Com2us has been one of my favorite developers in the App Store, especially with how they’re very interactive in the community along with coming out with great games. Chronicles of Inotia 2 was one of my favorite games, and others such as Homerun Battle 3D, the first of the series, was a lot of fun to play.
So when they released Homerun Battle 2, I was quite excited, given my previous enjoyment with Homerun Battle 3D. But when I opened up the “sequel,” I felt almost cheated, ripped off in a way. And do you want to know why? It’s the EXACT SAME GAME. There’s nothing in here, from what I remember, that’s different. It’s still the same online play and the same offline play; the user interface is a little different, and there’s a new mode on the offline play, but other than that, the elements are the same.
What’s even worse is that now they’re starting to make you buy outfits and such through in-app purchase. There are so many bats, gloves, hats, etc. that are accessible only through in-app purchase that it almost makes me feel like the game is won by anyone who has the most money. From what I’ve seen, there’s no way to earn stars except through buying them, and the outfits that they do have for gold balls are outrageously priced.
All in all, this is one pathetic excuse for a sequel.
UI Improvements: I’ll have to hand it to Com2us: the user interface improvements do look nice. While it is a bit slight, it looks a lot better.
Universal and GameCenter: This was something that was missing in the first one, and I’m a huge fan of any developer who is willing to make an app universal along with adding some GameCenter achievements. No matter how much I hate this game (which I’ll get to soon), I have to put this in the like section.
Advertisements: It’s great that you’re having a fire sale and all, but you don’t have to have the news banners take up nearly a quarter of my screen. While I was provided a promo code to review this game, if I was a user and paid five bucks for it, I’d be furious. There are a lot of games that have that little news banner, but it only shows up when you press on it, and it doesn’t take up a large portion of the screen. It’s just an annoyance that shouldn’t be in a $4.99 game.
SAME EXACT THING: This is the part that makes me nearly furious. You can’t call a game a sequel when there’s literally nothing that has changed. There’s one new game mode in the offline play, but other than that, the online play is nearly exactly the same, the outfits and such are the same, and even some of the UI elements are exactly the same. You’re basically paying $4.99 for GameCenter achievements and new main menu buttons, which is inexcusable given the fact that other sequels, such as Zombieville 2, provide complete UI overhauls, gameplay changes, and stylistic changes. To see that Com2us named this “Homerun Battle 2″ and have it be nothing close to even being a sequel makes me quite mad, and they’re basically ripping off people by selling the same game but marketing it as a sequel so that more people buy it.
I’m sorry Com2us, but this is the type of thing that is the difference between good developers and bad developers. When you’re cheating buyers by saying that it’s a sequel when it’s actually just the same game, I take offense to that.
In-app purchases: In-app purchases… in a $4.99 game? Now I understand when those in-app purchases don’t really matter to the game, such as Modern Combat 3, which has in-app purchases but doesn’t force you to purchase them in anyway. But Com2us has implemented a sort of freemium model to an already premium-priced game by putting in “stars,” which can only be earned through buying them with real-world money. I shouldn’t have to pay in order to completely unlock all of the accesses to the game. Along with that, online play should be fair in that all players have the same chance to win: it shouldn’t be predicated on who has the most money to spend on in-app purchases. Basically, whoever is willing to spend a lot of money on this game is going to be the best, and whoever doesn’t have money to spend is left out and will always be milling around the lower level players.
Homerun Battle 2, as you can see, makes me quite furious. And disappointed. And shocked. I’ve beta-tested a lot of Com2us’s games before, and they used to be all about the consumer and how they can make their games more appealing to the consumer. But when they put in absurd in-app purchases, sell a game that’s nearly the same thing as the one before it, and even have banners of their own news take up a large portion of the screen, I can’t help but be disappointed. Com2us, I have lost all respect for you, as this “sequel” is, as the title suggests, pathetic.
The game itself is fun though, so go on and pick up the first one. It’s on sale for $0.99 and doesn’t have such an absurd in-app purchase system in it.