Archive for the ‘Mobile Gaming’ Category

Welcome to my 2014 edition annual top 10 games.  Like the years in the past, this isn’t a list of games that were released in 2014, more like the games that took a large chunk of my attention for the year.


Kara’s Top 5 in 2014

Posted: December 24, 2014 by karaski in iOS, Lists, Mobile Gaming, Playstation 4, Sony, Video Games

While thinking of my top 10 this year I realized I would simply be listing all the games I played. Since I was very busy with work and my first year in my house I didn’t play that many games but those that I played, I played a lot! That being said here are my top 5 games for 2014!

#1 Dragon Age Inquisition (PS4)


#2 Hearthstone (IOS)


#3 Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4)


#4 Minecraft (PS4)


#5 Don’t Starve (PS4)


As I mentioned last year, my top 10 of 2013 is based on games that were released this year that I had a chance to play. I do not own an Xbox 360 or Xbox One, which is why there is an absence of Microsoft presence on my list (I can’t judge a game I have not played). I did pick up a Playstation 4 but unfortunately my launch day pick up didn’t make it either. I had fun putting this together so I hope you have fun reading my opinions! 🙂


Fire Emblem: Awakening (3ds)

Two years in a row a tactical, strategy RPG has made it’s way to the top of my list. I had quite a hard time getting a hold of Fire Emblem when it was released because Nintendo was really pushing to get folks to download this title through the E-Shop. They even released a special edition Fire Emblem blue 3ds console but the copy of the game that came with it was digital! Still, I would like to get my hands on that someday.

This game was AMAZING, the cut scene graphics blew me away on the 3DS. I literally didn’t put the game down after I started playing. I had to plug  my 3DS in quite a few times. I will be honest and say that the romance and story really captured me. I read / sat through every piece of dialogue that they offered. After I finished the game I played through it two additional times to try and bond different characters and classes in battle for an advantage. I would highly recommend this game to fans of RPGS.


Diablo III

When Diablo III was released for Playstation 3 I was curious about it because of all the hype surrounding the earlier PC launch but I wasn’t planning on picking it up. In fact the only reason I did was because a few of my friends had a copy and said the multiplayer was great. Now here it is sitting atop my best of 2013 list. I had so much fun playing the game and playing with friends mainly. You can’t explain the feeling of finding a rare drop after a battle and equipping it proudly! I still throw this game in every so often and see it as something I will continue to play to level up my character and gain rare items.


Animal Crossing

I am a sucker for Animal Crossing in general, it is an extremely underrated Nintendo game. I think a lot of people consider it for little kids or non-hardcore gamers because of the simple gameplay and cutsey graphics but some of the most dedicated video game players I know are fans of the game and put hundreds, even thousands of hours in their towns. I will admit I stopped playing with Pokemon was released shortly after but I know someday I will log in again and see my weed-ridden town and angry neighbors.



I don’t have much new to say about this tactical strategy RPG that I didn’t say last year. Enemy Within isn’t mind-blowingly different that Enemy Unknown, which is why it falls a little on the list. The new additions are great and I love having an excuse to try and play the game again with the new options. Will someone else please pick this up so I can get some multiplayer in?? Please and Thank you 🙂


Pokemon X and Y

Always a sucker for a new Pokemon game, I picked both titles up on launch day. I have not played enough to get my moneys worth  but I am hoping one of these weekends I can spend every waking hour training up my pokemon and beating the remaining gym leaders. I enjoy the new features of the game and still love the experience of playing the game.


Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

If you would have asked me earlier this year what my #1 would be, I probably would have answered with no hesitation that it would be Ni No Kuni. If you’ve been reading the blog you know my sob story about pre-ordering the Wizards Edition and fearing it would not arrive so purchasing a gamestop copy only to have my Wizard’s Edition arrive later that week. I still loved the idea of the game and need to get back to finishing it but It didn’t grab me like I expected… maybe I hyped myself up too much.


dragons crown

This was a random pick up that turned into a lot of fun. I am not quite sure how to describe the game correctly but it is a RPG mixed with a side-scrolling beat-em up and a TON of fun multiplayer. It looks like chaos on the screen when you get a lot of people in the mix but the over the top character design and animations make for a lot of laughs. I would recommend you check it out!



I should just say “see previous post” but I will give you  a little more… I have been playing Minecraft on my Mac since it was in beta but really am enjoying the console version because it allows me to add friends quickly and easily without using a server. That is what really sets this version apart for me.


super hexagon

It seems silly to add a cheap mobile game to the list but I can’t tell you how many hours I have drained (and continue to drain) into this game. The objective is simple enough; last as long as you can (you’re the little triangle) without touching a wall. Seems simple enough but add high-energy electronic music and a very fast moving design and you’re in for a difficult time. Eventually you can unlock more levels at higher difficulty.


last of us

I purchased this game thinking it was going to be the next Skyrim (in terms of hours invested) but sadly it was not. The graphics looked AMAZING, especially in the cut scenes but I became quickly frustrated with the stealth sections of the game and never finished it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s here on this list because I will finish it and I enjoyed what I had seen so far but it didn’t live up to the hype for me.

Welcome to my top 10 of 2013.  Like last year, these aren’t necessarily games that came out in 2013 but more of new experiences and titles for me that happened throughout the year.  These games aren’t in any particular order but I do have one game that is my top pick for the year!*

Let’s check it out!

  • Ducktales Remastered – PS3:  Believe it or not, I actually do have games in my list that were released in 2013!  This game was amazing when it was out on the NES and it rocks today!  I even got it on disk and not DLC.  The only thing that sucks is the infectious theme song that plays in the beginning.

    (You’re welcome…)
  • Minecraft PS3 Edition – PS3:  Who didn’t know this was going to hit my list?  This version practically squeaked in at the last minute for the year.  At that point, I made the decision to buy a 4th version of this game.  (360, PC, PE and now PS3!)
  • Knightmare Tower – Ouya:  “Break through ceilings, rescue princesses and escape boiling lava as you slash your way to the top of the Knightmare Tower!”  It’s really hard to explain the game other than the official tag line.
  • Super Crate Box – Ouya:  From the creator of Super Meat Boy, comes Super Crate Box.  Ever have the need to whip your controller to the ground and rage quit?  This is a good one to start with!  Something that starts off looking like some sort of mutated cousin of Donkey Kong, the game is a progressive fight from level to level and gun to gun.
  • Diablo III – PS3:  A long time coming, Diablo III was released on consoles in 2013.  Lots of people went nuts and pre-ordered it.  I was one of them.  It was even down to making the decision to buy it while vacationing with my wife and Kara.  This game is in depth and a blast to play.  The easy drop in/drop out multiplayer made it a pleasure to play and didn’t make organizing a game a daunting task.  Everyone at Blizzard, I personally think you for bringing this to the 2013 current gen market!
  • Sleeping Dogs – PS3:  One of the free titles for being a PSN subscriber, I jumped on this one as it was the spiritual successor of the True Crime series that I played a LOT of on the Gamecube.  You can feel how the controls were made to be similar and it didn’t disappoint!  Less of a fan of True Crime Streets of NY but LOVED True Crime Streets of LA, this game brought it back to it’s roots.

    And the awesome live-action trailer:
  • Dead Space 3 – XBox360:  The top game series of making me poo myself: Dead Space.  This 3rd installment is no exception to the rule.  Many complained about the microtransactions within the game, but you can ignore it and still beat the game.  Currently, I’m continually getting stomped in the hardcore mode, but this will have to wait till 2014! 😉
  • Asura’s Wrath – PS3:  What can I say about the greatest interactive, episodic Anime OVA ever made?  So much more since I wrote a gushing article about it a few months back.  The concept art, fake commercial bumpers, intro credits, and “next time”/”last time” recaps make a really great experience for thi alternative beat-em-up!  My only hate on this version of the game is the insane amount of screen tearing found specifically on the PS3.  That needs to go!
  • Towerfall – Ouya (Exclusive):  This is a couch-style, 4 player, multiplayer, archery combat game.  This is probably one the best examples of what the Ouya is made of!  Slinging arrows all over the screen at your friends, triggering traps and opening chests bring it all back to all of the great multiplayer gaming from the 90s, including all of the screaming at each other.  For now, it’s an Ouya exclusive, so grab a friend that has one and bring your controllers!
    Here is a great gameplay video from farfromsubtle.
  • GT Racing 2: Real Car Experience – Android:  Anyone that knows me, knows I sure do like my racing games!  It’s far an few when there is a good one on any portable platform, so when there is, I snag it and hold onto it.  With this being said, I’m declaring this game as my top game of the year!  Who would of thought that a portable game would get so much of my attention this year?!!?!  As the name indicates, there are real cars in it.  Not only does it have real cars, it packed with cars that I like:  Toyota FT 86 II (aka The US Twins – Scion FRs/Subaru BRZ), Dodge Dart GT, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X & EvoX GSR, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Audi TT RS Coupe, Toyota Supra GT and Nissan GT-R (R35).  This in itself should give any car enthusiast a reason to check this title out!  So much more to say about this game, but that will be an actual review article later this year!
    As an aside…  This game, like others on Android, can be paired with bluetooth controllers.  Ouya controllers can be paired easily without any extra apps to trick the system into pairing controllers like Wii and PS3 controllers.  After pairing my Ouya controller to my Nexus 7, my enjoyability for this game went out the roof!

There you have it folks, my list for 2013.  I’m excites to see what 2014 will bring us but I do have one last minute entry that really needs to make my list…
Honorable mention IRL game:

  • Munchkin:  Hearing about this game from many of my friends, I finally bit the bullet and bought the basic pack.  Mildly confusing in the beginning but if you just forget about conventional pen and paper RPGs, it gets super easy!  Check out Whil Wheaton and his crew on Tabletop.  Great web series!

* Systems listed in my list are the platforms I have them on, not what they are available for.

The Return of Breakout

Posted: May 15, 2013 by ChoSanJuan in Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Mobile Gaming, PC, Video Games

GoogleBreakoutIf it’s viral qualities haven’t come your way yet, there was another easter egg found in Google yesterday.  This time it comes in the form of the brick smashing game, Breakout.  All you need to do is load up Google and head to the image search.  Type in “Atari Breakout”, hit enter and let the fun begin!  In terms of graphics, it’s pretty spot on emulating an old 8-bit Atari game so it is pretty sparse.  The fun part about it is that your bricks are image search results for Atari Breakout with different colors overlayed to represent the different layers of the game board.

Note:  Though it seems to play in any HTML5 capable browser, your mileage may vary.  It loads and plays in IE8 but it’s very choppy.  Chrome is the browser of choice to play this one.  Also, it plays in mobile browsers too!


PS Vita has been a bit of an elephant in the corner. There system has some exclusives but they are just watered down remakes of the bigger brother versions found on the PS3.  Luckily, the King of All Cosmos has messed up again and it’s your job to set the universe straight… Again.

Anything in the Katamari Damacy series is pretty much identical from game to game/system to system.  You start with just you bare Katamari and roll up all the junk strewn about Japan.  Make the ball as big as possible/fulfill the round requirements and it you get jerky praise from the King, at best.


So why is this one getting praise more than most of the other Vita titles out there?  Because of the gimmick of the system itself.  The odd touchpad found on the bottom of the handheld allows you to pinch and squish your Katamari ball into a tall or wide shape.  Amazingly, this doesn’t hurt the dynamic of the game’s playability at all.  Actually a few times in the game I was saying to myself, “I wish I could do this in the older versions!”  You can get to other areas in many of the familiar levels where you could never grab items because of your size.  Sometimes you say you are going to go back and grab that thing before you get too big and then the scale gets too large and you can’t fit in between places anymore.  Not so much anymore!

With the new game dynamics added by the touchpad, you are in for a whole new way to play Katamari Damacy.  Don’t miss this one if you have a Vita!

I had a chance to demo a Neo Geo X Gold over the holidays and found out a few nice things and a few not so nice things about SNK’s supposed “return to power.”

Note:  I did label this as a Gold review because it was the handheld out of the Gold packaging.  I did not get to use the dock or the AES stick.  I did, however, play Ninja Masters…  And it was good! 


Device:  Let’s start by taking a look at the device, itself.  It feels solid enough.  Squeezing and twisting the unit doesn’t produce any creaks or other odd noises.  The jewel buttons are precise and don’t have a lot of side slop.  The back is rubberized and provides a nice grip for when you are playing and when it may be on an incline during rest.  The SD slot doesn’t have a cover.  This could be an issue, but it’s quite minor.  The d-pad is nice in the fact that there are microswitches like an arcade stick.  It’s a nice throwback to the Neo*Geo CD gamepad or the Neo*Geo Pocket.  The screen has a slight issue with the colors being washed out.  This happens even when the brightness is turned all the way up to help balance out the dingy look on the lower settings.  The panel is actually a 16:9 ratio screen so it will lunchbox your games by default.  (Black bars on the left and right sides.)  Speaking of the screen, the main cover isn’t glass.  It’s a hard plastic.  This will probably scratch like the back of an iPhone (pre-5) like no other. 


Performance:  It plays ‘Geo games.  21 of them, in fact.  It’s not perfect but it’s incredibly faithful.  Loading a game is fast, jumping into a round of KOF is like going to an arcade…  Just no coin slot.  Keep in mind that the X is an emulator.  Things can be a tad off.  The R button can adjust your aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 if you want to fill your screen’s real estate.  Another interesting thing about the extra buttons along the edges of the portable, is that it will put a temporary pause to your game as the volume or brightness meters come up so you don’t get owned by an on-coming pile of enemies.  Nice touch!  Dropping out of games is as easy as getting into them.  Just hit the Menu button and you are back to the list.  Speed is good, no lag on games except where it would happen in the real MVS/AES.

After playing this handheld for a few hours, I found that I really like it!  There are many nay-sayers out there that say it’s a pile of junk and it’s not worth it.  Well, from what I’ve seen on the web (with hardware breakdowns and reveals about what Tommo really did to cut corners) I’d say that it’s expensive but not too much where it would tip the scales.  $200 for the Gold pack (Handheld, AES stick, Chibi-AES dock and Ninja Masters) and $129 for the just the handheld, I think it’s still a good price.  Getting an AES with only a few games and 1 stick will set you back MUCH further than $200.  It’s an economical way to get into the world of SNK and their amazing library.  Fist timers and collectors should be pleased with this offering, even with its shortcommings.

GameBlips Podcast S3E3!

Posted: January 12, 2013 by ChoSanJuan in Android, iOS, Mobile Gaming, Podcast, Video Games


Fred and Kara discuss what was brought and bought over the holidays, lots of Pocket Gaming  along with this month’s documentary: Minecraft – The Story of Mojang.

Download MP3

Download AAC

Don’t  forget, you can subscribe to our monthly show using the Podcast RSS Feeds on the right sidebar.  Toss it in your favorite podcatcher program on all kinds of playforms like iTunes, Google Listen, gPodder, Google Reader, Double Twist, BeyondPod and MANY MORE!

End song: Underwater Theme (Super Mario Bros.) Guitar Cover provided by FamilyJules7x – All of his covers are GREAT!

When games were first coming out for the iPhone and iPad they were directed towards the ‘casual gamer’ or someone who might only have a few minutes to waste while waiting at a Doctor’s Office. For some this is still the image they have of iPad gaming but there have been some major developments making the device appealing to ‘hardcore gamers’ as well.

Thanks to my wonderful Mom I received an iPad 2 for Christmas! After installing my ‘must have’ applications like Pandora, I Heart Radio, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, and Google Chrome I moved onto the gaming section. Now I have to admit, you need to either know what you’re looking for, or dig pretty deep to find the good stuff.

ImageThe first game I purchased was was Bastion, which I own through Steam for my Mac but the app was only $.99 and I never finished it on my Mac due to difficulty with the controls. So I figured for that price I would give it a try and I was VERY happy with my purchase. The game controls much easier with the touch screen (for me anyway) and the game wasn’t cut down at all for the iPad; I didn’t see any story differences between the Steam and iPad versions.


The graphics are stunning on the ipad screen and gameplay wise I just love the way the narration is based on your actions. I am significantly farther in my iPad copy than I am on Steam and I have played for hours at a time without getting fatigued by handling the iPad. It is a must own for $.99 cents. I can’t encourage you enough to pick this up if you have a device that support the game.


The next game I downloaded, based on a recommendation from Fred, was Pocket Legends, which is a cross-platform mobile MMORPG that let’s you choose from a few classes (melee, healer, range, etc). In standard RPG fashion they have side quests for you to complete and in standard MMO fashion they also have “lobbys” or home towns where new players spawn and you can group up, trade items, etc.


I have probably invested an hour or two into the game so far so I have barely scratched the surface of the combat and I have only played as the avian class. I am looking forward to meeting with with Fred and learning more about the battle system. Now, it is one of those so called Free to Play games that makes it’s money through in-app purchases but it’s fun none-the-less and pretty impressive that it works without much issue with people from all over the world.

I’m notorious for playing catch up with consoles and gaming.  So with this list, I’ll be recounting the games that took me by surprise in 2012.  (Not all were released in this past year…)



Dead Space (360 and Android) – Ever seen those people that smell a jug of milk that’s past it’s prime and tell everyone to smell it?  That’s me… With myself.  The Dead Space series, though old, is amazing!  Dead Space was released in 2008 and has been shocking the pants off of people since.  Playing the first installment hooked me straight away.  Getting jolted over and over again, made me want to see what was around the next corner.  Recently, a new mobile version was released with a new touch interface and a different side story.  If you want to complete your Necromorph ensemble, be sure to pick this one up with your PC/console versions.  (Maybe I’ll get Dead Space 2 next year.  Don’t get me started with picking up the 3rd installment coming out soon!)


9)Need-for-Speed-MostWantedNeed For Speed: Most Wanted  (Android) – Ever since the Gamecube versions, I was hooked!  Yeah, I played the previous versions that came out on older systems and PCs but none of them were as good till Underground.  This portable version isn’t nearly as good as it’s free roaming big brother title, but it’s one of the shining experinces of how to do quality racing on-the-go.

8)wpid-HappyWars-600x330.pngHappy Wars (360) – This Free To Play title on the Xbox 360 is somewhat of an anomoly.  Nothing is free on XBox Live… NOTHING!  Well that was till this past fall when a beta test for the new Xbox dashboard came out and they brought along a friend to the party.  Happy Wars is originally a F2P game on the PC and now has a homd on the 360.  It’s a 15 on 15 experience with little medeival SD guys used to play a hilarious game of capture the flag.  There are in game purchases but you don’t really need to them to get a great experience.

7)  Left4Dead2Left 4 Dead 2 (360) – What bad can you say about hordes upon hordes upon hordes of zombies?  Nothing?  I thought so.  😉  This game is just FUN!  No other way about it.  Now the Steam for Linux was just released, I’m making this purchase again once L4D2 is completed.

6)Gears_of_War_historyGears of War series (360) – Honestly, it’s a great 3rd person shooter.  The story is what drives it along and makes you want to keep on playing through to the 3rd installment.

5)  MegaMan25thStreet Fighter x Mega Man (PC) – An incredibly late comer to the list (as it was released this month) this fan-project-turned-official-release quenches the thirst of anyone that loves Capcom, Street Figher, Mega Man and crossovers.  Show some love and get this game.  Support Capcom and their milestone anniversaries.

4)Final_Fantasy_XIII_LogoFinal Fantasy XIII (360) – Not very final.  There’s even a Final Fantasy XIII-2 and XIV.  Joking aside, the story is rich and the visuals amazing!  A new combat engine (ATB) is in place and makes the game not so turn based.  The 360 comes on 3 DVDs and is a bear to get through.  (If anyone has fought Cid, then you really know what I’m talking about!)  Fans of the series won’t be disappointed with this super discounted title.



Transformers War for/Fall of Cybertron (360) – I am a child at heart.  When something pulls at your nostalgia heartstrings, like these 2 games, you can’t say no.  A majority of the series ended up on Netflix this year and now that I’m well into my 30s, it hasn’t aged well.  The movie still holds up without issue, but the show is hard to watch.  My child brain doesn’t believe that it was this bad back then and War/Fall makes everything in the world seem right.  These games bring me back to how I remembered the toys and the series.  Transformers: War for/Fall of Cybertron is comfort food for me.  Eat up!

2)Ingress4.img_assist_custom-480x258Ingress (Android) –  OK, this one is going to be a LOT of weird.  The game premise is weird.  Google’s secret marketing plans make it weirder.  The fact that I can’t even play the game is incredibly weird since it’s also placed as #2!  Here’s why:

The game is an augmented reality app where you go out an about on the town to help the Enlightened or fight with the Resistance.  Chosing your faction will decide if you want humanity to continue or become overrun by Shapers.  Essentially, it’s a higher tech, faster paced version of GeoCaching.  You head to the portal and hack it.  Once hacked, you can get experience by fortifying it and get items to help you along your righetous quest.

Honestly, this is something an amazing way for Google to get even more mapping info to crush their rival, Apple and their mapping software.  Crowdsourcing thier data is GENIOUS!!!

On a side note:  If anyone has an invite to spare, I’m game for the game.  My local area is ripe for the picking and don’t want it to fall in the wrong hands. #ingress #ingressinvite

1)MinecraftMinecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (360) – See that sidebar over there?  The one with  Yeah, those are all our gaming stats.  As of this writing, I’ve hit over 260 hours of play since July when it was released.  This is over the course of 3 major updates ranging from a pretty vanilla version to the addition of hunger then ravines and strongholds now experience with enchantments/brewing.  We are incredibly close to the PC version, it’s crazy!  I just can’t stop playing this game!!?!?!   Also, on December 22, Mojang and 2 Player Productions gave all XBox Live Gold members (Hehe…  Gold members…) a pre-release sneak peek at the movie, Minecraft: The Story of Mojang.  It was amazing!  To make it even more amazing, 2PP released a free version of the movie on the web!

Greetings Pirate Bay!

This is 2 Player Productions here, and we hoped we could be the first to upload our new movie “Minecraft: The Story of Mojang”. We’ve never uploaded a torrent before so hopefully this isn’t all screwed up.

We wanted to come here first because we knew the movie would end up here eventually, and the best thing to do seemed to be opening a dialogue. Torrents and piracy are a way of life and it probably won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. There are many people that want to punish you for that, but we have a more realistic outlook on things.

We’ve been there. We’ve all needed to do it at some point. Maybe you don’t have the money. Maybe you want to try before you buy. Maybe you’re pissed at us for premiering the movie on Xbox Live. These are all fine reasons. But if you feel that piracy is, in Gabe Newell’s words, “a service problem,” please consider that we are selling DRM free digital downloads that you can watch in whatever manner you please.

We’re just three guys trying to make a living doing what we love. We love the world of video games, and we love making it real. If you buy the movie, you support those efforts. The reason we Kickstarted this movie in the first place was that we didn’t have enough money to make it ourselves, and even then, we still put A LOT of our own money into it. Not to mention nearly two years of work.

Watch the movie. Hopefully you’ll like it, and understand what we’re trying to do. Please consider supporting us by buying the $8 DRM-free digital download of the movie at, or the $20 DVD from

We’ve worked with a lot of amazing people in the games industry and had the incredible fortune to make some great films the way we wanted to make them. Please consider helping us continue on this path. The best has yet to come.


If you didn’t get a chance to see it or didn’t know about it at all, go grab it then buy it because  support for these kinds of projects should continue.

So there it is folks, what really impacted me this year.  It’s been a pretty diverse year for gaming, for me and look forward to what’s coming up in 2013.  Yes, I joked about Dead Space 3 but I really can’t jump into the 3rd one without getting the second one.  It doesn’t mean I may not just plow through it to get to the current chapter!  😉  Other things I’m looking forward to are the great games that are being reworked for Steam for Linux.  TeamFortress 2 and Killing Floor are already rocking out on my old netbook.  There is a great amount of potential here.

Game with us in 2013!