Tag Archives: $4.99

Homerun Battle 2 Review: A Pathetic Excuse for a Sequel

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.

Homerun Battle 2 was developed by Com2us, and I played through version 1.0.1 on my iPhone 4s and iPad 2.  The price is $4.99.

NFL Flick Quarterback HD Review: It’s Just a Rookie

When I saw this game pop up in the App Store, my feelings were only of excitement, as always happens when something from the NFL appears let alone a game.  And while I was a bit disappointed when I saw that it was just an arcade game, I was still somewhat intrigued with the game because hey, licensed NFL games just don’t appear too often.

NFL Flick Quarterback yields a total of three gameplay modes: Playmaker, Trick Shot, and Trick Shot XL.  In Playmaker, you flick the ball towards a running receiver covered by defenders in order to score points, while in the Trick Shot modes, you try to flick the football into the trashcan.

And while I’m a huge fan of these flick sports type of games, NFL Flick Quarterback has failed to capture my attention for more than 10 minutes at a time.  Quite bluntly, there just aren’t enough game modes.  The Playmaker one is a lot of fun to play, but the Trick Shot ones are difficult, and the flick is inaccurate at times.  And just because it’s named Trick Shot XL instead of Trick Shot, it doesn’t mean that it’s an entirely new game mode.  I feel like Full Fat could have been a lot more creative than just adding a few more buckets to explode and make that as a new game mode.

While NFL Flick Quarterback is promising, it doesn’t have enough to keep me satisfied.


Graphics and Animations: The 3D player models aren’t all that detailed, but the graphics aren’t too bad.  The animations are probably some of the best I’ve seen in an arcade game, so kudos to them for some solid animations.  Overall, the game is designed well, with a clean layout along with very NFL-esque artwork.

GameCenter: I love the fact that the game includes GameCenter alongside 33 different achievements.  Absolutely love it.

Touchdown celebrations: There are a lot of different touchdown celebrations in this game, and it’s just fun to see what the player decides to do once he reaches the end zone.


Inaccuracy of the flick: The flick in the game is somewhat inaccurate.  For example, in the Playmaker mode, there are times when a flick will get to the receiver, but there are other times when the ball mysteriously falls short and goes to the other player.  In the Trick Shot modes, the ball does tend to go in weird places if you’re not exact with your flick, which is a reason why I’m not a huge fan of those modes.  It requires a little bit too much precision.

Lack of game modes: I really wish the developers would have added something other than just a Trick Shot and Trick Shot XL mode.  I mean seriously, there are some other modes they could have added such as a field goal kicking mode, hitting targets that pop up, and maybe even a mode in which the user has to throw to multiple receivers on the field.  Right now, the only mode that’s really fun for me is the Playmaker one, and I can only play that one for so long before I get bored.

NFL License?: That’s great that I can customize my own player, but who am I throwing to?  They’re advertising this as an NFL game, but beware, you won’t be throwing to the players you’re familiar with.  I mean seriously, who’s Davies?

NFL Flick Quarterback is a fun arcade game, but I wish there was more.  Right now, it’s just an overpriced arcade game that doesn’t exactly live up to its potential.  The GameCenter achievements are welcoming and all, but the gameplay is just lacking a real hook that I find in a lot of casual arcade games such as Flight Control or Fruit Ninja.  It’s fun for a couple of hours, but just note that it doesn’t last very long.

NFL Flick Quarterback HD was developed by Full Fat, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPad 2.  The price is $4.99.

Shadowgun Review: Looks Pretty, Plays Pretty Ugly

Shadowgun.  It marks the arrival of an entirely new Unity engine that provides never before seen graphics on a mobile device.  And Shadowgun does a great job of demonstrating the new Unity engine, but that’s just about it.

Featuring a couple of guns, uninspiring, scripted enemy soldiers, and a repeatedly tap-to-kill type of gameplay, Shadowgun doesn’t give me anything to really praise other than the graphics.  Yeah, the gameplay is a bit more advanced compared to the likes of Rage, but the gameplay is still lacking a lot, especially compared to games such as Modern Combat 2 and NOVA.

It looks absolutely fantastic, but I don’t give a damn about looks when it’s boring.


Graphics: Like I mentioned before, the graphics are absolutely fantastic.  I will give credit where credit is due, and I must give props to the developers for some great graphics.  The shading, lighting, detail, and character models are unprecedented, and I think I can safely say that these are the best graphics I have seen on my iPhone.  

Universal: I’ve noticed that more and more developers are going with universal apps, and I cannot be more than happy with their decision.  And it’s good to see Madfinger Games joining that group of developers because I just love universal apps.  For any developers reading, be sure to take note.


Repetitive: If there’s one problem that I would point out with this game (which there aren’t), I would have to say that it’s its repetitiveness.  You’re doing the same thing in each level: shoot the enemies, reach the boss, rinse, and repeat.  There isn’t much variety, you gain new weapons much to slowly, and it isn’t all that difficult.  While it’s cool for the first five minutes, it tends to get boring really quickly.

Artificial Intelligence: The AI for Shadowgun is pitiful to say the least.  They’re all scripted to run behind certain barriers, and they don’t do a very convincing job of acting like they want to kill you.  On the normal difficulty, I seldom found them actually shooting; most of the time, they would be hiding behind pillars and barriers waiting for me to kill them.  The AI is unintelligent, for lack of a better word, and if you’re looking for a shooter similar to Modern Combat or even Brothers in Arms, you won’t find it here.

Shadowgun is a bit more than a tech demo, but it’s a lot less than an actual game.  You basically do the same thing for every level, with little variety or creation in the objectives, and I was bored after 15 minutes of play.  Like I said before, it looks absolutely fantastic.  But, looks aren’t everything in the App Store.

Shadowgun was developed by Madfinger Games, and I played through version 1.0.4 on my iPhone 4 and iPad 2.  The price is $4.99.

All of the Real Racing Games on Sale, Drive as Crazily as You Want for Less Money

The sheer sound of the name Real Racing gets me creating all types of images and words in my mind: awesome, realistic, graphically ground-breaking… the list can go on and on and on.

And if you haven’t been a part of this ground-breaking experience yet, Firemint has made it a little less of a pop to your wallet by putting its Real Racing games on a sale of up to 80%.

The original Real Racing is $0.99, the HD version is $1.99; Real Racing 2 is put at $4.99, and Real Racing 2 HD at $5.99.  In my personal opinion, if you have an iPad, I suggest just picking up Real Racing 2 HD, as it’s one of the most technologically-advanced game out so far, along with the fact that it will support the mirror display feature once iOS 5 is released.

And if you own an iPhone, you really cannot go wrong with Real Racing 2, although the original Real Racing is still quite a steal at $0.99.

And if you’re still not convinced, be sure to check out our reviews on the Real Racing titles.


Pulse: Volume One Review: Interesting Concept, But Fairly Raw Gameplay

Rhythm games on the App Store have all, for the most part, been exactly the same.  Rock Band Reloaded brought some interest with the whole vocal mode, and Guitar Hero implemented that interesting sliding mechanism.  But other than that, all of them have been very similar to the likes of Tap Tap Revenge: tap the dots as they roll down the screen.

Pulse takes all of that and changes everything.

In the center of the circles is a pulse that slowly moves from the inner circle to the outer, and you have to tap the dot once the “pulse” nears said dot.  The rhythm aspect of the game is surprisingly well done, and the dots seem to go right along with the song.

And while the concept is very interesting and a breath of fresh air, there are a lot of problems with Pulse that prevent it from being the greatest rhythm game out there.

For one, it’s extremely repetitive.  I can’t play this game for more than 20 minutes in a sitting, and generally, I can’t play more than two songs in a row.  And other than songs and playing along to some sort of campaign mode, there’s really nothing to play for.  No achievements, no leaderboards, no “star” system that rates your performance… the list goes on.

It looks pretty and all, but it’s the insides that count.


Graphics/UI: Pulse has an extremely clean UI that’s very appealing and very “indie”-like.  The graphics are also very clean and fits well with the theme; overall, I thought they (as in the developers) did a great job with the design.

Unique: I always love it when I see something unique in the App Store, and I love it even more that it’s a rhythm game.  In my mind, making a “unique” rhythm game is an extremely tough thing to do, what, with big monsters such as EA and Activision releasing their own, previously successful games onto the App Store.  If I rated Pulse based solely on uniqueness, it would be ranked in my top 5.


Repetitive: The songs are extremely repetitive, and with no real motive, you’re just playing for the sake of playing.  No achievements, no leaderboards, no “star” system (like I mentioned before)… it’s just extremely difficult to keep playing this game.  I’d rather be playing Guitar Hero and earning some stars while ranking high on the online leaderboards than play Pulse and receive no real reward for playing.

Difficulty: The songs get pretty difficult pretty fast, and while I’ve been able to play through expert on Guitar Hero with 5-star ratings, Pulse’s first song had me spinning my eyeballs and slightly panicking due to the sheer speed of the game.  And that’s only the first song; the songs following that were extremely difficult to follow, and I haven’t been able to receive more than a 70% on any of them.  For those that are interested in entering the rhythm genre, Pulse is, by far, not the best place to start.

I love Pulse: Volume One for one reason, and that’s because it’s unique.  Other than that, this is just another game with no real motive in playing, and I really don’t have an urge to play.  It needs a lot of improvements but has a lot of potential; hopefully the developers will improve upon it with an update or two because it would be quite saddening to see this concept go to waste.

Pulse: Volume One was developed by Cipher Prime Studios, and I played through version 1.1 on my iPad 2.  The price is $4.99.