Identity Crisis In Game Form

So after spending about 15 minutes trying to get the game to load, I finally dived into another of the temporarily free titles from the anniversary post, Infinity Blade II.

I have to admit, the trouble I was having with getting the game to load was that I thought the game froze. In all reality, the game just has a one minute and 30 second loading time. Which, in and of itself, is not a bad thing – in fact, that’s pretty good. Arcane Legends had a much longer loading time. My only issue is that there was no progress bar or other indication that it was loading… nothing. The screen just shows the game’s static logo while it loads.

Well, the mystery has been solved, I’ve had my Scooby snacks, and I’m kickin’ it in my SUV (sadly not the Mystery Machine)…so let’s get to it.

Dead or alive, you're coming with me!

Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!

Infinity Blade II at its core is a…um… role playing game? It’s really hard to tell (swords, magic, and items don’t make a game an RPG fellas).  I can’t wander around, I can’t investigate much of anything, and there’s not much in the way of friendly NPC’s to talk to. On top of that the combat banks on me holding block forever, and then slashing like a maniac. Desperately, I’m trying to cram as many slashes into the time frame as I can before the creature/NPC goes back into a good stance and starts earning me “scratch hits”. While I really hoped this would mean I was unlocking some sort of dubstep music with turn-table sound effects, sadly it only meant I was doing miniscule amounts of damage. The combat engine makes you wait until you have the opportunity to attack and locks you in place for most fights.  So you can’t move, can rarely access some sort of magical attacks (which are drawn on the screen with your finger to trigger them), and when you’re done, you just walk to the next fight. Meh. This really could have been done better.

Dude, this guy shaves his face with bigger blades than your sword.

Dude, this guy shaves his face with bigger blades than your sword.

After a few incredibly bland fights, albeit with amazingly boss death sequences for each of them, I got to the games first cutscene. OK. Put on the breaks. This is awesome. The voice acting is fantastic. While it’s obvious the actors are going through a voice modulator, it’s intentional, and they do a great job of mutating the voices while still being able to hear and understand what they are saying. Oh and look! A fast forward button! Not a skip, but a fast forward button. After testing it out I have only one suggestion. DO NOT SKIP ANYTHING IN THIS GAME. Don’t use the fast forward button. Cutscenes and the parts where you are moving (I use this term loosely) between fights is where you get to play ‘I spy’.

Anytime you actually have control over the camera and are able to look about, do so. The game hides bundles of gold, gems, healing potions, and other goodies around in levels. Now this is fairly typical for an RPG, I mean, I’ve been busting pots and cutting down shrubs looking for money since I was wee lad. But here you have only a few seconds to click on things to collect them in cutscenes, and the items hidden in the free look parts are quite small and hard to see in the game’s amazing backgrounds. So, I’m a little confused as to really what genre this game falls into and the combat system doesn’t help.

I do also have to make a small note here on the looking around sections. Give me the option for inverted look. It’s one of those games where you really want to have inverted controls (you drag towards the area you want to look, not dragging the part you don’t want to see away). I know that sounds confusing, just imagine flying a plane with a joystick that you push forward to go up. It’s one of those things in gaming that causes people to say aloud, “Seriously?” And that’s just carelessness on the developer’s part.

Not… sure where to go… might need a strategy guide for this one folks…

Not… sure where to go… might need a strategy guide for this one folks…

Graphics:

Jaw-dropping. The game is built inside of the unreal mobile engine and its really, really pretty. Seriously, go watch YouTube videos for this game. I have absolutely no fault with the graphics of this title.

Gameplay:

My eyes lit up when I saw the game, then I started crying after playing for 30 seconds. It’s like being 10 and seeing Mickey Mouse pull his head off at Disneyland to get a drink of water. With awkward camera controls and feeling like I’m EXTREME IOS GAMING as I slash at the screen (kind of like how this guy makes rice), I don’t feel any enjoyment out of this one.

Audio:

I really wish that this game had bad audio so I could give it a terrible score after playing, but I can’t. The game’s audio is flawless. From the metal armor moving about as the player and enemies move around in cut-scenes…to the awe-inspiring sound of dealing the killing blow to oversized ogres, Infinity Blade II nails it.

Innovation:

Well, there wasn’t much in terms of games like this on the market. But now, with this engine being available for people to use, we may see a slew of titles come out. Maybe someone can make it better. I know I was looking at Monster Blade and that uses the same engine. However, it didn’t run on my 3gs. So kudos on making something new, I guess.

Overall:

Is it bad to say, “I’m glad that’s over”? I just didn’t enjoy it, and if you’ve read my articles you know I’m hard on games. I know many people who really enjoy this game and think it’s the “cat’s meow” or something.  So if you grabbed the game on the free sale, go play it. Take a look at the games stunning visuals and see what your phone can do. I was pleasantly surprised with that end of it. Anyways, my front lawn is being invaded with zombies, and I have a desire to plant some flowers. Till next time!


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