New mobile games take players to Far East, 19th century and beyond
By Florian Oertel Jul 25, 2010, 12:25 GMT
Hamburg - Whether your interest lies in aerial acrobatics or the magical hunt for Dragon Balls, there will be something to pique your interest among the new mobile game releases slated for this summer. Game developers have sought inspiration from everything from Manga Comics to Robert Louis Stevenson.
Barely a month goes by without some game inspired by Japan's Manga comics. In July, there will be two for the Nintendo DS. Both come with titles hinting at mysticism - Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies and Dragon Ball Origins 2.
The most recent chapter of the Dragon Quest series isn't all that new. It was released in Japan, where developer Square Enix is based, more than a year ago and already has been sold several million times. Square Enix now plans to release the game - for the DS and the DSi - in Europe.
Players can pick their character's appearance, but need to take care while doing so: the kind of clothes worn will determine the character's abilities and skills. Players can pick up team members to accompany their character. The group's goal is to find the fruit of the holy tree, defeating multiple enemies while seeking it.
The Dragon ball series has also been a perennial favourite in recent years in comics, television, movies and video games. The newest game - Origins 2 - is to be released in July by Namco Bandai for play on the DSi. Players accompany the hero, Son Goku, on his quest for the magical dragon balls from which the game derives its name.
Depending on the setting, players can control other characters in the game or allow other players to participate in the game. Players are pitted against the Red Ribbon Army, which is also after the dragon balls.
Major differences from previous versions of the game include a situation-based camera. Although the camera's name sounds odd, it's supposed to allow players to get sucked ever deeper into the game.
Fighting is at the core of yet another Namco Bandai game set for a July 30 release for the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) platform.
Ace Combat Joint Assault will let players engage in aerial dogfights. Players can get into the pilot's seat of modern or vintage, propeller-era or jets and take to the skies.
Once gamers decide which side of the speed barrier they want to play on, they can set out over London, Tokyo or Washington, keeping unfriendly planes out of the skies. Instead of a situation-based camera, this game employs an enhanced combat view. The game also includes a multiple-player mode, allowing people to compete against one another online.
This summer's games also look to 19th century England for ideas, with new mystery games focused on the stories of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Sherlock Holmes.
Rondomedia opted to go to the classic novel for inspiration for its game Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Players are challenged to sort through collages of images, searching for items they need to move to the next level. The game is set amongst fog-covered alleys, dark courtyards and smoky dives - all designed to evoke 19th century London.
Those were also home to Sherlock Holmes, who has long since stopped being just the creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to become a full-fledged video game hero in his own right.
His newest adventure, Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House, from Focus Home Interactive, is for the DS. The queen is Victoria and the master detective has been tasked with tracking down her missing family tree. To do so, he is required to solve several logic puzzles on the way.
If gamers still seek more mystery-solving, or at least scouring through images, then they can look to Tivola's Pharoah's Golden Amulet for the DS. Also coming this month is Toy Story 3 for the DSi and the PSP. Disney Interactive allows gamers to step into the role of the cowboy toy Woody.