Let's start this "review" with the positive - Batman: Arkham Knight is a solid action game. It meets the technical standards of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. That being said, Arkham Knight is the weakest of the trilogy and proof that not every game needs to be open world or include mobile transportation.
Batman Begins/Arkham Asylum
In order to understand Arkham Knight we must look to the Dark Knight trilogy. Directed by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight trilogy is the story of Batman and his rise to becoming much more than just the savior of Gotham, but a symbol of hope and justice. The first movie, Batman Begins sets the tone for the series. We are introduced to a different Batman, one who trades some of his trademark agility for brute force. In the Dark Knight universe Batman's costume becomes more like an armored suit opposed to the traditional outfit we've become accustomed to seeing. Arkham Asylum follows suit by introducing us to the virtual world of Batman. His suit is reflective of the times with a more armored look and can also trade stealth for brute force if the situation calls for it. Asylum sets the tone for Batman's digital rise as a symbol for justice.
Ask a few married couples what it’s like being married and waking up to the same person everyday and the answer will vary. If you were asking a happily married couple they would say that it’s the best thing that ever happened to them. Ask another couple and your answer could sound something like, “it’s boring as hell”. Depending on your outlook of marriage and monogamy, you would either say Hitman Sniper is another home run for Square-Enix Montreal or a critical misstep.
Hitman Sniper follows the same formula of Hitman Go, take one aspect of the Hitman experience and create a mobile game around it. Your job as Agent 47 is to eliminate targets at a ski resort in the mountains. Armed with an old wooden sniper rifle you must eliminate your targets while completing various objectives. You might have to kill a target while making it look like an accident or kill multiple targets without setting off an alarm. To make matters worse, there are also innocent bystanders who will alert security if they witness you eliminating a target. For each successful contract you are awarded various items including money for upgrades, weapon parts for better weapons and rank bonuses, like access to new sniper rifles.
When I first reached out to Rocketcat Games, the creators of Wayward Souls, I had some preconceived notions. I pictured a group of all-star programmers in a swanky office enjoying the spoils of creating one of the App Store’s All-time Great RPGs. After all, that’s what success in the App Store looks like right? Wrong. As told by Kepa Auwae of Rocketcat, success is doing what you love, finding what it is that you like and becoming the best at it. Of course it won’t be easy. The market is full of games, most of which are easily accessible but don’t always welcome newcomers and games that are deemed ‘too hard’ for mobile gamers. But as Kepa will tell you, it’s all about finding your niche and catering to that segment. So what does it take to build a great mobile game? You’re about to find out.
I want to talk a little about the Rocketcat games--The team’s origins and making the transition to mobile game developers.
How did Rocketcat originate? With each of the members living in different states, how did you find each other and form a team bond?
We all played this early MMO called Asheron’s Call. Games like that at the time had pretty bad in-game guild chats, so it was common to make an IRC channel to communicate. We no longer play Asheron’s Call, but we still hang out in the chat channel we made for it. When I had the idea to start making games, there was someone in the channel who was a programmer, and another that was an artist. So just really good luck.
What if you could play the best moments of Final Fantasy without the grind? This is what mobile developer DNA proposes with Final Fantasy Record Keeper, a "greatest hits" of the legendary franchise. But is a stripped down version of the industry's most popular JRPG what we actually want? That's what we're about to find out.
A Familiar Formula
Final Fantasy Record Keeper is built with the same formula as Brave Frontier. You collect characters and level them up by completing stages where you fight waves of enemies. There are some slight differences however, as Brave Frontier has you fight to evolve the characters and Record Keeper has you quest to evolve weapons and spells. If you play Brave Frontier you’ll find yourself right at home with Record Keeper.