Twelve years ago, Sega released a game for its brand-spanking new Dreamcast system that was so stunningly original its influences can still be seen today. Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio for US gamers) became an instant sleeper hit, and has earned its cult classic status. The impressive, stylish visuals, unique gameplay and awesome music are still remember fondly by my generation. Now that Android hardware has caught up to and in many ways surpassed the old beige box, Sega has re-released Jet Set Radio for the mobile world. You can pick it up on the Google Play Store for $4.99.
We know what you're thinking – a word game adventure? The combination definitely doesn't sound natural (if I were playing Game Dev Story, I wouldn't dream of trying this title), but SEGA of America has managed to make it work with Spellwood: Word Game Adventure.
The title, which just recently hit the Play Store, invites players to "become a wizard with words" through simple yet engaging gameplay that combines the concepts of adventure and magic with a tile-based word game.
Spellwood offers multiplayer using Facebook or Google+, or a solo mode in which players will confront over 90 enemies in various towers across the game's map.
If you've ever enjoyed a game with cartoony cell-shaded visuals, graffiti, and an incredible attention to licensed music, you've got Sega's Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in the original Dreamcast US version) to thank. There are more than a few gamers who keep the ol' beige box plugged in just for this little gem. But now they don't have to: Jet Set Radio is available for Android today, and it's just five bones in the Google Play Store.
For those of you who were too young to remember the Dreamcast, Jet Set/Grind Radio loosely fits into the action genre. Your cartoon character rollerblades around a futuristic Tokyo, hitting assigned spots with graffiti, grinding on rails and other environmental areas, and avoiding or defeating the local cops.
Touchscreens have allowed a whole new era of innovation in mobile gaming and so far it's been pretty great. Sometimes, though, you just need buttons. There are a variety of companies out there trying to create the right solution and this isn't even the first review I've done on a third-party controller. With a unique grip to hold your smartphone, though, this one actually seemed like it stood a fighting chance of not disappearing into the nearest drawer. Of course, hardware is rarely the real problem for Android controllers, is it? But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
- Decent size.
Remember the hours and hours you wasted as a kid plunking quarters into the Zaxxon machine, scorning the other kids for playing 1942 and Galaga? Yeah, neither do I - odds are pretty good that if you're reading this, Sega's admittedly unique isometric shooter was slightly before your time. Still, there's got to be plenty of Android gamers eager for a nostalgia trip in 3/4 perspective, right? For those middle-aged gamers, Zaxxon Escape is now available in the Play Store for a mere buck. At the cost of just four single-run games from 1982, that's a bargain.
But hold on to your quarters, shmup fans.
The real-time strategy genre has a lot to recommend it: tactical thinking, fast-paced unit and resource management, and multiplayer atmosphere that's unlike anything else in gaming. But it's hard to escape the fact that in order to have a real RTS, you just need a mouse. Precise movements and commands are nigh impossible on a touchscreen. Sega's Total War Battles: Shogun is a spinoff from their wildly successful Total War PC franchise, which breaks with tradition and tries to adapt the RTS genre to the touchscreen. Unfortunately, just about everything that makes a strategy game enjoyable is lost in translation.
A new Spin On An Old Hat
Some of the staples of real-time strategy are here: bases with buildings which manufacture units, gathering different kinds of resources, incremental technology upgrades.
Fans of Sega's Total War series are in for a treat tonight, as the company has just released its newest offerings to the Play Store. Dubbed Total War Battles: Shogun, this real-time strategy title takes you back to medieval Japan on a quest for extreme supremacy.
With over 10 hours of "story-driven campaign," TWB: Shogun will certainly fill up some free time, and its touch-intuitive interface will provide the best experience possible. The game not only features local play, but also 1v1 multiplayer, and a "skirmish" mode that puts you in six standalone battles with various levels of difficulty, including normal, hard, and shogun.
We heard about it back in February, and now it looks like Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II is about to start rolling out. Those of you with Tegra 3 chips in your devices, get ready to have your SoCs rocked off*. Everyone else will be waiting for a little while. The gaming company's follow-up to Episode I of the same game will launch on Android tomorrow, for $6.99.
Update: The game is live.
The game will debut on PSN and Steam today, initially, before rolling out to the Play Store and Xbox Live Arcade tomorrow. If you purchased Episode I, you'll get access to the special Episode Metal content pack.
Bringing the "world's best-selling Football management game" to Android users everywhere, SEGA recently introduced Football Manager Handheld 2012 to the Play Store recently, giving players the opportunity to "take the hot-seat at any club" including leagues in 12 countries (across several continents), with full control over team management from training to tactics to live management during matchdays.
Besides offering a lengthy career mode in which players can experience a full career in a given country's league, Football Manager Handheld 2012 allows for quick play via Challenge Mode, in which players will complete "a particular short-term scenario with a clear goal to be achieved."
The game utilizes Sports Interactive's "huge global scouting network" for accurate real-life research, offering players realistic situations with actual players.
If you've been longing for some sort of old-school Gamecube action on your Android device and happen to love monkeys trapped in transparent balls, then today is your lucky day - Sega released Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition in all of its pink fluffy goodness to the
Android Market Play Store.
For the uninitiated, Super Monkey Ball is a classic game in which you control one of four playable monkeys encased in a translucent ball though a series of twists and turns to reach the goal.
The game features six worlds with 125 total levels, as well as four additional mini games: Monkey Target, Monkey Bowl, Monkey Golf, and Monkey Base - a multi-player mode exclusively for tablets.