I have very fond memories of playing old LCD games as a child. Whether it was a Game & Watch game or something like the copy of 1943 I had and played until the plastic wore out. There was a certain charm that those games had and I loved the challenge of them, even though they were pretty basic and you did the same thing every time you played them. I had a huge collection of them and still keep on the lookout today for good ones to add to my collection. Anytime McDonald’s has them in their kids meals I play them to see what they’re like (not great). There are people out there still trying to bring those old memories and the charm of the LCD game to life.
UFO Interactive is one such company that has recently released a number of LCD style games through their Retro Pocket lineup. On iOS they’re broken up into individual games that can be purchased for .99¢. I tried out a few of them to see how they were. Three games in particular were Candy Factory, Kung Fu and Fireman.
If there is one thing the world needs more of it’s Game & Watch style games. They’ve fallen out of favor since they were first released back in the 1980s as technology has improved, but I still think they’re incredibly fun. I’ve always thought there was something mildly addictive about the simple gameplay combined with the crude “animations” and the bleep/bloop sounds. They all combine into something that reminds me of those games as a child. I had a pretty extensive collection of single screen LCD games and still enjoy playing them for a few minutes every now and then.
UFO Interactive has been pretty busy on the eShop over the last few months with three different titles now available for purchase. They’re latest, Johnny Kung Fu, brings the Game & Watch, single-screen LCD game back and updates it a little bit.
What You Need to Know
Johnny Kung Fu (I accidently typed Johnny Kung Fun twice while writing this) is a single screen brawler. You play as Johnny, a blond haired kid who’s girlfriend has been kidnapped by The Wang Gang, led by the mysterious Mr. Wang. Johnny’s got one hour of real time to save her. To do so you go through 32 levels of the Unethical Financial Operations building. Each level is made up of a single screen that requires you to complete a specific task to move on. Sandwiched in those levels are “Game & Watchy” mini-games . If you lose all of your lives you can continue from the same point, but it will cost you five minutes of your time.
Chuck E. Cheese is a dream world for kids. A place where you can eat pizza, play video games and win silly little toys. I can remember going there as a kid when it was Showbiz Pizza. Is there any kid on the planet that wouldn’t want to take the fun and excitement of Chuck E. Cheese with them wherever they go? UFO Interactive managed to obtain the license to the popular food chain and slap it on a game featuring a number of activities you’d find at the restaurant. Unfortunately what resulted is a mess of boring mini-games that you won’t really have reasons to play more than once.
What You Need to Know
Chuck E. Cheese’s Arcade Room is a collection of five mini-games based on popular games you’d see at any modern arcade. You’ll get to try your hand at a basketball shootout, whack-a-mole style game, skee ball, a shooting gallery and a racing arcade game. The more points you score in those games earns you more tickets that you can use to unlock virtual prizes in the game’s prize room. There are even challenges based on the five mini-games that will test your “skill” at playing them all. Read more…
UFO Interactive has sent along a new trailer for their upcoming eShop game, Johnny Kung Fu. This shows off even more of the game play and the mix of the modern visuals and the older Game & Watch style games. I’m really interested in this one.
Rhythm games come in a number of shapes and sizes, especially on a Nintendo handheld. You can solve people’s problems through the power of music. You can pretend you’re banging on giant Asian drums. You can sing along with pop singers named after states, or find yourself in a musical heaven. I haven’t seen a rhythm game that also has you saving the world from a zombie apocalypse before. UFO Interactive thought that was a huge gap in people’s gaming library and stepped in to fill that hole with Zombie Slayer Diox. By the way, the (X) is silent.
What You Need to Know
Zombie Slayer Diox is a side scrolling rhythm action game. You play as Diox, who is roaming the earth trying to rid the world of zombies. Your enemies come on from the right side of the screen with a directional arrow over their heads and you have to swipe the stylus on the touch screen in the appropriate direction to kill them. There are 12 tracks available in the game, playable both in the story mode and the Free Play mode. Along with that there are dozens of achievements to earn.
Zombie Slayer Diox hits the 3DS eShop on March 22nd. UFO Interactive wants everyone to be ready for that release and listen to the music ahead of time. They’re making the soundtrack available for free to anyone that wants it. Just head over HERE and download the entire soundtrack, or just listen to it if you prefer. If you click on the links on the page you’ll be directed to the Youtube videos for the songs. There is a button under the four tracks to download them all. I think it’s pretty good. The first four songs are currently available with the last eight set to come soon. Here’s a little sample of the soundtrack for you.
I’ll have my review for the game tomorrow.
UFO Interactive currently has one game on the eShop right now in Samurai: Sword of Destiny. They’ve got Zombie Slayer Diox coming this next week and today they’ve announced Johnny Kung Fu. This game looks pretty darn fun. There are some elements of old LCD games like the Game & Watch franchise, some side scrolling brawler action, cliched voice acting and a blond kung fu master. No official release date as of yet, but the trailer says it’s coming “soon”.
UFO Interactive is currently publishing one game on the eShop called Samurai Sword Destiny, which is a side scrolling brawler similar to Muramasa: The Demon Blade. They’ve just released the trailer for another game that will be coming to the eShop later this year called Zombie Slayer Diox. (The x is silent) It’s a rhythm game where the whole point of the game is to kill as many zombies as you can. Based solely on the trailer I’m actually pretty interested in this one.
Pomona, CA (January 27th, 2012) – UFO Interactive Games, Inc., a leading publisher of interactive entertainment, proudly unveils Zombie Slayer Diox™ for the Nintendo 3DS™ eShop. Zombie Slayer Diox™ is a rhythm-action game with a side-scrolling twist! Designed and developed by UFO Interactive Games internally, Zombie Slayer Diox™ puts you into the jeans and leather boots of a samurai guitarist in the year 20xx. Zombies have taken over most major cities in the world and our hero, Diox, is on a quest to put an end to the undead. Diox lures the zombies with his sweet songs and sick guitar solos, and he cuts them down with his mighty katana when they get close. There is a rumor that deep within zombie territory, a super guitar amp exists that can be used to kill thousands of zombies at once with a strum of a simple power chord… Zombie Slayer Diox™ is set for release early 2012.
What happens when a company releases two games in the same genre, with the same source material a year apart? You, in reality, get two games that aren’t that great. Saint and The Monkey King: The Legend Begins were developed by Starfish and released on May 27th, 2008 and July 21st, 2009 respectively. They are both based off of the story of the Monkey King from The Journey West, which is an ancient Chinese story. Another franchise that you might be more familiar with that is also based off of this story is Dragonball Z. Despite being based on the same story and featuring similar gameplay the games really are of two different worlds.
They were both released for a budget price when they came out. They’re both side scrolling shooters and they’re both based off of the same story. Other than that they’re really very different games. I’ll explain why. The Monkey King: The Legend Begins features a very chibi style cartoonish art style. The main character is a monkey with a painted white face and very large green eyes. He rides on an orange cloud that can fly and he carries a staff. The enemies that you fight in the game are all cutesy anthropomorphic creatures. You’ll encounter things like flying chickens, pigs with bazookas and even oni demons that have been somewhat chibi-fied, if I can use that as a real word. The biggest hook to the gameplay of The Monkey King is the ability to speed up or slow down the world based on how you tilt the Wii Remote. Tilt it to the right and you speed up. Tilt it to the left and you slow down.
Saint, on the other hand features a bit more realistic, though still very stylized art style. It’s very similar to watercolor paintings that you would find in other games based on Chinese folklore. The main character is a more human looking young man with spiky hair and a bit of an ego. This game is also a side scrolling shooter that has you this time facing off against more “menacing” enemies like wizards and flying ninjas with tridents. It’s almost like the game tries to take itself a bit more seriously. At different points throughout the game you’ll switch from a 2D perspective to a behind the back almost 3D environment. The game is very hard to play in this fashion and you just find yourself wishing that it would end and get back to the main portion of the game.
There are a large number of similarities between the two games, which makes sense considering that they were developed by the same company. Both games have you holding the Wii Remote on it’s side classic style. The d-pad controls your movement. The 1 button is your primary fire button, and the 2 button controls any special attacks you have. You’ll be facing off against waves of enemies coming from the right side of the screen and trying to shoot them down before they shoot you down. You can power up your weapon by collecting the appropriate powerups dropped by defeated enemies. At different points through the levels in either game a slightly more difficulty enemy, once defeated, will open up a door that magically leads to a shop selling the special weapons you can acquire. These will give you additional attacks that can be used to defend against enemies behind you, or take out large numbers of enemies at a time. They’re all very standard items like energy shields, multiple shots and even bombs that can be used to drop on enemies lurking at the bottom of the screen.
Neither game is very difficult, or exceptionally well made. They feel, despite having many things that are similar like they are two different games. The light hearted tone of the Monkey King makes for an enjoyable experience that I might even recommend to people if they can find it at a price of about $8 or less. Seeing this game ported to WiiWare might even make me recommend it to people looking for sidescrolling shooters to play on their Wii. It’s fun, in small bursts, once you realize it’s not very difficult and it won’t take you long to beat. The more recognizable power ups make it easy to pick up the ones you want, and the boss fights are very well balanced to the rest of the game. Saint, on the other hand, I don’t think I would recommend to anyone. The difficulty ismuch higher in this game. Boss fights seems to drag on, there’s no real indication that you’re even hitting the boss, much less actually doing any damage, and the psuedo 3D sections are tedious and make you wish you hadn’t bought the game.
If you can find a copy of The Monkey King in a bargain bin somewhere you might find some fun in that game. It’s quirky, cute and a simple pleasure. Check out these two videos comparing the gameplay of both to see what I mean.
Howdy Howdy everyone. I told you on the podcast about a game called Saint. I learned from Shelby, Will and Peter on the show that it’s based on the same story as Dragonball Z. I caught those similarities during my first playthrough of the game, but since I’ve never been a big fan of Dragonball Z I didn’t know that for sure.
Saint is a sidescrolling shooter where you play as a character named Songoku, fly on a Nimbus and wield a staff. The gameplay itself is not very good. There’s not real way to tell if you’re attacking bigger enemies as you’ll see at the first encounter with the shooting wall. It’s not very fast and there aren’t a lot of enemies you’ll fight at one time. It’s also a killer on the thumb because the only control method available is the Wii Remote on its side. So without further ado, here’s the gameplay footage I promised.