Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (NDS)
Action 17 March 2009
A spin-off to the bestselling Grand Theft Auto series, at first developed for Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable handhelds and later converted to mobile devices as well. The story takes place in Liberty City, a place well known to the fans of the series. As Huang Lee, member of a Chinese criminal group, the player is trying to prove his worth, avenge the death of his father, and reclaim a valuable sword that for centuries was the symbol of his family’s power. The gameplay mechanics are similar to previous installments in the series, except for the missions being slightly shorter and the fact that the player can repeat failed actions. Other important changes include an auto-aim system, simplified driving mechanics, and the necessity of destroying police cars. A new interface and various mini-games were added to the game as well. The graphics of the game utilize cel-shading technology, combining the classic top-down view and isometric perspective.
Need for Speed: Undercover (NDS)
Racing 18 November 2008
After the slightly more realistic ProStreet, in which the players raced on professional racing circuits, the popular Need for Speed series returns to city streets with a traditional, arcade installment. Developed by a Canadian EA branch, Undercover puts a special emphasis on the storyline. As an undercover cop, the player has to infiltrate the ranks of a racing gang. To do so, they have to prove their worth in a series of driving challenges, including regular races, time trials, highway battles and outruns. As usual, the players receive a massive number of licensed cars which can be modified both visually, and in terms of their performance. The game's improved visuals and excitable soundtrack are complemented by cinematic cutscenes featuring mainly Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III) and Christina Milian - a singer.
My Horse and Me (NDS)
Sports 30 November 2007
A sports game with simulation elements in which we assume the role of a horse rider who takes part in a number of various tournaments. My Horse and Me stands out from its competitors thanks to a more serious approach to horsemanship as well as the exclusive license of the FEI, an equestrian sports organization. The game allows us to participate in a myriad of varied competitions organized on specially prepared arenas all over the world. Moreover, we might as well go on a free ride, without having to comply with any particular rules. Furthermore, the game emphasizes the necessity of taking appropriate care of our animal. The players can take part in many different mini-games that let them train their horse even better. It is also possible to buy additional equipment, both for the animal and the rider.
My Horse and Me 2 (NDS)
Sports 31 October 2008
A sequel to the sports-simulation game that focuses on horses and horsemanship. This time around, we assume the role of a teenager who dreams of a professional jockey career. In order to accomplish her goal, she arrives at the farm of her uncle’s, a racehorse breeder, but it quickly turns out that the facility goes through some financial difficulties and its personnel is not exactly qualified. The only way to save the stable from bankruptcy is to win a prestigious competition in Kentucky. My Horse and Me 2, much like its predecessor, focuses primarily on realism, offering an exclusive license of the FEI, a global equestrian sports organization. In the title, we take part in a number of varied mini-games that improve our horse’s skills. We also have to take care of the animal and even beautify it in order to please the demanding jury. One of the title’s advantages is the emphasis on creating a specific bond between the rider and his mount.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (NDS)
Action 22 October 2013
An action-adventure game featuring the superheroes from Marvel comic books. The title was created by Traveller’s Tales Studio, experts at LEGO video games (e.g. LEGO The Lord of the Rings, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, LEGO Harry Potter). Players can become Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and other superheroes, who are asked by Nick Fury from the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization to save the world from villains and other dangers. The developers stayed true to the well-proven gameplay mechanics that combines elements of action, brawler, and adventure game. As always, the game is filled with unlockable extras, and features a cooperation mode in split screen.
Need for Speed ProStreet (NDS)
Racing 13 November 2007
The 11th installment in the popular racing game series developed by Electronic Arts. In contrast to the previous parts of the game, this title completely abandons the idea of illegal races and transfers the action to professional racing circuits. Players take part in a number of challenges divided into four race variations: Drag, Grip, Drift, and Speed Challenge, in the latter the driver who reaches top speed wins. Successive victories unlock new challenges and cars. The game offers 26 licensed car models that can be customized with the Autosculpt system. The authors emphasize the recreation of crashes and the realistic damage model that influences the car’s performance. Fans of realism were given the option of turning off all the driving assistance, like power steering and ABS, which makes driving much more simulator-like.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (NDS)
Action 26 October 2010
Created by Aspyr Media in collaboration with LucasArts, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is a full-fledged sequel to a Star Wars action game about Darth Vader’s secret apprentice named Starkiller, reprising his role as the protagonist in the sequel. Together you get to explore an array of iconic locations set in the universe created by George Lucas, take part in many epic battles, and use the Starkiller’s unique skills as well as the power of the Dark Side of the Force. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II features slightly altered mechanics with balance equally distributed between combat, tactics, and puzzle solving. The main hero has also gained new abilities (e.g. Mind Trick or Force Fury), and the game features more demanding opponents, some of which are resistant to certain attacks, thus forcing you to use different tactics. Apart from ordinary “walking” levels the game includes sequences in which you fight as a TIE Fighter pilot or moments when you are falling down while fighting and avoiding obstacles.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (NDS)
Action 18 May 2010
Another major installment in the famous action adventure game series. In terms of story, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is set between The Sands of Time and Warrior Within, and focuses on the events that caused the drastic, dark change within the Prince. Upon reaching his brother’s realm, the Prince finds the capital city about to fall, besieged by an enemy army. In an attempt to protect the citizens from a massacre, the city’s ruler resorts to using a powerful, yet dangerous magic that eventually turns against him. The game itself is based on the core mechanics of the series. Therefore, we can expect multiple platforming sequences, environmental puzzles, and battles against powerful enemies. An interesting addition is the ability to control the forces of natures, which comes in handy both in combat and when traversing subsequent locations. Of course the series’ landmark feature — the ability to reverse and slow down time — is back. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is powered by the Anvil engine, the technology previously used in the two first Assassin’s Creed games.
Colin McRae: DiRT 2 (NDS)
Racing 08 September 2009
The sequel of the well-received racing game entitled Colin McRae: DiRT that set a completely new direction for the racing game series by Codemasters, labeled with the name of the tragically deceased Scottish racing driver. DiRT 2 focuses on dynamic off-road tournaments in which we can sit behind the wheel of several licensed cars. The new career mode was designed similarly to that of GRID — while traveling around the world, we take part in races and gradually build our reputation. As we progress, we establish friendships with other aces of motorsports such as Travis Pastrana or Ken Block who invite us to exclusive tournaments with valuable prizes. The game has a typical youth style, although it retains the class of its predecessors. From among the introduced novelties, the most notable ones are enhanced gameplay mechanics, the improved Flashback feature, and significantly expanded multiplayer.
Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 (NDS)
Sports 06 February 2007
Another installment in the soccer series developed by a Tokyo-based branch of Konami. The game introduces many novelties, the most prominent one being the International Challenge mode, which is an equivalent to the World Cup championship. Moreover, players get at their disposal licensed national teams (including the Netherlands, England, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) as well as clubs (featuring Bayern Munchen and Manchester United). In comparison to the previous installments, the gameplay mechanics of Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 remains unaltered, however, the developers have implemented some novelties into the game’s formula – the game is more dynamic and features fewer interruptions by the referee’s whistle. The free kick mechanism allows players to quickly perform the constant segment of a match. The whole experience is well-accompanied by additional animations, improved textures, and well-developed soccer players’ models. The single player career is complemented by the multiplayer mode.
Tomb Raider: Underworld (NDS)
Action 18 November 2008
Developed once again by Crystal Dynamics, another installment of the third-person perspective adventure series started in 1996. Tomb Raider: Underworld is a continuation of the events from previous parts of the series and concentrates on the search for artifacts connected with the Nordic god Thor. On her journey, Lara Croft visits new locations, like Thailand and south Mexico, and dives in the Mediterranean Sea and the Arctic Ocean. The game offers elements characteristic for the series, like exploring tombs in places associated with mythical realms of death: Xibalba, Valhalla, or Niflheim. The game’s mechanics remain mostly unchanged, but the gameplay has become more non-linear. Lara has a new set of tricks and a useful gadget – a rope with a grappling hook. Graphics were changed also and now they have more dark and gloomy atmosphere.
Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Sayians (NDS)
RPG 28 April 2009
A classic role-playing game by Monolith Software, supervised by Bandai Namco. The game is based on the popular manga series by Akira Toriyama. The story of Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans takes place between the famous martial arts tournament, in which Goku and Piccolo participated, and the Saiyan invasion of Earth. The plot is divided into 15 chapters, in which you have to complete over 80 varied quests. The game features a range of characters from the animated original (e.g. Goku, Krillin, Yamcha), and the gameplay consists of exploration, developing your characters, and combat with enemies. The battles are turn-based, and up to three characters can take part in them. Apart from standard foes, there are also more challenging boss enemies. One of the game's strong points are the visuals, reflecting the original style of the manga.
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (NDS)
Action 25 June 2010
A licensed LEGO action-adventure game, set in the fantasy universe of Harry Potter, created by the British writer J. K. Rowling. The story was based on the first four Harry Potter books and their movie adaptations by Warner Bros. During the gameplay, you witness the adventures of Harry and other characters, explore Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and fight many enemies, including the main antagonist of the cycle, the evil Lord Voldemort. Mechanics-wise, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 combines the features of the earlier productions by Traveller's Tales, including the distinct sense of humor, with more serious elements of Harry Potter productions by e.g. EA. The game is set in a partially open world and features many varied activities, such as magic lessons, potion making or flying a broomstick.
The Amazing Spider-Man (NDS)
Action 26 June 2012
A third person action game starring Marvel's most popular super hero released in about the same time as Mark Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man movie. The game was developed by Beenox studio that, with a slightly different line-up, created Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Spider-Man: The Edge of Time. The events presented in the game take place after the ending of the movie and tell a completely separate story. The plot focuses on biomedical experiments that creates hybrids of humans and animals. Peter Parker, disguised as Spider-Man, releases Dr. Connors so he can create a vaccine for the virus that causes mutation. The mechanics are a little bit similar to the last few Batman games and focus on fighting against groups of enemies and bosses. Unlike the previous Spider-Man games, this one departs from a comic book style and uses more realistic looking graphics.