Posts Tagged metal

I’m going to be straight you with folks. I don’t know much about MOBAs, and I’m certainly no professional. That means I don’t know how well Vainglory, the upcoming multiplayer online battle arena showcased in the most recent Apple keynote, compares to titans like League of Legends or DotA 2 in terms of depth and control. However, in this edition of It Came From Canada – Philippines Edition, what I can say is that it certainly has the ambition to be king of the mobile MOBAs.

Even to someone like me, the specifics of this gigantic genre have become pretty well-known by now. Two teams, in this case with three members each, attempt to destroy their opponents’ home base by making it through lanes full of powerful turrets and endless waves of disposable grunt soldiers. Players choose from a handful of heroes with their own personalities and moves to master – like the sadistic sword wielder Catherine, rambunctious catgirl Koshka, and shambling Monty Python-quoting zombie warrior Krul. Fast melee-focused characters obviously require different strategies compared to slow spellcasters, and forming those plans is where much of the tactical depth comes from.

vainglory (3)Fortunately, the game is very accommodating to newcomers. The extensive tutorial goes over basics like what to buy at the shop and why it’s important to not die and give your foes a bonus. It also familiarizes players with the single map and important sites to capture like special monsters that strengthen minions once defeated. It’s a lot to take in, from knowing when to hide in the bushes to the concept of “the jungle,” and that’s before it even gets to character-specific traits. But since this is all the game is, it’s good that there’s a lot to it. Players can also practice at any time and discover how surprisingly nuanced the touch controls are – letting them set waypoints, launch strings of attacks, and tell heroes what spots to avoid.

vainglory (7)Vainglory also just looks fantastic thanks to the new “Metal” iOS 8 API. Yeah, the art style still betrays the fact that this entire sub-genre descends from a mod of a Blizzard game, but the details, effects, animations, and smoothness of play actually do resemble a higher-end PC release from a developer of that caliber. Along with giving players new options to explore, unlocking characters from the marketplace also provides something new and pleasant to look at for a match.

Since Vainglory isn’t out in most territories yet, so finding a match was a little difficult. Although once it fully launches soon, that shouldn’t be a problem. Again, I’m not the one who can tell if it will succeed in the highly profitable but contentious MOBA space, but it’s definitely an impressive attempt.

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So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written.

Goat Simulator

 
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Looking for a serious goat simulation game involving a bit of grazing, some goats screaming like humans (YouTube it), and a bit of mild milking chucked in for good measure? First of all, what’s wrong with you? Secondly, there’s none of that to be found in Goat Simulator. Rather, it’s about what would happen if an invincible and inexplicably angry billy goat went on a rampage through a countryside village. Players are free to explore the small but largely destructible environment with its challenges, collectibles, and quirks at their leisure. There’s a lot here, from goat slingshots, to goat sumo wrestling, to a sacrificial offering (that last one was unexpected, right?), and it’s great fun to discover what the world has to offer. –Lee Hamlet

Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker

 
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Cheers, loves. Looking for snuggles, cuddles, and beyond? Miss Kitty Powers is ready to hook the lovelorn up with the good stuff in Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker. Well, to clarify, Miss Kitty Powers will be on the sidelines offering advice – and snark. It’s the player that needs to get their hands dirty by digging up clients’ interests, matching up personalities, and finding them ideal mates. Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is a dating/matchmaking sim, which isn’t a rare species on mobile platforms. What makes it special is its fast pace, its payoffs, and above all else, its wildly weird sense of humor. –Nadia Oxford

Dragon Quest I

 
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There are legends that are told time and again; the sort of elemental tales that, in one form or another, define an entire genre. These stories are copied, referenced, and remade endlessly, all because they represent a fundamental part of our shared culture. For RPG fans of any age, one such tale is Dragon Quest. If you loved Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire, the Mana series, or any of the hundreds of other awesome old-school RPGs out there, you owe at least a little to Dragon Quest. Originally released in 1986 for the Famicom/NES as Dragon Warrior, Dragon Quest for iOS is an updated remake of a truly classic game. The visuals strike a great balance between looking like something from an early-era RPG (palate-swapped enemies FTW!), but are still cartoony and fun. The music is good, though you will get sick of the horn trill that sounds at the beginning of every random encounter. The script, written in a faux-Shakespearian tongue, is charmingly full of ‘thees’ and ‘thous’, making for a fun, campy experience. –Andrew Fisher

Plunder Pirates

 
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Another week, another Clash of Clans style game, right? That’s what you’re probably thinking when looking at Plunder Pirates, and who could blame you. It does look a lot like yet another one of those kind of games. Fortunately, Rovio Stars has a few tricks up its sleeves, ensuring that Plunder Pirates has more going for it than you’d expect. Starting out, it’s a lot like any base building game. You have an island with the basic structures already in place, and it’s down to you to develop it and become the greatest pirate out there. Or something like that. This is done through a number of different methods. Developing each building and upgrading them while also placing new things is vital. –Jennifer Allen

Kunin

 
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There are no frills or microtransactions in Kunin. It lives or dies by the sharpness of its steel and the strength of its twitch arcade gameplay. But from that trial it emerges a nervous yet nice test of ninja reflexes. In Kunin, players try to keep their little ninja alive as long as possible by deflecting oncoming knives and throwing stars. Tapping each side of the screen causes him not only to jump but also face that direction. Turning the right way is crucial because threats come on all sides and strikes from behind are lethal. –Jordan Minor

Pizo Animals

 
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Recently I came across some puzzles that are now too young for my six year old son – jigsaws that fit into wooden-backed frames instead of being boxed like the larger puzzles he now enjoys. Much to my chagrin, I realized that many of these puzzles were missing a piece or two, making them unacceptable for charity donations. I still remember the frustration of trying to keep all of these puzzle pieces together that even when completed did not sit well enough in their frames to keep these puzzles intact. Because of this, during his time at preschool we began to work on a lot of puzzles for the iPad and iPhone where the loss of pieces was no longer a concern, allowing them to be enjoyed while laying in bed or on the go. Even better was that, typically, different levels of difficulty were included within these puzzle apps that would grow with my son. Because of this I am always happy to test new puzzle applications, and I am eager to let parents know of a new puzzle app, Pizo Animals. –Amy Solomon

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

Soccer Fitness Gols

 
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Sometimes, we get apps to review that are so natural to use. As a licensed soccer coach who has played and coached The Beautiful Game most of my life, I have an intimate understanding of how seriously fitness impacts the sport. It’s an important, and there are quite a number of wearables aimed at this segment. In any case, checking out apps like Soccer Fitness Gols not only feels natural, it feels like its my duty. So there. The app itself is simple in design, with bright green, turf-like graphics making up the main background. The developer uses different shades of green in places to contrast the mostly white main screen text. The UI, as noted, is simple, and uses mostly uses taps and some gestures as the main modes of navigation. –Tre Lawrence

Agenday Smart Calendar

 
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Making everyday business activities easier is a worthy goal that definitely earns developers a spot in heaven. With Agenday Smart Calendar, PGi might have a chance to go up yonder. The use interface is appropriately businesslike, with the default soft hues and flashes of orange. The welcome screen is tastefully crafted, with weather, date and meetings that are planned for the current day. The date bar is scrollable, and there is a calendar button nestled to the top right, along with the familiar Android-standard three-button menu access. Tapping on a specific part of the weather information leads to Weather Underground, from which more specific weather information can be procured. Altogether, the UI feels clean and intuitive, and avoids the pitfall of being too cluttered. –Tre Lawrence

Super Monkey Ball Bounce

 
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Super Monkey Ball Bounce has a lot of problems, and being a cash cow is just one of them. It is a shame to see what Sega has done to the once beloved series of challenging games. When you love Peggle or games like Peggle, you will clearly enjoy Super Monkey Ball Bounce. That game doesn’t just take inspiration from Peggle, it rips it off completely. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing; one can better steal something good, than make up something bad. It is all in the details; and with details, I mean stuff like themes, power ups and level design. And that’s the part Super Monkey Ball Bounce doesn’t fail to be enjoyed by gamers. Because the base is pretty good. –Wesley Akkerman

And finally, this week the chaps at Pocket Gamer went big on iOS 8, with loads of tips and an investigation into Apple’s new Metal tech. Plus, the guys across the pond looked into iPad virtual reality, the future of Minecraft, and asked if 2014 was the year mobile gaming grew up… Read all about it right here.

iOS 8 Brings Metal Updates, Bundles, and Widgets from Gameloft

Posted by on September 19th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

A whole host of newness has arrived on the App Store today, courtesy of Gameloft.

Modern Combat 5: Blackout now contains Metal graphics, allowing the game to have over five times the particles on screen at any one time – thus resulting in improved heat rays, denser explosions, and richer weather effects. Asphalt 8: Airborne also contains new Metal support, with a new season devoted to Metal that allows players to take on 23 cars at the same time rather than the usual eight.

App Bundles are another new feature for iOS 8, and two Gameloft bundles are already available to purchase. Fans of the Modern Combat series can grab the Modern Combat Pack, which contains the third, fourth, and fifth installments in the series for a total of $9.99. Action fans, meanwhile, can grab the Action Pack, which contains Modern Combat 5 and Gangstar Vegas for $7.99.

Speaking of Gangstar Vegas, it has also received an update that adds a widget for the game. As a result, players are now able to see and enter events, as well as claim rewards from them, directly from their notifications screen. These events have also been boosted by the addition of a new gangs system, allowing groups to go for exclusive rewards in weekly events.

Marvel at the Visuals of Epic Zen Garden From Epic Games – Now Available in the App Store

Posted by on September 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Epic Games, makers of the Infinity Blade series, have released the visually stunning tech demo that is Epic Zen Garden for us all to play with.

Epic Zen Garden uses Metal and Unreal Engine 4 to render beautiful vistas and tranquil ponds that you tap to explore. Different areas come with little surprises such as touching the koi pond, which summons fish from the depths, or the sakura tree that lets loose a swirl of cherry blossoms when tapped. Players can rake patterns in the sand of their garden and enjoy the simple grace of the environment as any good zen gardener would do.

You can download Epic Zen Garden for free on the App Store now.

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Super Evil Megacorp‘s “unapologetically core” MOBA designed for touch controls, Vainglory, was shown off at Apple’s press conference Tuesday, and today we get another look via a trailer for the game. Featuring veterans from Blizzard and Riot, the game is built in the studio’s own E.V.I.L engine and will feature full Metal API support from day one.

Vainglory will begin its worldwide roll-out when it launches for iPad 2 and up, and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, in South-East Asia sometime this October.

Rebellion Games, developers of the Sniper Elite series and iOS titles like Joust Legend and Harmony Isle, have announced that they are now a partner developer on Apple’s Metal technology.

Metal was announced back at WWDC, and Rebellion Co-founder and CTO Chris Kingsley has stated that he saw its potential as soon as it was announced:

“We’re excited to be working so closely with Apple’s technology in our Asura Engine as it will empower us to code to Metal, remove some of the main rendering bottlenecks, and bring even better looking, more immersive games to iOS devices. Metal is leading the way in the next generation of mobile rendering technologies. It could be a real turning point for mobile gaming.”

Whilst no games were mentioned, it’s very likely that we can look forward to some Rebellion games coming out and using the new 3D API sometime in the future.

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Yesterday at Apple’s WWDC 2014 keynote, Epic Games showed off Zen Garden, a demo that was created using Metal and Unreal Engine 4. The scene was built in order to demonstrate dynamic scenes and huge vistas using both technologies, and can be seen in the keynote if you skip to around the 99 minute mark.

Zen Garden will be available on the App Store after iOS8’s public release this Fall, with further details set to be announced in a live stream on Twitch this Thursday. Metal will be introduced into Unreal Engine 4 “at an appropriate time” after beta NDAs for it have been lifted.

Zen Garden

Apple has just announced an upcoming new developer API named Metal.

Metal serves as a firmware layer that allows for developers to have better access to hardware components. It mostly replaces OpenGL. According to Apple, metal allows for 10 times faster draw call rate, can display 1.3 million triangles on screen at once, and add effects like depth-of-field.

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Metal Slug 3 Review

Metal Slug 3 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A classic, over the top arcade and NeoGeo shooter makes its iOS debut.

Read The Full Review »
Metal Gear Solid Touch

Metal Gear Solid Touch

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
It was only a matter of time before we started getting some heavy hitters in the App Store. Did Konami deliver on what could have finally been the premium gaming experience we've been waiting for? Read our initial impressions and see for yourself!

Read The Full Review »
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