Thursday, December 08, 2011

Chuff_72 Strikes Again: Infinity Blade 2

Are mobile games any good yet? Are they even proper games? For dinosaur games no definitely not. Chuff_72 continues to look at mobile games and work out if they are any good yet here's his skinny on Infinity Blade 2.
 
Infinity Blade 2, in my opinion, is the sequel to Infinity Blade, and it’s a good one.
 
I'm fairly certain I completed the first game, where *SPOILERS* you defeat the End Boss *END SPOILERS*, however at the start of this one he is not dead, I guess that's standard for an Immortal… I'm not sure why we all thought he was dead, he clearly states he is Immortal a number of times, so yeah, not unexpected. The original ended on a cliff-hanger of sorts, and there was a cool "hidden" ending. This time there is a new random woman, the main guy has gained a name and a voice and then he dies, only to wake up in a metal cave/room, wearing only his pants.
 
While the game does seem to just chuck you in head first apparently there is a whole novella covering the back story, and the bits in between games, Matrix style, however I'm not convinced writing a book about it is the best way to go. I appreciate the effort, it got me to download the iBook app thing and waste £2 on the book, but I'm never going to read it on my iPhone, I don't read much anymore anyway, and the thought of trying to read an entire book on my mobile just doesn't appeal. So I'm kind of left half knowing what's going on, but it's also clear that there's a bunch if info I'm not privy too.
 

***Moaning below, feel free to skip***
 
Also, I would just like to point out that the novella is written by one Mr Brandon Sanderson, a very talented fantasy author, so I'm sure it is a very high standard, well done, pats on backs etc. However, for the last 15 years I have been reading a series of books called The Wheel Of Time, the original author, Robert Jordan, died in 2007, before finishing the last book in the series. At one point in my life this was the greatest series of books I had ever read, but by the time I had finished book 9 I realised nothing had actually happened to progress anything in the story since book 6, for 2293 pages (exactly). By book 11, another 1659 pages WITH REALLY SMALL WRITING, I just needed the fucking thing to finish. I have also re-read the entire series twice, resorting to the audio books for the third re-read, which has a total run time of 335.15 hrs (exactly). As I write this it is making me depressed so I'll wrap up fast.
 
Brandon Sanderson took over the series for books 12 and 13, which he rattled out in 2009 and 2010, and they were fucking brilliant, he seemed to understand the characters better than Robert Jordan, and he could actually write about the birds and the bees and male/female interaction without regressing the characters to 9 year olds at a school disco. So here we are, present day, I'm going to be 30 in a matter of weeks and there is still no book 14, Wikipedia lists it as "To be completed by Brandon Sanderson". So this is a polite request to stop stalling, writing other shit that nobody cares about and complete the cunting thing. Thanks, Chuff_72.
 

***Hi, welcome back***
 
So, Infinity Blade 2.
 
It's really good. There is a new gem system for buffing weapons and armour, three unique (slightly different) weapon styles and a much larger campaign. I am also a graphics whore and I loved this one long time.
 
The game itself is very similar to the first, slightly refined and with a few new twists on the basic concept, but it is still essentially a glorified Super Punch Out, but I loved Super Punch Out so that's cool with me. The win/lose structure has not changed, so you get infinite tries vs the standard goons, but as soon as you face a boss character you get one shot, lose and this incarnation of pants man dies and you have to start again.
 
There are also about 4 times as many sets of armour, magic rings, and weapons than you will ever need to complete the game, and Mastering them all is as addictive as usual, slap an XP bar on something, give it a loud noise when you fill the bar and you have created gaming crack, congrats.
 
The story that is sprinkled about is just vague enough and alluding to cool things that it pulls you along nicely, there are four or five "after credits" moments, I enjoyed all of them. There is a really nice science fiction element going on too, which was hinted at in the first, but is even more pronounced in this one. The enemies you face initially seem human but further into the campaign become more and more robotic sounding, to the point where a dude climbs into a giant metal robot dog mech to slap/bite the shit out of you.
 
My only real negative would be that in the original you could sell back weapons/armour that you had multiples of and you would occasionally pick up really valuable stuff to sell on, in this one you pretty much only gain money from the bags of gold you grab and from selling Gems, so progress feels more of a grind and it’s more obvious that the devs desperately want you to purchase some extra gold. Anyway, I happily smashed my way through without resorting to virtual gold, but I'm not happy that I have spent a couple play throughs using the same Mastered Iron Stone, all that wasted XP makes me sad.
 
As a Mobile game:
Infinity Blade 2 is pretty much perfect, it can be played in short bursts, the RPG elements add the perfect level of reward vs play time, and the whole thing looks incredible.
 
As a real game:
I guess it would be fun on Kinect, Wii Plus, or Move… But not that much fun.

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