comes fast and furious, right from the start and you will need fast fingers to keep yourself alive. These fast fingers have to be balanced with the amount of ammunition you have as supplies are limited especially if you don’t want to if you don’t want to increase the cost of the game by stumping up more of your hard earned money to upgrade your weapons and abilities.

The downside of the scarce ammunition though is exacerbated by some less than perfect controls. There’s nothing substantially different in N.O.V.A. 3 from other first person shooters but they feel unpolished and the limited customization ensures that we will have to spend quite a while with them before you feel at ease.

Spending time with N.O.V.A. 3 though is something you will want to do though as the rewards are worth it. A compelling, if short, campaign mode is great to play but the addition of not only a local wi-fi multiplayer but also an online version, via Gameloft LIVE, is going to have you hooked for months.

Six different multiplayer game modes as well as weekly tournaments keeps things interesting and as long as you put in the time to learn your skills so that you aren’t re-spawning every 30 seconds the online modes ultimately make N.O.V.A. 3 {$6.99} a very rewarding experience.

All this comes at a price, not the $7 that it’ll cost you in the App Store, that’s a bargain, but the 1.5 GB of storage space that it will take up on your iOS device. You may need to manage some space before installing this monster!

There are games that push the limit of mobile gaming and make other companies step up, N.O.V.A. 3 is one of those games and you don’t want to miss the bandwagon.

What we like:

What to know:

[rating: 4.5/5] ]]> 1 iPhone Game Developers Outnumber Competition | Research Tue, 09 Feb 2010 16:12:57 +0000 Read More]]> iphone sony nintendo

Some numbers came out recently that reinforce what a lot of people would just guess based on their intuition. Game Developer Research (GDR) recently released its 2009/2010 survey of game developers. The numbers empirically prove the notion that the iPhone dominates the mobile gaming market. According to the survey, iPhone game developers outnumber Nintendo DS and Sony PSP developers two to one. I’m sure there are many reasons (read excuses) Nintendo and Sony would give for this dominance in developer numbers but the numbers don’t lie and I would suggest a couple of counterpoints to those reasons.

The first reason I’m sure Apple’s competition would give is for the ease of entry into the developer market. Nintendo and Sony would say that their developers are highly trained professionals with years of education and experience in their craft. iPhone developers, they would claim, are largely an untrained lot; not schooled in the complex and rich world of proper game development. I would take that argument however and turn it on its head. It is the ease of entry into the market that has made the iPhone gaming platform so successful. There are no artificial barrier to entry into the development marketplace. Anyone with a hundred American dollars and the time to invest in learning the SDK can become a successful game developer. How many otherwise unappreciated talents have become successful game developers because of the openness of the iPhone platform?

It is a revolution in the gaming industry that is comparable to the breaking of the Guild system in the Middle Ages. When skills like carpentry or masonry moved from being secret, inherited knowledge to knowledge any one could acquire through learning, people flourished based on their skills and merit, not on their ability to be initiated into the secret knowledge. Similarly, now that any one can learn the secrets of game development, the schools, corporations, and development houses that guarded that knowledge must now give way to any one who has the time and talent to learn it.

The second reason I’m sure Apple’s competition would give is for the types of games under development. Nintendo and Sony would say that their games are large, feature-rich multimedia experiences. iPhone games, they’d argue, are small and crippled lesser cousins to their creations that are easier to develop and push out. That of course is a ridiculous notion. Anyone who’s played some of the larger gaming experiences on the iPhone like N.O.V.A, F.A.S.T, or Field Runners knows they rival any title available for the DS or PSP. And usually at a tenth of the price! The quality (and quantity) gaps between iPhone games and its mobile gaming competition has largely been filled since the release of iPhone OS 3.0. The notion that iPhone games are somehow lesser than DS or PSP games is one that may still be part of popular wisdom but it simply has no basis in fact.

What do you think? Is the fact that there are twice the number of iPhone game developers just a statistical abberation or an indication of which way the mobile gaming market is moving? Is this the end for purpose-built gaming devices like the DS and PSP? Weigh in with your comments below.

By: Erin Peterson

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