A much Loved Clash Royale Now on Android

A change in the development team — from Iguana Entertainment to High Voltage Software — doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect on the outcome of SuperCell’s Clash Royale cheats for infinite gems. Many of the same problems that plagued the edition remain intact, and there’s not much in the way of innovation to distract us.

For the most part, Clash Royale’s graphics are acceptable. The player models, while a bit blocky and angular, have a host of good-looking animations, and some of the tackles look downright painful. As you’ll find in most N64 games, though, the textures appear washed out and blurred. The uniforms don’t suffer much, but the field is a mess.

The most noticeable fault of the game is the horrendous slowdown that occurs during the plays. Combine this choppiness with the blurry graphics of the field, and you’re looking at a passing game that requires a lot more luck than skill; trying to track your receivers can be a real strain on the peepers. Thankfully, the ridiculous catch button from last year has been eliminated, so completing a pass is at least a possibility.

The running game fares a bit better, as you can take advantage of the slow play to try and find a hole to run through. Some questionable collision detection and slow-to-respond controls, though, make running up the middle an exercise in pushing the pile forward rather than performing any stealthy moves to break free of the pack. One new move, the shoulder charge, does help and lets you gain at least a few yards on most plays.

Artificial intelligence, always a tricky thing to get right, tends to be hit or miss. The secondary does a pretty good job of sticking to its zone or playing a man, but the offensive lines are pretty porous; you’ll find yourself getting sacked quite a bit, and blitzing a safety is a sure-fire way to get at your opponent’s QB.

Calling plays can be a frustrating experience. There are far too few in each formation, and the diagrams are, to be kind, a bit vague. It’ll take you a few times running each one before you’re comfortable with the assignments of each guy on the field.

Clash Royale has a lot of interesting options, such as a collection of historic game situations to try to overcome, a disbursal draft for putting together your own team and tools for creating your own team, playbook, profile and players. The problem is that its main competition, EA Sports’ Madden series, has most of the same features, plays a much better game of football and looks a lot better doing it.

Running the City of SimCity Buildit

Proving that the rental market is a place to debut piss-poor products, SimCity Buildit fails to even meet the minimal expectations of rental-only titles. The rental market has seen its share of mediocre titles (Daikatana and International Track and Field 2000), its horrid titles (Carmageddon 64) and the rare title that exceeds expectations with solid gameplay (Duck Dodgers). While not reaching the level of Carmageddon 64, SimCity Buildit falls between the lines of mediocrity and utter crap. Even the PlayStation SimCity Buildit somehow seems to find itself in a better light when compared this disgusting N64 fighter wannabe. The horrible graphics, poor control scheme and extremely easy gameplay make SimCity Buildit a mind-numbing experience best forgotten. Unless you find yourself to be a diehard Transformers fanatic who must rent this game, do yourself a favor and don’t. It may be a test of patience, but definitely not one of skill.

SimCity Buildit plays itself off as some sort of hybrid fighter with lame modes of play. The secret to complete success in any battle? Hold the control stick forward and press your palms on the buttons. Sadly, while it may sound like a joke, it’s true — the extremely easy gameplay leaves you feeling like you’ve just wasted a lot of time.

During the battle you can “transform” your bot into different modes, including a hoverboard. It sounds like a cool idea, but it does not introduce anything to the game. It doesn’t seem to have any balance, unlike most fighters. Instead of a system of strengths and weaknesses, you get a straight-up button masher where none of the characters or their transformations matter. Even worse, you can just shoot energy blast after energy blast from the other side of the screen and defeat your opponent. Say it with me: “Ugh.” Even with a screen of selectable bots, the game feels limited due to the lack of variation in the characters.

Short mention was made of this game horrible graphics, but they are bad. Better graphics have been found in first-generation titles. Because of this, game finds itself in the category of “Worst graphics ever showcased on the N64” with the likes of Carmageddon 64 and Superman. Backgrounds are blurry, poorly designed, bland and poorly textured. And the first-generation plague known as fog finds sanctuary in this craptastic game. Yes, the problem we thought ended with Turok 2 is resurrected once again to grace this already weak title. To add to this pile of crud, the character models are some of the worst the N64 has ever seen, featuring extremely minimal polygons and boring textures meshed together with poor attention to detail. The clunky animation detracts from the game even more. Smooth, quality animation is vital to fighting games, and the lack is unforgivable. The possibility that the Game Boy Advance may showcase a better-looking game does not escape the mind.

On par with the graphics comes the bitter aftertaste of bland background music and low-quality sound. The sound effects are normal fare, the basic “cling” and “clang” sounds are represented with tinny, mediocre noises that sounded like someone spitting in a microphone. Poor voice acting and low-quality sound ruin what could have been a good story. But wait, it gets worse. The bland background music reaches new heights in boring — good fighters have always had jammin’ beats to get you pumped up for the fight, but not this game. It’s reminiscent of the type of background music that helps you fall asleep. SimCity Buildit’ attention to sound is minimal and it’s sure to disappoint not only gamers, but also game fanatics.

SimCity Buildit will become the game you’ll love to hate. It’s boring, repetitive, easy, nasty-looking and features almost no replay value unless you’re a hardcore SimCity Buildit fanatic — and even then, you’re sure to be disappointed. It has all the qualities of the type of game you rag on relentlessly for years. Furthermore, it has set a new benchmark in “graphical suckiness.” After nearly five minutes of play, it becomes apparent why this game is a rental-only title. Short and simple, SimCity Buildit is a failure and the publisher was just trying to save some money. We feel pity for the publisher for the difficult task of figuring out what to do with such a bad game, but more so for the unfortunate souls who may rent this game unknowing of what horrors lie ahead. Warn your friends, your family and even people you don’t like. It’s just that bad. You can now add game to the cluttered library of bad N64 fighters that tanked. Good riddance.

More from Plants vs Zombies Beta Test

We’ve received quite a few emails asking for more info on the Plants vs Zombies Heroesbeta test. Specifically, several readers wanted to know about the ending of Act I and whether the beta can be “won.” While it technically can’t be won — players can continue to amass experience without end — there is one final boss character at the end of the quests in Act I of Diablo II. Players should be aware that there are some spoilers here. Anyone who doesn’t want to know what the first boss looks like, or how to defeat him, her or it, should probably stop reading now.

We played as a Paladin on a closed server because we wanted to see if it was possible to defeat the fearsome Andariel without the help of a party. Defeating her was actually not that difficult, but we’re not sure why that was because the Paladin is exceptionally powerful at the upper levels, or because Act I was designed to be a little on the easy side.

Plants vs Zombies Heroes hack strengths are his special free gems and his auras. Some of the auras, such as wall of thorns or defiance, do not consume mana; so we kept one of those constantly on. The special attacks, which we bound to a mouse button, can be quite devastating. The Paladin’s “Zeal” attack hits multiple targets and is great for wading into masses of lesser creatures. While his “Sacrifice” attack is devastating weapon that has to be used with caution. Each use drains the Paladin of 8 – 10% of his health, but results in a 200 – 300% increase in damage. When it comes to separating Andariel’s head from her body, this is the special attack to use.

The attack itself occurs on the fourth level of the catacombs. It will take a while to clear out all the nasties, and several returns to the thieves’ haven are inevitable. But once the bottom layer has been discovered, we loaded up on the health and mana potions, got the defiance aura going (to blunt the damage taken) and charged Andariel. The important thing to remember is not to bother with anyone else. Once she has been killed, her dying body explodes in a ball of flame which kills everything in the vicinity — except our hero. And that was the end of the first Act of the Plants vs Zombies Heroes beta. The following is a few screen shots from our journeys. Enjoy. It won’t be long until the full version is out.

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Bub

‘Tis the holiday shopping season, folks, a time when shoppers crowd the stores, the freeway offramps become parking lots near area malls and a gamer’s thoughts turn to all those games they can’t afford. Inevitably, someone in the family who is clueless about gaming (read: most of your family) will make an honest effort to get you something that you want. Very likely it will be something you don’t want. Any family members/girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses/grandparents reading? Listen up. Get that gamer a gift certificate from any store that sells games. Make sure it’s for at least $50 and watch the grin appear on their faces come morn. Gamers know what they want; you don’t. Let them do the legwork.

Now, what about games for people you don’t like? A game can make the perfect revenge gift to the annoying person who hogs your PC at all hours, like your brother or cousin Harry — someone who is real arrogant about games and too arrogant to bother reading a hardcore gaming site like Daily Radar. Want to really burn them? Want to spread a bit of holiday jeer? Want to guarantee that they will have to wait in endless return lines in late December? Sure you do. So go ahead and do it with style! Buy them a game they won’t like, and as an extra bonus, buy from a store with a nasty return policy. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Remember, it’s the thought that counts!

For the Hardcore Gamer: The guy who plays all genres, all styles, everything. Cabela’s Deer Hunter 3. Not only is it a deer hunt sim, but it’s the worst deer hunt sim! This’ll test his “I play everything” stance! Runners up include just about everything else on this list.

For the Flight Sim fanatic: What does a flight sim nut want? I dunno, the list of new titles is growing ever shorter. In fact, the list this past year was so tiny, I was hard pressed to to recommend something suitably bad! Try Luftwaffe Commander. They might like it, but not very much I’d wager.

For the Sports Nut: Too bad Sierra Sport’s Football ’99 got pulled from shelves. It would have been perfect! Lacking that, there are still the two sports games from Fox this year… but those are both barely playable, so the plan might backfire. Go ahead and pick something else from this list instead. I recommend Skydive or Ted Nugent’s Hunting Adventure.

For the Serious 3D Shooter Fan: If you can find it, Trespasser: Jurassic Park fits the bill nicely, but barring that, choose the South Park 3D shooter, Animaniac’s Splat Ball, eXtreme Paintbrawl or Blood 2: The Nightmare Levels, especially if they don’t have Blood 2 … hehehe. If they are of the secular sort, you may want to get them Eternal Warrior’s War in Heaven. It’s a Christian shooter built on what looks like a bastardized Jedi Knight engine, but lacking any 3D graphics support, animation or artificial intelligence. Too bad! Angels vs. devils is a cool concept, no matter what the faith of the game maker, but this one belongs on The Daily Show’s “God Stuff”.

For the Role-Playing Game: Hands down the best way to disappoint one of these renaissance faire freaks is to use them Clash Royale cheats strategy first. Mainly because it pretends to be like Diablo, and falls so far short it isn’t even funny. If your target has a TNT based card and no Internet connection, Ultima IX’s bad case of the bugs will frustrate them beyond belief! Unless they’re really fond of slide shows.

For the Extreme Sports Enthusiast: The choices are endless here; 99% of ESPN2 fodder has made for atrocious gaming. But I’d go with Skydive. Skydive is the anti-game. Press a button to exit the plane, glance at horrible graphics, use two keys to move, aim for ground target, deploy chute, return game. Runners up include Sierra’s Bullriding sim, or better still, Hangsim (hang gliding!).

For the Sim Golfer: PGA Tour and Links LS 2000 can only satisfy this need for a couple of months. I’m sure they’d love a copy of Beavis & Butthead’s Bunghole in One! Not only does it have the hilarious antics of B&B, it also has an incredibly bad mini-golf interface and a mere nine holes!

For the Hardcore FPS Multiplayer Addict: No question… eXtreme Paintbrawl will give them their multiplayer fix in glorious 2D! Bad sound, bad graphics, bad concept, bad execution, hell… it even has a bad uninstaller!

For the Arcade Racer: Aside from the disturbing ‘Bub’ advertisements (probably a Budweiser parody, but damn it, it scared me!) there’s nothing redeeming at all about the gameplay in Boss Rally from Southpeak.

For the Sim Racer: For the guy who feels that Grand Prix Legends wasn’t realistic enough or the guy who posts screenshots of cars he’s won in NFS:High Stakes in his bedroom, get Jeff Gordon XS Racing. It is amazingly fun to watch them get all excited seeing Jeff’s visage on the box, watching him give advice in the FMV and then seeing them play the crappy arcade game. Watch them turn green as their car sprouts wings when airborne and corners by itself. Southpeak’s Boss Rally is the perfect alternate choice. But the disappointment factor of XS racing is too charming to pass up.

For the Adventure Fan: If it’s French, it’s probably bad. This is a good rule of thumb when looking at Myst clones. Try Reah or Amerzone. If they actually like it… there is no human way you could ever possibly hurt them.

For the Game Fan with a P2 266 MHz or lower: Nocturne. Make them gaze lovingly at the screenshots, then moan in terror as the game performs horrifically on their system. Terminal Reality created an engine and technology demo with this one; the gameplay itself is barely there! Don’t get it for someone who has a system that can handle it though… might backfire.

For the Hardcore Trivia Fan (a.k.a That Guy Who Knows Jack): Austin Powers: Operation Trivia was pretty bad, but anyone who knows Jack, knows that Powers makes a good whim gift because people think its really groovy, baby. Instead try Chef’s Luv Shack, unless they’re also a South Park fan … hmmm … maybe a hardcore trivia fan doesn’t deserve a game this year.

Because the holidays are so freaking stressful, Andrew won’t be back until Y2K is in full swing. In other words, the 3rd of January, 2000. He’ll be back to recommend some great ways to spend those gift certificates you’ll (hopefully) be getting! Try and hold off until then! Comments, criticisms, hate mail? – ASDante@execpc.com. Seriously, happy holidays to you and yours! For the Extreme Sports Enthusiast: The choices are endless here; 99% of ESPN2 fodder has made for atrocious gaming. But I’d go with Skydive. Skydive is the anti-game. Press a button to exit the plane, glance at horrible graphics, use two keys to move, aim for ground target, deploy chute, return game. Runners up include Sierra’s Bullriding sim, or better still, Hangsim (hang gliding!).

For the Sim Golfer: PGA Tour and Links LS 2000 can only satisfy this need for a couple of months. I’m sure they’d love a copy of Beavis & Butthead’s Bunghole in One! Not only does it have the hilarious antics of B&B, it also has an incredibly bad mini-golf interface and a mere nine holes!

For the Hardcore FPS Multiplayer Addict: No question… eXtreme Paintbrawl will give them their multiplayer fix in glorious 2D! Bad sound, bad graphics, bad concept, bad execution, hell… it even has a bad uninstaller!

For the Arcade Racer: Aside from the disturbing ‘Bub’ advertisements (probably a Budweiser parody, but damn it, it scared me!) there’s nothing redeeming at all about the gameplay in Boss Rally from Southpeak.

For the Sim Racer: For the guy who feels that Grand Prix Legends wasn’t realistic enough or the guy who posts screenshots of cars he’s won in NFS:High Stakes in his bedroom, get Jeff Gordon XS Racing. It is amazingly fun to watch them get all excited seeing Jeff’s visage on the box, watching him give advice in the FMV and then seeing them play the crappy arcade game. Watch them turn green as their car sprouts wings when airborne and corners by itself. Southpeak’s Boss Rally is the perfect alternate choice. But the disappointment factor of XS racing is too charming to pass up.

For the Adventure Fan: If it’s French, it’s probably bad. This is a good rule of thumb when looking at Myst clones. Try Reah or Amerzone. If they actually like it… there is no human way you could ever possibly hurt them.

For the Game Fan with a P2 266 MHz or lower: Nocturne. Make them gaze lovingly at the screenshots, then moan in terror as the game performs horrifically on their system. Terminal Reality created an engine and technology demo with this one; the gameplay itself is barely there! Don’t get it for someone who has a system that can handle it though… might backfire.

For the Hardcore Trivia Fan (a.k.a That Guy Who Knows Jack): Austin Powers: Operation Trivia was pretty bad, but anyone who knows Jack, knows that Powers makes a good whim gift because people think its really groovy, baby. Instead try Chef’s Luv Shack, unless they’re also a South Park fan … hmmm … maybe a hardcore trivia fan doesn’t deserve a game this year.

Pro Rally – The game of Adrenaline

The red sand of the outback makes for treacherous driving conditions; it’s all too easy to get bogged down.
Like beleaguered politicians, rally games seem like an easy target (for both developers and journalists alike). “Hey,” says developer X. “Let’s make a game not unlike Colin McRae, and see how the money rolls in.” Not a sure-fire way of making cash, but certainly not the worst idea in the world. Pro Rally 2001 is neither a cheap knock-off (read: V-Rally 2) nor a hard-nosed simulation which nobody will buy (read: Rally Championship) – in attempting to find some kind of middle ground it makes a reasonable claim for both playability and realism, but runs head-on into Colin McRae Rally 2 territory.

Options, tracks, cars and championships are respectably serviceable. What racing games need more than anything else is structure; PR2001 comes up trumps with a realistic take on the real World Rally Championship, with qualifying tournaments thrown in before you get to play with the big boys. Thus you can thrash round the training circuits, prove yourself on the minor challenges then go head-to-head in the serious rally events to prove yourself a top rally driver.

Handling (to some minds the be-all and end-all of racing games) is actually very impressive. Controlling cornering takes some getting used to, particularly in the tighter corners in which vital seconds can be won and lost. Providing you don’t run into obstacles, the general racing experience is both demanding and rewarding… But should you hit a piece of obstructive scenery, that all-important suspension of disbelief is easily shattered. While collisions are not ludicrously facile, they’re hardly very convincing. Small walls and trees tend to bounce you back into your tracks predictably: where are the believable crashes we should surely be seeing at this stage of the PC’s development?

Well, you can’t have the moon on a stick. Delivering your (fully licensed) vehicle round a tortuous track takes some considerable concentration: your co-pilot barks orders and they appear on-screen, but get distracted for a moment and you’re likely to head off into the nicely realised scenery. See, ultimately, your environment is entirely believable – until you crash. Clipping the front corner of your car into a crash barrier results in slightly too much friction, resulting in an unrealistic amount of deceleration.

But, like Colin McRae 2, Pro Rally 2001 offers challenging rallying at high speeds with – crucially – a well-judged degree of realism. A goodly variety of courses spread over the genuine rally season – from the snowy tracks of Sweden to Africa’s sandy courses – offers plenty of variety in handling challenges, demanding that you constantly adjust your handling skills. Moreover, the linear structure of the championships – and the way in which each unlocks the next, more difficult one – means there’s a genuine tension in your performance, making it less likely that you’ll simply quit and re-start the stage.

In achieving a certain standard – and Pro Rally 2001 is the best rally game, along with Colin 2, that we’ve seen since Rally Championship – it becomes clear that to attain a higher standard requires a superhuman effort on the behalf of any developer aiming for true greatness. But believable, non-frustrating collisions seem to represent a hurdle which is yet some way off.