Mobile Phones Guide

App Attack #008: Game On with Xperia Play

App Attack #008: Game On with Xperia Play

App Attack #008: Game On with Xperia Play

App Attack #008: Game On with Xperia Play

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play has been the talk of the town, being the first PlayStation-certified device to hit our shores. You can check out some of its key highlights in our video. While the PlayStation controls found on the Xperia Play are designed to enhance your gameplay experience, there's also the accompanying games to consider. Specifically, games that are redesigned to utilize the unique gaming buttons of the Xperia Play. In this App Attack, we highlight a few games that have done just that, and share our thoughts on the compatibility of these games on the Xperia Play.

Gun Bros

Price: Free
Genre: Shooter
Compatibility with Xperia Play: 2/5

Being your typical top-down shooter game, Gun Bros mixes a few RPG elements into the equation. On the Xperia Play, the two touch analog pads are used to control your character and its firing direction. This is a definite improvement, which is especially apparent when we had a full view of an enemy wave swarming over us. On your usual touch screen phones, your fingers will be blocking your sights while you try to fend off the horde of enemies heading your way.

Unfortunately, the controls are limited to just the two analog touch pads and shoulder buttons. The directional keys and PlayStation buttons have been left unused for its gameplay. Within the main menu, the only functional controls were the analog pad (which was not mapped properly) and the O button to cancel an action. With so much confusion involved, you're better off sticking to the touch screen to navigate through the menu.


Galaxy on Fire 2

Price: S$14.95
Genre: Space shooter
Compatibility with Xperia Play: 3/5

Fans of space trading and combat simulation games such as Privateer and Freelancer will be quite familiar with Galaxy on Fire 2. In this game, you'll be jumping in and out of various star systems, battling alien threats and taking on freelance missions to earn some credits along the way.

Thanks to the physical controls, piloting your ship and dodging enemy fire is much easier than the iOS version. While you can control your ship with the Xperia Play controls, most other interaction within the space station and waypoint selection is still limited towards the touch screen interface.


Star Batallion

Price: US$4.99
Genre: Space Shooter
Compatibility with Xperia Play: 4/5

Engage in interstellar conflicts as you pilot your ship with the Xperia Play controls. Take a shot at enemy ships with the PlayStation buttons, and swerve out of enemy fire with the analog touch pads in this fast-paced space flight simulation.

Like most of the games we've tested, we preferred the directional keys over the analog touch pads. While the latter is still slightly usable, it won't be a life-saver if you were dodging a horde of enemy ships trying to shoot you down. With the PlayStation controls on the right aiding you along the way, we have to say the controls do make a difference when it comes to an aerial dogfight. This is also apparent from the two shoulder buttons, which gets you out of a pinch when you tap both buttons to perform a u-turn.


Asphalt 6

Price: Free
Genre: Racing
Compatibility with Xperia Play: 4/5

Asphalt 6 immerses you in the fast-paced world of street racing, putting you on the edge as you zoom through heavily packed streets around the world. The game boasts impressive graphics and action sequences, which will keep you on your toes as you race your way into the leading position.

Racing games on mobile devices have often used the built-in accelerometer to steer your vehicles. Furthermore, traditional methods don't allow much control over accelerating or braking. The Xperia Play changes all that, thanks to the PlayStation controls. Using either the directional keys or analog touch pad, you can steer and avoid oncoming traffic or overtake your opponents. More importantly, drifting and accelerating is made easier with the PlayStation controls, while the shoulder buttons will be often tapped to boost your speed with the nitro power-up.


Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave

Price: S$12.32
Compatibility with Xperia Play: 3/5

What's it like to spend endless hours, fending off wave after wave of monsters trying to destroy the crystal that you're protecting? The answer to that question can be answered if you play Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave. You'll get to join players from all over the world in an online match to either defend the crystal, or go head-on and battle it out to be the last standing hero.

Dungeon Defenders is a game that houses a lot of info on screen. On the usual mobile devices, our thumbs would often block and hinder our actions while we try to move our hero with the on-screen controls. With the Xperia Play, that problem no longer exists. The directional keys now act as shortcuts to perform quick actions that could save your life. The shoulder buttons function as the block and attack action, with the X button being the jump action to get out of a tight situation. Unfortunately, this leaves the analog touch pad as the movement controls, which could lead you to your demise with its insensitive controls.