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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.

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.

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.