Games for portable consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita make for natural ports to mobile hardware, if only because the technical requirements for those games are only a fraction of the hardware power needed for full console titles. LEGO has already released several of these, and the latest is in the company's home-grown line of vaguely Asian-style action toys, Ninjago. Shadow of Ronin is an action title that stars the characters from the kids TV show and the building sets, and it's available for five bucks with no in-app purchases.
Like most "full-sized" LEGO games, Shadow of Ronin has you running around various 3D stages, busting up bad guys, grabbing collectibles, and "building" the various components you need to progress.
Oddworld is a series of games in a variety of genres, all united by the core element of... well, oddness. If you played Stranger's Wrath, the last Oddworld port to reach Android about a year ago, you know what I mean: that game was a third-person action title in which you shot tiny adorably creatures out of a double-barrel crossbow. Munch's Oddysee is an even older game, originally released on the Xbox (the one that isn't the One) back in 2001. It's a sequel to Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exodus, it's the first in the series to offer true 3D gameplay, and now it's on Android.
Have I mentioned lately that DotEmu is awesome? Because it is, and not just because it's the only Android game developer that sounds like a dating service for flightless birds. The company specializes in porting old console and PC games to Android and iOS, perfectly preserving graphics and game mechanics while adding great extras like controller support and Google Play Games integration. At the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles, DotEmu announced that its next release will be Titan Quest.
Titan Quest was originally released for the PC in 2006. It's a modern take on the top-down dungeon crawler formula typified by Diablo, but instead of a Heaven vs.
Final Fantasy Tactics was an oddball when it was first released for the PlayStation in 1997 - ostensibly a member of the never-repeating (at the time) Final Fantasy series, the game broke from the familiar turn-based battles with a new isometric system that put a huge emphasis on tactical positioning and strategic use of classes and attack ranges. While FFT never got the attention of the standard numbered RPGs in the series, it became a sleeper hit, and the original was kept alive with a few sequels and remakes. It remains a popular game for PS1 emulators.
You won't need an emulator to play Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, at least not anymore.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a unique head-smashing platformer, another Kairosoft management sim, a classic WWI dogfighter, a minimal lane-based strategy game, an interesting text-based interrogation title, a game where you eat people and smash paintings, and an anime-inspired badminton game.
Normally an Android re-release of a decades-old RPG means we're talking about another Squaresoft or Enix port, but this one is digging deep into the annals of Japanese role-playing game history. The Ys series (pronounced... okay, I honestly have no idea how it's pronounced) is a collection of action-RPGs that stretches across four decades and dozens of platforms all the way back to 1987. Ys Chronicles 1, an updated port of the game that began the franchise, is now available on Android from DotEmu.
This is an updated and refined edition of Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - the Android version is probably based on the assets of the updated re-release for the PSP and DS made in 2009, as one half of Ys I & II Chronicles.
Most of the games in the Play Store from SNKPlaymore are related to The King of Fighters and Metal Slug franchises, but these are far from the only ones the company has produced over the years. Fighting game fans in particular have been able to enjoy Samurai Shodown II, along with an entry in the Fatal Fury series—Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Now the company has released the arcade hit Fatal Fury Special into the Play Store as well.
Tactical military strategy and RPGs make a natural fit for mobile platforms, especially tablets, thanks to a top-down battlefield and gameplay that's helped along by precision movement. Android already has a small but impressive collection of tactical strategy options, including notable PC/console games like XCOM and more niche options like Ambition of the Slimes. Now Android strategy fans can play Frozen Synapse Prime, a well-received remake of the original Frozen Synapse, for $5.
PS Vita version shown above - developer Double Eleven didn't bother to create an Android trailer.
Frozen Synapse Prime was first released on the PlayStation Vita last November, then ported to the PS3 and PC.
Dear readers: I have a confession to make. I completely forgot about our monthly best-of games series, because when the event came up on the calendar I was busy drooling over the new SHIELD set-top box and other Game Developers Conference-related stuff in San Francisco. Here, belated but hopefully still appreciated, are my picks for the top seven Android games of last month and a few honorable mentions.
Popular wisdom says that movies released in January are the detritus of the previous year, as studios breathe a sigh of relief once all the Christmas blockbusters and Oscar bait has left theaters. The game industry has inherited a bit of this stigma, but it's hard to argue with the evidence: for the first time in over two years, we skipped a game roundup because of a lack of content. Even so, there are enough notable newcomers to keep you occupied until Valentine's Day at least.