Quick Game Reviews – Beyond: Two Souls, Halo: Spartan Assault, Where’s My Mickey? and More!

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We take a look at some great mobile games as well as one of our favorite games of the last year!

Beyond: Two Souls

Similar to Quantic Dream’s highly cinematic Heavy Rain, the developer’s Beyond: Two Souls is as much a playable movie as it is a video game. In fact, the supernatural thriller – featuring scary-real performance-captured starring roles from Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe – may even favor the former a bit.

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Sporting stunning visuals and thrilling, emotionally-charged storytelling, it’s both an unrivaled technical feat and groundbreaking artistic achievement that any fan of the interactive medium should experience. That said, those preferring less-scripted, player-controlled fare, may find the title’s significant lack of more traditional gameplay mechanics off-putting at best and unacceptable at worst.

While I heartily recommend Beyond to Quantic’s faithful following, I’d also advise those who’d rather score headshots than have their heartstrings tugged to proceed with caution.

Call of Duty: Strike Team ($6.99, Activision) iOS

While Call of Duty clones have been beating the popular first-person shooter at its own game in the mobile space for years, Strike Team finally brings the franchise proper to the portable frontline.
Rather than shrinking one of their console successes to smartphone size though, Activision’s delivered a fresh experience for on-the-go fraggers; the result is an engaging mix of cinematic FPS combat and more strategic top-down gameplay. Its lack of competitive multiplayer aside, Strike Team’s worth enlisting for.

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86/100

Where’s My Mickey? ($.99 Disney Mobile) iOS, Android, Windows

Building on the liquid-based puzzling of Where’s My Water? and Where’s My Perry?, Disney’s latest soggy sequel retains its predecessors’ addictive formula, while sprinkling some fresh drops on the physics-fueled fun.

Most notably, new weather mechanics – tasking players with manipulating wind, clouds, and rain – add a welcome layer of strategic options to the puzzle-solving. Toss in some original Mouse-starring animated shorts, and Where’s My Mickey? is the best reason yet to keep the faucet running.

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92/100

Halo: Spartan Assault ($6.99 Microsoft) Windows 8

A pick-up-and-play, top-down shooter with a pretty Halo paint-job, Spartan Assault dives into the story – and Covenant-crushing combat – unfolding between the sci-fi saga’s third and fourth console chapters. It’s missing series’ star Master Chief and the franchise’s signature multiplayer modes, but seasoned Spartan’s should still enjoy clearing its bite-sized battlefields of alien uglies.

Those expecting an evolution of the blockbuster series will likely be disappointed; fans craving some Halo-on-the-go, however, won’t want to miss this thumb-blistering shooter.

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84/100

Deus Ex: The Fall ($6.99 Square Enix) iOS

Featuring console-quality visuals, rich storytelling, varied gameplay, and plenty of character-progressing depth, Deus Ex: The Fall packs most of the elements fans have come to expect from the action-RPG cyberpunk series; in fact, squint a bit and The Fall could pass for 2011′s stellar series’ reboot, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

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While it frequently fools you into believing you’re playing a full-fledged entry in the franchise though, The Fall’s lackluster A.I. and clunky controls occasionally snap you back to reality.

85/100

Infinity Blade III ($6.99, Chair Entertainment) iOS

With Infinity Blade and its sequel, developer Chair Entertainment proved you needn’t own a console or PC to enjoy triple-A gaming.

The fantasy franchise’s third offering continues down this same path, providing players with another Tolkien-rivaling epic, complete with cool weapons and towering beasts to unleash them on. While this blade’s still sharp, some of the novelty’s been dulled; fresh elements, like dragons, are a welcome addition, but Infinity Blade III still feels a bit too familiar.

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84/100

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