Posts Tagged ‘Rampage’

Celebrating it’s tenth anniversary Rockstar Games brings back my favorite Grand Theft Auto game of all time. Vice City. In my opinion, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a mashup of Goodfellas meets Scarface. The other part that makes it so great is the fictitious Miami setting during the 1980s. I was hooked from the opening minutes as I just drove down the streets of a fictional neon lit South Beach to the club in the center of town. I even stole a police car, crashed vehicles, beat up a few bystanders, and created some random chaos and had a lot of fun doing it. I loved this game when i first played it on my Playstation 2, and now it’s on my iPad. Watch out Vice City because I’m back! Let me re-introduce you to Tommy Vercetti.

PROS:

The Story
Unlike Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City features a more fleshed out story featuring Tommy Vercetti (Ray Liotta) at the helm. The mafia hitman is sent to Vice City to get a slice in the cocaine business for Liberty City boss Sonny Forelli when all of a sudden everything goes wrong. Now without the money and the drugs Tommy needs to find a way to make things right, and maybe in the process pull a Tony Montana and run the town. I really love all the angles that are played out in this game from drug lords, club owners, and even various gangs controlling their own piece of the city. Tommy makes Claude (the main antagonist from GTA 3) look like a low level errand boy. I had Tommy rising in power and creating an empire as I took control of the city and even buying a mansion similar to what Tony Montana had in Scarface. The story is awesome even though it seems to have been played out in many movies.

Celebrating Everything ’80s
One thing that made Grand Theft Auto: Vice City so unique is the fact that throughout the game I was able to point out so many ’80s references. I grew up in the ’80s and seeing references to Scarface, Knight Rider, The A-Team, Miami Vice, Rambo, The Village People, and so much more was really cool. The city itself was a reflection of everything ’80s with all the neon lights all the way down to the random people on the street with how they dressed and acted. Cars reflected their ’80s style and when I jacked a car the music of that decade was blaring into my speakers. I absolutely loved it.

The Soundtrack
One of my fondest memories of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was when I was strolling through the streets and I came up to an unsuspecting cop, stabbed him, and then jacked a car. While getting chased by the police the radio played “Cum On Feel The Noize” from Quiet Riot. The song fit so right with the chase which was awesome. Throughout my experience with the game I would flip around the various radio stations jamming out to all the songs as well as the hilarious DJ chatter and commercials. Sometimes I would just sit around for an hour or two just to listen music and do nothing in the game. Maybe I should have bought the soundtrack CD instead. In my honest opinion, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s ’80s soundtrack is my absolute favorite of the series.

Doing Whatever I Want
What makes the Grand Theft Auto games so much fun to play are the moments where I go off the beaten path of the main storyline. Driving around the city jamming to ’80s music, acquiring property, civil missions (fire, police, taxi), rampage missions, getting dances at the strip club, robbing stores, picking up prostitutes to regain health and then kill them to get my money back, beating up and killing random civilians, and wreaking havoc in the city are just a few of the things I did. Doing whatever I wanted in the streets of Vice City really adds to the awesomeness that this game is. Grand Theft Auto games were not made for me to follow a linear story arc. They’re meant for me to go hog wild in the big city and do all sorts of shit that I wouldn’t do in the real world and that’s fun.

CONS:

Touchscreen Controls
It took some time for me to get used to the touchscreen controls when I first started playing Grand Theft Auto 3 when it was released on the iPad. This game is no different. The touchscreen controls are the same layout as they were in GTA 3. Now I come from console gaming, and when I saw how many touchscreen buttons there were on the screen I was a little overwhelmed. There’s a button for everything. Running, jumping, shooting, and even jacking cars. Driving cars (which can be difficult) takes a little finesse, but once I got it down it was easy. Actually driving a car in Vice City is better than it was in GTA 3. My advice to everyone playing is take the time to get used to the touchscreen controls before diving deep into the game or else you might get really frustrated.

IN CONCLUSION

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is back, and it’s a welcome addition to the App Store. Sure it takes a little time to get used to the iPad controls, but once I was past that the memories came rushing back making my time with Tommy Vercetti fun once again. Wreaking havoc in the city, especially in a tank or attack helicopter, was awesome. Doing it while jamming to the ’80s soundtrack was even better. Nostalgia sure, but with this version I was creating all new memories to have for hers to come. GTA fans this is a must buy! The best part is that now I have this game on both my Xbox 360 console and mobile devices which will make it even harder for me to turn the fun off and go back to reality.

Developer: Rockstar Games
Platform: iPad, iPhone
Players: 1
Price: $4.99

Call me a sucker for everything retro. When I heard that Midway Arcade Origins was coming to Xbox 360 I knew that I had to get it. Of course every time they offered a compilation of old school classics I ended up buying it no matter what console I had at the time, and Midway‘s retro offerings have been whored out on all of them to date. Sure nothing has changed since the time when I played most of these games back in the ’80s and early ’90s except for the fact is that this time there’s achievements. Challenge accepted! Now where do I insert the virtual tokens?

PROS:

More Than 30 Classic Games
Actually there are 31 games which solidifies the more than 30 games message in the advertising. Some of the games I really enjoyed including Smash TV, Total Carnage, Defender, Sinistar, Joust, Arch Rivals, Rampage, and more. Of course there’s some games in this collection that I wish would just die. Yes, I’m talking to you Pit Fighter and Spy Hunter 2. Overall this compilation of old school classics is quite enjoyable giving me some nostalgic memories of days gone by. This collection also has multiple ways of playing with Free Play where I can keep entering virtual quarters and play as long as I want, and Score Attack which only gives me a set number of lives. Score Attack is also the only way to unlock each game’s achievement.

CONS:

Terrible Controls
For a collection of games that have been faithfully emulated you would think a tweak or two in the control department would help. Sadly, that is not the case here. The main problems show up on titles that used trackball and steering wheel controls. The analog stick is the only alternative, but on games like Championship Sprint and even Marble Madness it can prove to be quite a pain in the ass to control. I’ve also noticed a slight hiccup issue with the analog controls in Smash TV. I don’t get it. The controls work great on the XBLA version. Why not on this one?

No Online Multiplayer
Multiplayer is included with Midway Arcade Origins in the form of couch multiplayer, but I think this collection would be even better with some form of online multiplayer. The games that were available on Xbox Live Arcade, before their delisting, had online multiplayer making for some fun. Sadly, the only online functionality this set has is online leaderboards. Maybe the thought of being number one on the leaderboards is enough for some people since the days of these games was achieving a high score. Then there are games like Rampage, Arch Rivals, and others that are much better with some competition both online and on the couch.

Missing Games
While Midway Arcade Origins features an eclectic collection of games there are a few titles that have been omitted. Where’s NARC? It’s on all the other collections, but not here. Why? How about Pigskin 621 A.D.? Arch Rivals is here, why not this one? Primal Rage? Hydro Thunder? I could go on and on. Some people out there on the internet message boards have even mentioned the Mortal Kombat games. I guess they haven’t noticed yet, but those games are in one “Kollection” on Xbox Live Arcade. Hopefully WB Games has plans on a follow up down the road, because there are so many titles for at least another release.

IN CONCLUSION

Midway Arcade Origins clearly fills the need for retro gamers like myself with a nice compilation of classic titles, but the control issues on some games along with the omission of other titles sort of hurts it. Some of these games are fun for a long time, but there are others that have aged so badly that I’ll just play to earn the achievement and then steer clear of them forever. This is a collection for serious retro gaming fans. Everyone else (especially those born after the early ’90s) should give it at least a rental just to see what gaming was like in the early days.

Developer: WB Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-2 (local multiplayer)
Price: $29.99

Pros:
All the classic Midway arcade games in one collection
Future DLC for more games

Cons:
Some of the games look really dated
Spy Hunter and APB gyroscope controls don’t work very well
The air hockey game kinda sucks

Review based on Version 1.0

When I saw Midway Arcade available in the App Store I knew immediately that this was an instant buy. Classic Midway arcade games from the ’80s and the ’90s for me was what I grew up with. Who wouldn’t want something like this? Ok, maybe all the retro haters out there. However, for everyone else it’s almost a no-brainer purchase. The big question on everyone’s minds is wondering how well the translation works on the iPhone and iPad. That answer is more of a hit and miss depending upon what game(s) you like.

Midway Arcade, from WB Games, is a collection of arcade classics from the past for you to enjoy. I know this has been done before on practically every game console known to man. Although it hasn’t really been done on iOS devices. Retro games now with touchscreen controls…challenge accepted. This compilation’s layout should also look familiar to those who may have unfortunately downloaded Microsoft’s Game Room (I did). The design looks like an actual video arcade complete with a variety of arcade cabinets along with other things like a ticket redemption center and more. Now where’s the crappy pizza, soda and hard candy?

The compilation comes with ten games including arcade classics like Defender, Spy Hunter, Root Beer Tapper, Arch Rivals, Joust and Rampage. Along with the classics this compilation also features other playable games like a pool table, a mini- basketball game, air hockey and skee-ball. Also available is day one DLC that features additional arcade games including Gauntlet, Gauntlet 2, Wizard of Wor, N.A.R.C, APB and Total Carnage. These games are broken up in sets of three and are priced at only 99 cents. What a bargain. You can also expect plenty of future DLC with even more classic hits making your arcade the hit of the virtual town.

While arcades had some crappy joystick controls due to the play of some youngsters who didn’t know better, along with some raging adults, gamers question whether the touchscreen controls of Midway Arcade would work out. This is where the “hit or miss” formula comes into play. Most of the games I played including Arch Rivals, Rampage, Joust, Total Carnage and the Gauntlet games controlled well. However, I had lots of trouble with both Spy Hunter and APB with the gyroscope style of control simulating the driver’s wheel. Also the air hockey game is terrible as the paddle was unable to keep up with my movements making me look rather awkward and retarded. Good thing this is a virtual arcade and not the real thing or else I’d really look stupid.

Midway Arcade is clearly for those retro junkies out there who want the old-school arcade experience. You can even win tickets in each game that you can use at the prize redemption center. No crappy Chinese finger traps and other cheap useless trinkets here. This is nostalgia at it’s finest, and the inclusion of future arcade games DLC makes this a buy for lovers of the old days. Now how about some Sinistar, Smash TV, and Robotron please.