iGamer Reviews: Infinity Blade II

By Chair Entertainment.

An Epic Games studio.

For iOS.

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Once again, I continue my highly belated reviews of not-so-recent but still high profile titles. This time, it’s Infinity Blade…II.

 

The Story

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Rather than a direct sequel to the original Infinity Blade, this title takes place after the E-Novel, Awakening. Awakening is what takes place right after the original title. While far from being necessary to understanding the story, reading Awakening is relatively quick and inexpensive.

Suffice to say, the scope of the story is now significantly larger than it once was, as your character, now named Siris, is determined to overthrow the God King and all of his kind, known as the Deathless, so that normal people may live freely once again. As such, Siris goes on his journey to rescue the one person that can stop them, known only as “The Worker of Secrets”.

The extremely vague storytelling of the first title has been almost entirely thrown out and replaced with exposition and direct clarifications for the main storyline, which could be good or bad, depending on your point of view. That said, I find the lack of subtlety to be somewhat distasteful, and takes away a good bit of the mystery the previous game had. Nevertheless, those who are determined to find all the hidden secrets the game has to offer, you can still see glimpses of the classic Infinity Blade experience.

The Gameplay

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Infinity Blade 2 takes the same general rules of the game, and then expands on it in every possible direction. The level layout has expanded greatly; no longer do you traverse through a small tower, but instead an entire castle complex. Secret passageways, treasure maps, and hidden bosses are just some of the new things that you will discover. The combat has been overhauled to include new fighting styles to go along with your shield and sword: now you have access to Heavy weapons and Dual weapons. That said, the changes are more than aesthetic, as both weapon styles handle different from each other. There is no blocking with dual weapons, instead you have access to a “low” dodge, allowing you to duck under the horizontal swipes you aren’t able to parry. On the other hand, you simply can’t dodge at all with the Heavy weapons, instead you are able to block in the directions you would normally be able to dodge. Along with the alternate play styles, they each have their pros and cons. Heavy weapons dealing more damage, dual weapons being able to string together more combos, and the sword-and-shield acting as the in-between style.

The amount of voice acting in the game has expanded greatly, and the fake, Italian-Esque language has been reformatted to standard english. That said, I find the actual quality of the voice acting to be extraordinarily ordinary. Remarkably unremarkable, even. Extremely okay, perhaps. At no one point is it especially bad, there is no particular point where I was not aware that I was listening to voice actors, as opposed to just enjoying the story.

The Catch

Infinity Blade 2 has the same Catch as the previous title.

The Conclusion

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Is it possible to suffer from too much greatness? Maybe, because if Infinity Blade 2 suffers from everything, it’s just from adding too much. The original Infinity Blade title, while seemingly complex, is remarkably simple compared to the sophomore title. Infinity Blade adds so many new layers, you can tell it’s not quite the level of console quality. But if having too much is your biggest problem, then you’re probably doing real well. Despite my few qualms, Infinity Blade 2 is a fantastic title for anyone looking for quality gaming on the iOS.

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iGamer Reviews: Blood Masque

By Square Enix

For iOS

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Hey everyone, and welcome to another issue of iGamer, where Riknas reviews all the hottest (and other temperatures) mobile game titles. This week, we’ll be going over Square Enix’s Triple A title, Blood Masque, showing that the gaming industry is still a good five years behind the movie studios trying to cash in on the vampire craze everyone was talking about.

 

The Story

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The story of Bloodmasque is far from groundbreaking, however, it is just different enough to be interesting. The setting takes place in an alternate world where Vampires exist and nearly conquered the globe, and only recently are being overthrown by a new generation of half-vampires seeking to free themselves and the human race. The main story takes place in victorian-era France, where you play one of the many half vampire hunters; investigating rumors of a new Vampire leader that threatens to reverse all the progress the vampire hunters have made.

The Features

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Bloodmasque markets itself as a graphically intensive, cutting edge game with the unique feature to have your face placed onto your character.

One and a half out of three isn’t terrible, but not exactly jaw-dropping.

While the graphics are certainly high quality, the “Masque” feature is remarkably gimmicky, the game will access the camera on your phone and create an outline for you to line up your face with. That’s it. It just takes an actual picture of your face, and just plasters it over your character. I don’t even want to mention how important it is you also have your face fit into the outline perfectly, lest the game give you such ridiculous proportions that I don’t even want to show you what my pictures ended up looking like. Along with that, the game’s ability to show three separate expressions is also remarkably unimpressive, as it just asks you to take two more pictures beside the first one you picked. Really, you don’t even need to put up pictures of your face for that matter. At one point I decided just to take pictures of my rug, the tile floor, and my door knob. Boom, those are the images for my casual, excited, and angry expressions. While there is a certain novelty to it, you can easily go through the game without touching this feature at any point, and use their standard character creator.

With that said, in regards to how it plays…

The Game Play

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The gameplay in Bloodmasque is somewhat similar to the gameplay of Infinity Blade, in the sense that you use the touch screen to attack and dodge, which is sort of like saying a machine gun is like a flintlock pistol. Which, while technically true, doesn’t really say a whole lot.

The game mostly revolves around a series of encounters against various vampires, and sometimes their human minions. You tap the screen to attack your target, and swipe the screen to dodge. Unlike Infinity Blade, which direction you dodge in isn’t relevant so long as you time it properly. While it makes for rather simple gameplay, it’s fast paced and just challenging enough to keep it engaging. To add a little complexity, quick time events are added in to power up your special attacks, as well as provide bonus experience at the end of your encounters.

While each mission is simple, each of them is replayable, giving you opportunities to grind for experience, coins, and unique treasures in each mission. The item drop rates are fickle however, which can make the process tedious to people that aren’t enthralled with the gameplay.

This of course, brings us to…

The Catch

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Ah yes, this game does indeed have a catch. Along with a standard 7$ purchase price, the title has a pay-for currency to facilitate micro-transactions. The currency is “rubies” and can be used to progress through the game faster, or make it easier. This includes health boosts, time-extensions, upgrades, and even some exclusive items. 

For what it’s worth, there are other ways to get more rubies in the game, but they are both slow and inefficient, especially compared to pulling out your wallet.

Conclusion

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While I’m hardly a fan of micro-transactions being mixed in along with the actual “box” price, apparently everyone along with the industry has gone ahead and accepted it as standard affair. That said, the micro transactions aren’t as heavily encouraged as they are in other titles, and the price is relatively average as well. If you’re interested in some hack-and-slash vampire action and have some extra change you’re willing to spend, this might be the title for you.

iGamer Reviews: Infinity Blade

Developed by Chair Entertainment. Published by Epic Games.

For iOS.

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The Game 

Infinity Blade is easily one of the most iconic names associated with the iPhone iOS, and one of the most successful games Chair Entertainment has released yet… If you haven’t heard of this game, then you clearly haven’t experienced this side of mobile gaming.

The Story

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The story and setting of Infinity Blade is a strange hybrid of medieval high-fantasy mixed with sci-fi steampunk, playing an unnamed and masked adventurer, determined to avenge his father by storming the tower of the God King, wielder of the game’s namesake: the Infinity Blade. It is entirely expected that you will die in the process, bringing you to the beginning of the tower, now playing as the next male descendant of your previous character. Once again, you will take up arms against the God King…

The Gameplay

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Infinity Blade is most easily described as a dungeon-crawling fighting game, although I hardly find that does the game justice, as Infinity Blade expertly uses the iPhone touch screen to its fullest capacity. Your character’s progression through the God King’s tower is facilitated by a series of short cutscenes, initiated by clicking on the location that you wish to go to. This will allow you to interact with doors, treasure chests, and enter combat encounters, which brings me to the real meat of the game…

Progressing through the tower, you will encounter various enemies that will try to stop you from reaching the God King. By swiping across the touch screen, your character is able to swing his sword, dodge from left to right, and block with his shield. Along with using your weapon to attack, it can also be used to parry your enemy’s strikes. The game follows the saying, “Easy to learn, hard to master” perfectly. Although the controls are simple and intuitive, perfect timing for attacks and dodges requires the utmost amount of attention, along with a fair bit of practice. And whenever you think you have the game nailed down, it hits you with a curveball by letting you win…and making it harder for the next round.

Infinity Blade’s gameplay works with the storyline absolutely flawlessly. While there was a point where I came to think that the game was intended to actually follow an infinite loop (which technically,  is possible) I was shocked to find that the game does in fact, have a definitive ending, which almost entirely recontextualizes the game you thought you were just playing.  

The Conclusion

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This is one of the first Triple A titles released for the iOS, and I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in bringing a console-like gaming experience to their iPhone or iPad.

Riknas, signing off!

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