Broken Sword: Director's Cut HD
- iPad - £4.99
- iPhone - £2.99
If only because Charles Cecil is officially one of the nicest men ever in the games industry, it's great to see this popular point-and-clicker return on platforms practically tailor-made for the prodding, probing nature of the gameplay. Broken Sword is, and always has been, one of the finest-ever British adventure games, and feels as fresh as it ever did, with a superbly tailored interface that's as intuitive as you could wish for.
Is it a good port? With its beautifully illustrated backdrops and elegant hand-drawn style, it all scales up reasonably well on the iPad's famously delightful display. That said, it's a bit misleading to call this an 'HD' version, with most of the graphics clearly upscaled rather than running in the native resolution, while the low bit-rate audio grates on the ears.
Although the game's still good enough to warrant a purchase if you've never played it before, those of you who've already got the iPhone version have every right to feel a little miffed about the conversion.
- Xbox Live Arcade - 1200 points (£10.20)
- PSN (coming soon)
It's be nice to think that publishers re-issue HD versions of old games precisely because they need no introduction, but RayStorm was neither particularly famous nor ever considered a classic. Released as part of Square Enix's ongoing efforts to monetise Taito's vast back catalogue, it's completely baffling why the Japanese giant feels compelled to charge 1200 Points for a game so few people care about. But there we are.
It wouldn't matter about the price if RayStorm was some sort of timeless, overlooked gem that demands reappraisal, but in the cold light of 2010, it's little more than a mildly diverting period piece, released at a time when developers were just getting to grips with 3D. Some of you might have fond memories of its 1997 arrival on the PlayStation, but everyone else will just see it as a rather by-the-numbers vertical shooter, with few defining characteristics.
Is it a good port? If functional is your definition of good, then yes. Otherwise RayStorm comes across as a gaudy glimpse of the bad old days of mid-1990s 3D. And no-one wants that.
Gangstar: West Coast Hustle HD
- iPad - £2.99
- iPhone - £2.99
Gameloft is perhaps the publisher most guilty of shovelling its mobile offerings onto the iPad, and Gangstar is a typical example of this. If the year was 1999, and we'd never seen Driver before, and GTA III was nothing more than a distant rumour, then Gangstar would probably blow our tiny minds. Sadly, this is 2010. We've all played dozens of urban sandbox adventures, and every single one is an order of magnitude better than this rancid attempt.
Is it a good port? By all accounts it looks like Gameloft has hit the upscale button on the iPhone version and farted out an iPad version in its lunch hour. Poorly detailed environments, garish colours and hideous character models are the least of its worries, with gameplay so fundamentally broken it's hard to know which element is the most offensive. From crippled tilt-based driving mechanics to laboured combat and stilted movement, this is easily the worst GTA clone I've ever seen. Even the reduced price isn't remotely tempting.
- Xbox Live Arcade 800 Points (£6.80)
- PC (Steam) £5.99
Going back to Doom II after years of manly cinematic epics serves as a startling reminder of just how pure and single-minded first-person shooters were when they started out. Packed with secrets and a seemingly endless procession of brutally unforgiving enemies, it'll give a bloody nose to even the most hardened run-and-gun maniac.
Is it a good port? Just as the original XBLA port of Doom fitted snugly on the Xbox 360 a few years back, this steroid-pumped sequel works well. Wisely, Nerve Software hasn't messed around with visual or audio makeovers, and instead opts for a rather beautiful 'warts and all' approach that delivers the game exactly as id Software intended in 1994. The controls work beautifully, the multiplayer options are ideal, and the No Rest For The Living expansion pack adds nine new levels. What more could you want?