Game Review: Pocket Mortys

Release Date: January 13, 2015

Rating: RP (Rating Pending)

Staying true to what makes Rick and Morty a unique show, Pocket Mortys for the mobile device is a Pokemon-like game that is a treat for the fans.

One should not be quick to dismiss Pocket Morty as a cheap gimmick, as the game stands out from other free mobile titles while taking players on a journey that stays true to the tone of the show.

For those who are unfamiliar with Rick and Morty, the series follows the adventures of Rick Sanchez and his grandson, Morty Smith, as they travel either across the galaxy or between different dimensions and alternative realities. The niche of the show has been their surreal encounters mixed with Rick’s alcoholism and sociopathic behavior along with Morty’s naive but good natured outlook.

Overall; it’s basically Doctor Who on crack… and The Doctor is Trevor Philips from Grand Theft Auto V.

Pocket Mortys has the duo dragged into the world of Morty Training when the Council of Ricks (an inter-dimensional governing body that protects and rules over all Ricks) confiscate Rick’s portal gun after participating in an illegal fight. To reclaim his portal gun; Rick (C-137) must prove his worth by defeating several key Morty fighters and earn their victory badges.

Yeah, it’s literally Pokemon, complete with the same visual style and musical tone in the background (the word “Pocket” is in the title). This is not a bad thing and it should not dissuade gamers from playing, as the Pokemon setup actually makes Pocket Mortys a fun experience.

Players will have to train their Morty and catch new Mortys who have their own unique characteristics. At the same time, players will battle other Morty Trainers that are encountered in the game. Memorable characters and moments from the show also make an appearance, such as the Council of Ricks along with Birdperson.

Kudos need to be given to the development team for not forcing the micro-transactions as a key component of the game. Even though this is a freemuim game, the micro-transactions are not a nuisance and players will have a good time without having to pay anything.

Normally when a game mixes freemuim with a media license and rips-off another work it always results in a disaster. Yet, Pocket Mortys is the one exception to this notion as, overall, it’s a good game.

Pocket Mortys for the iPhone and Android is a game that stays true to the source material while guaranteed to get players “rickety-rickety-wrecked, son.”

Score: 8/10

Written for The Indiependent
1/13/2016
Original Article: Game Review: Pocket Mortys

Game Review: The Mean Greens

Release Date: December 2015

Rating: RP (Rating Pending)

Many old school gamers will recall the Army Men series during the Fifth-Generation era and how it depicted the age old battle of Green vs. Tan. Those who wish to once again experience that war will take a liking to The Mean Greens for the PC.

The Mean Green is a third-person multiplayer shooter that has players fight as either the Green Army or the Tan Army in maps based on household locations. Individuals who either enjoyed the classic Army Men games or are bored with shooters that focus on gritty realism will enjoy this unique title.

The game offers players 10 maps to battle in along with a selection of 10 different gameplay modes. The gameplay modes are the basic ones found in any multiplayer shooter which include Death Match and Capture the Flag.

While the gameplay modes may not bring any wow factor, it’s the layout and design of the maps that make this game memorable outside the nostalgia elements. The Mean Greens features levels that are either inspired by moments from Sarge’s Heroes or are original designs that fit well into toy world setting. Overall; Virtual Basement did an excellent job of using the Unreal 4 engine to create these detailed maps that player will appreciate.

The Mean Greens’ greatest achievement overall is it’s so well made, that an old school gamer will forget how awful most of the Army Men games were. Come on let’s be honest; with the exception of Sarge’s Heroes and Air Assault, most of the Army Men games were either mediocre or just awful.

Some may feel the games only straight comes from its nostalgia factor, this is a wrong assumption to make, as any gamer will enjoy The Mean Greens regardless if they played Army Men. However there are a few issues that are holding it back and might make a gamer second guess themselves.

The biggest issue that plagues The Mean Green is the lack of a single-player campaign, which creates two major problems; the first is that the Army Men games were mostly known for their single-player campaign. The second is that there are already too many multiplayer games available on Steam while the most popular ones are free to download. Plus, The Mean Green mostly appeals to a niche audience- there have been a few times where finding an active server has been difficult due to be a limited amount of players.

Despite those minor setbacks, The Mean Green is a multiplayer shooter that will appeal to both old school gamers who want a nostalgic battle or a new generation of gamers who want to play something different on the PC.

Rating: 7/10

Written for The Indiependent
1/9/2016
Original Article: Game Review: The Mean Greens

Game Review: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (iOS)

Release Date: October, 2005 (Initial)

RatingM (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs)

1998 was the year when the criminal underworld of Liberty City would be changed forever thanks to the return of the prodigal son, Toni Cipriani. It was a defining moment in the 3D-era story arch, and gamers could now return to the city that introduced them to a life of crime with Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for the iPhone.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is no stranger to mobile gamers as the original was released back in 2005 for the PlayStation Portable. Yet its arrival adds verity to a platform dominated by unique puzzle games, arcade ports, and freemuims that are an embarrassment to gaming. While casual gamers are consistently blowing their money to progress in some freemuim title, more dedicated and experienced gamers could enjoy this overlooked classic any time they want.

The story is set before the events of Grand Theft Auto III as the Leone Family are fighting both the Sindacco and Forelli’s for control of the city. Everything changes when Toni Cipriani returns from exile to once again serve Salvatore Leone. However it’s not the welcome he anticipated as he must once again start from the bottom and work his way up. Not helping his cause is the Leone Family being threatened by internal conflicts while Toni must also struggle to earn the respect of his mother.

It’s the classic crime story that fans love with The Sopranos and the works of Martin Scorsese being an obvious inspiration. At the same time it feels like a retelling of Grand Theft Auto III only with real character development as players witness the transformation of Cipriani as he grows to become one of the most notable leaders in the Leone Family.

For gamers who grew up playing the Grand Theft Auto series on the PlayStation 2, Liberty City Stories will feel like a crime spree down memory lane. Old school gamers will feel right at home as they return to the original Liberty City and interact with the characters they fell in love with back in 2001.

In regards to its gamplay mechanisms, it has the classic setup used in GTAIII along with features that were introduced in Vice City. Unique to the iPhone version is an auto-save feature that makes it more convenient for players to pick up where they left off. Add the sharper graphics that neither the PSP nor PS2 version had, and it makes the iPhone version superior overall.

However it’s far from perfect as it, too, has a few minor flaws with the most obvious being that the controls are a slightly difficult to use. Unfortunately this has been a problem that has plagued every version of Grand Theft Auto for the iPhone, hence most gamers will most likely be used to it by now.

Another issue is that Michael Madsen did not return for the role of Toni Cipriani, but this is something that can be easily overlooked if one feels that Danny Mastrogiorgio did an excellent job.

Despite its minor flaws, this is a good game to have for gamers who either have been looking for a good game for their iPhone, or need to kill time on their commute because they are not dumb enough to find Candy Crush challenging.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is not only a nostalgic crime spree but the games return to the mobile platform. Gamers who miss the good old days of the Sixth Generation console era will enjoy the return to Liberty City in the role of a familiar character.

Rating: 9/10

Written for The Indiependent
12/30/2015
Original Article: Game Review: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (iOS)