Tag Archives: Com2uS

Flick Baseball Pro Review: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

After much anticipation and speculation, Flick Baseball Pro by Freeverse finally hit the App Store. An entry into their ever expanding Flick Sports library, Flick Baseball Pro is the perfect pick up and play baseball game for the iPod Touch and iPhone. Aimed at the more casual and mobile player, this game feels much more like an arcade game than an in-depth sports sim game. For those that enjoy sports games for the mere enjoyment of them, this is the baseball game to own.

The game takes a cue from Com2UsHomerun Battle 3D for its control scheme in both batting and pitching. Tilt the device to move your hot zone to line up with the pitch for success in batting. Line up the target into the strike zone for the perfect pitch.

But taking Homerun Battle 3D one step further, in Flick Baseball Pro you also run the bases and field the ball. If you are daring you can stretch a single into a double, or make a throw to get a runner. All of these actions are accomplished with a simple tap of the screen.

And if by chance you don’t enjoy one aspect of the game – fielding or batting – you have the option to skip that portion and it will be simulated for you. There seems to be an underlying player statistics that will control the outcome for you. In the few times I tested it, it seemed pretty accurate, meaning the AI didn’t kill my pitcher when I simulated a pitching half inning, nor did I just get three strike outs during my batting half inning.


Controls: The controls could not be more simple. Tilt to position your “bat” while tracking the pitch, tap to swing at the appropriate time. Tilt to position your choice of pitch, tap to throw. When a runner gets involved in the action, a small diamond appears with each base activated by touch. This is easy to control either stealing an extra base or throwing to a base after fielding. Otherwise everything is pretty automatic. But the most important aspects of the game are controlled by the player. It is nice that this is not cluttered by having to field ordinary ground balls and the like.

An interesting addition is what I call the “Fly Ball Mini Game.” If your opponent hits a fly ball four moving gloves appear on the screen, you must tap the screen when they overlap to successfully catch the fly ball.

Game length options: The ability to choose between a 3 or a 9 inning game is perfect for any situation. This allows the player to squeeze in a game of baseball for any amount of free time available.

Season option: Want to bring home the trophy? Compete in a full season that includes playoffs. Still want to bring home the trophy but don’t have the time and or patience to play through the choice of 11, 33, 66 or the full 165 game season, no worries. Flick Baseball Pro has the option to simulate from 1 to 20 games at a time using the same formula as skipping a half inning.

Teams: The game comes with 34 teams, not surprising many are from actual baseball cities, but some international teams are included as well. The ability to customize a team is possible and you can build a team from the ground up with your own special abilities, choice of a name and uniform. Play a few seasons with them and before you know it you will have your very own dynasty.

Realism: Its always the small touches that make or break a game, and this particular aspect I really like. It lends a strategy to being in the field. As the game progresses and your pitcher throws more pitches his stamina decreases. Just as in real life, his strike zone is harder to hit. The tilt to aim mechanism will become harder to control and soon, as a manager, you will need to decide when to make a pitching change. Of course that is as simple as a few taps of the screen, but nonetheless this brings a sense of realism and strategy to the game that is welcome in a casual arcade sports game.

Plus Social Network: With the addition of the Plus network, leaderboards and unlockable achievements are available.


Home vs Away Team: I seem to always be the away team in an exhibition single game. I am not sure if it is randomized and I happen to always be the away team or if it is set up that way. I don’t know why this really bothers me other than the home team has an advantage in having last at bat if they are behind in the score.

An additional title has also been released by Freeverse’s sister company Small Planet named Chevy Baseball.  It is a free lite version that keeps intact the core elements of gameplay but lacks the season mode and team customization. There are also only two unique teams to choose from in this version, aptly named the Camaros and the Silverados.

Sports games can run from extremely in depth as you would find on a console, to bare bones as you would find on a handheld. Flick Baseball Pro finds a suitable middle ground. It is not too complicated for a portable device, yet is not too simple either. If you like in depth 3D sports simulation games, this might not be the baseball title you are looking for. Flick Baseball Pro by Freeverse is the perfect pick up and play sports game that focuses on the fun aspects of the game without being too technical.

Flick Baseball Pro Version 1.0 by Freeverse was reviewed on an iPod Touch with OS 3.x. It is currently available at launch price of $2.99 in the app store.

Caligo Chaser Review: Retreads tired territory, but plays well nonetheless

Caligo Chaser is the latest Action RPG from South Korean developer Com2Us, the same developer who late last year raised the bar for iPhone role-playing games with Chronicles of Inotia: Wanderer of Luone. Sadly, Caligo Chaser falls somewhat short of that bar.

Had it been released in Q1 2009, rather than Q1 2010, Caligo Chaser would likely have been highly praised. But, a year late to the party, the game doesn’t quite hold up. The app store has matured a great deal in the last year, and so too have gamers’ expectations. That said, Caligo Chaser isn’t bad; it just feels dated, and fails to live up to the high precedent Com2Us has already established with their second entry to the Inotia series.

I digress; you are presently reading the second draft of my Caligo Chaser review. The first draft was nearly finished, and just about ready to publish. It was snarky and ripped Caligo Chaser apart, and with good cause. The controls were awful and made the game nearly unplayable. Then Com2Us did something unexpected. They released an update that fixed a great deal that was broken in the 1.0 release —  including the controls — and sent me back to ground zero with my evaluation of the title. Granted, there are things about Caligo Chaser that just cannot be fixed in an update. But the game is much more playable at 1.0.1 than it was before, and I’m much less inclined to lambast the game than I was only days ago.

That said, I still reserve the right to be snarky. Let’s get into it then.

The game centers on the city of Emporion, which acts as your hub throughout the game. It’s where you do your socializing and shopping, and where you receive the quests that propel you out into the world.

Caligo Chaser’s story is textbook RPG and generic as they come. An ancient evil has spent the last 300 years hiding under rocks in the forest, and has finally decided to come out and play. You are Zack, an entry level knight and an awfully nice guy, and so it falls to you to save the world. Standing around Emporion, you will often find more experienced and likely more qualified knights seemingly unoccupied. The only reason I can discern that they are not out saving the world instead of you — a lowly and inexperienced knight fresh into the order — is that they’re not as sharply dressed as you are. Instead, they come and go as necessitated by Caligo Chaser’s flimsy story and occasionally send you on fetch quests.

The quest system is the same quest system I got tired of several Korean RPGs ago, and goes something like this:

You walk up to some guy with a yellow exclamation point floating over his head and he says, “Hey, hey, hey. You have a sword. Go into the forest and kill me some badgers. Five badgers should be enough.”

“Okay,” you say and venture forth into the woods. Sometime later and having killed well over five badgers, you return.

“Hey, hey, hey”, says the guy. “Good job.” You get some EXP and a bottle of funky mushroom juice. A new exclamation point appears over his head. “Hey, hey, hey,” he says. “You still have that sword, yeah? Go into the forest and kill me some white badgers.”

You drop your jaw. “Wha … ?! I already killed a bunch of white badgers when I killed the not-white badgers you asked for before,” you tell him.

“Yeah, but I didn’t ask you to kill the white ones before. Go kill them again,” he says.

And off you go to kill the white badgers. Except in Caligo Chaser they’re not badgers; they’re weasels. And after killing enough weasels, you’ll be sent off to kill some orcs, then green orcs, and then a red orc named Troy. Between slaying weasels and orcs, you will encounter a number of one-dimensional characters who will demand equally pointless tasks of you. Quests seem only to come in two forms in Caligo Chaser, with one greatly resembling the other. Either you get sent off to kill something, or you get sent off to find something; of course, finding that something always entails killing things until one of them drops it, and so all you ever really do is get sent off to kill things.

Outside of Emporion, Caligo Chaser is a brawler with RPG elements. If you’ve played Blade Master, you should feel right at home here. Zach can move up, down, left and right to engage opponents, but cannot move diagonally.

Standard attacks can be strung into combos by repeatedly pressing the action button. Each successful hit builds your combo meter, and you will begin to accumulate damage and critical hit bonuses after 10 consecutive hits — this is not hard to achieve; I’ve had combo strings over 200 hits.

In addition to his sword, Zach can equip gauntlets which are used for charge attacks. By holding down and releasing the charge button, Zack will strike foes with his gauntlet for massive damage. There are three levels of charge, depending on how long you hold before releasing; tapping the button does nothing. The longer you hold, the heavier the damage you inflict, but the more time you give your target to move out of striking range. Wait too long, and the only thing you’ll hit is air.

Rounding out combat are special abilities and items which can be assigned to five quick-slots for use during combat. These are useful, but the buttons are small and can sometimes be hard to activate.


Silk suit, black tie: They come running just as fast as they can, coz every girl’s crazy  ‘bout a sharp dressed man … As you equip new armor, pants, swords and gauntlets to Zack, his appearance will change to reflect his gear. It’s important to be well-dressed when you’re a hero, and Caligo Chaser accommodates the fact. Don’t get too excited, though. Most of the changes are merely palette swaps.

Maps: If there’s one thing that Caligo Chaser gets really right, it’s the game’s use of maps. If ever you forget what you were doing or where you need to be, consult your map; it will always tell you where to go next.

In town, characters with quests or who otherwise advance the story appear on your map as orange dots. Shopkeepers are blue dots, and gray dots represent quest people you’ve already talked to. Irrelevant people do not appear on your map.

Outside of Emporion, another map allows you to access the game’s various locations. There are separate maps for regions south, east and west of the city. Areas which are open to you are represented in color, while those unavailable are gray. Areas relevant to active quests are highlighted in red, so you always know where to go. The first time you head for an area, you must first clear all areas between Emporion and your destination. Once you’ve cleared an area, though, you can return there directly from the map, without having to traverse the lands between.

You can always revisit cleared areas to grind for experience points or try for better ratings, but do not otherwise need to return to any area not related to the quest at hand. Caligo Chaser’s excellent implementation of maps helps to alleviate unnecessary backtracking through areas you’ve already visited, something that drove me nuts about Blade Master.

Customization: Caligo Chaser provides you plenty of opportunity to fine-tune your Zack. On level-up, you receive points you can assign to improve your stats, including strength, dexterity, luck, stamina, intellect and spirit — all of which have an important impact on gameplay. You can equip a sword, gauntlet, armor, pants, ring and necklace to improve you combat ability and change your appearance. You can also equip up to five passive skills/enhancements, and assign five special abilities or items to your quick-slots.

Collections: A tab in your inventory keeps track of various books used for collections. Throughout your quest you will fill in entries on monsters you encounter, and combinations of materials used to create new items. You also earn medals for various accomplishments, and ratings for clearing each of the game’s combat locations. Perfectionists will find a lot of replay value in returning to previously cleared areas to improve your ratings.

Music: Caligo Chaser’s music adheres to a rock motif, and while I wouldn’t buy the soundtrack separately, I’ve never wanted to turn off the sound. Quite a nice departure from the majority of South Korean RPGs and their short, tinny BGM loops. The tunes are heavy on guitars, keyboards and drums and work pretty well within the context of the game.


The Quest System: In a letter addressed to all South Korean RPG makers — including Com2Us, GameVil, MinorAxis and others — I’d like to write, “Dear Developers: Relentless fetch quests are not an adequate substitute for effective storytelling. Please try harder.”

Graphic Quality: I appreciate the large, colorful sprites that make up the game’s inhabitants. Unfortunately, the game’s graphics are soft overall, and seem to be rather low resolution. Additionally, some of the animations are quite poor, such as when Alice runs.

Menus: A little better than the menus in Zenonia, but not as nice as the menus in Inotia 2. Menus are navigated using the d-pad in tandem with Ok and Cancel buttons, and take no advantage of the touch screen. Pretty lame, says I.

Uninspired: Caligo Chaser retreads well-worn territory in every regard. The story and mechanics have all been done before, and many gamers may find themselves tired of the same old stuff. The maps are well implemented, but otherwise the game doesn’t strive to innovate.

Caligo Chaser is an Action RPG that plays by the numbers, but doesn’t count very high. A year ago, Caligo Chaser may have measured up to gamers’ expectations for iPhone games. Released hot on the heels of GDC and it’s many exciting reveals, however, the game just feels dated. If you paid any attention at all to GDC, you know there are some truly impressive titles on the horizon, and good odds you still have titles waiting to be finished in the meantime. Given the circumstances, you would certainly be forgiven if Caligo Chaser fell through the cracks.

If you’re looking for an Action RPG and have already played through the others, though, Caligo Chaser offers a lengthy experience at a reasonable price. I even like it better than a few of the others; I just don’t think it fully lives up to what an iPhone game should be in 2010.

Caligo Chaser ($2.99) is developed by Com2Us and was reviewed at version 1.0.1 on an iPhone 3G.

Heavy Gunner Review: Testing your thumbs’ dexterity

Heavy Gunner 3D marks Com2Us‘ first foray into the science-fiction genre. Previously known for their successful RPG The Chronicles of Inotia: A Wanderer of Luone, this new title is something of a stylistic departure for Com2Us. The game favors an aesthetic of gritty realism over the cartoon fantasy and sometimes cutesy presentation of previous titles, with gameplay bent towards arcade action.

As the game begins, you find yourself in the gunner’s seat of the new UESF defense weapon, the Integrated Combat Platform (ICP), developed in a last ditch effort to protect the human race from extinction against the Tarmat invasion, the Tarmats being an alien race bent on the utter annihilation of our species. The ICP is a dual cannon, fixed position artillery unit capable of firing in a full 360 degree arc, and used to fend off incoming attack. The two cannons are operated independently by a single gunner — which makes little sense in reality, but makes for a unique video gaming experience. As the campaign progresses, the battle will move from defensive battles on earth, to offensive attacks on the Tarmat forces with the ICP mounted on starship hulls.

On-screen, the two cannons are controlled via virtual joysticks in the lower corners of the screen, operated using your thumbs. The cannons can be manipulated individually to blast incoming forces anywhere on the screen. Enemies will attack in waves from all directions, necessitating that you pivot your turret to defend your sides and rear. Heavy Gunner offers two control options for turning, tilt and touch. I personally found the tilt controls to be extremely frustrating, but began to enjoy the game much more when I switched to touch control, which allowed me to touch and swipe from the center of the screen to pivot the ICP. A radar display allows you to track incoming forces, and missions have different objectives such as surviving for a set amount of time, eliminating a set number of targets, or destroying a specific target.


Concept: Heavy Gunner is a hardcore arcade shooter with a unique twist. Defending your position on all sides using two independent cannons, as a concept, really sets this game apart from other arcade shooters. As shooters go, Heavy Gunner is a world apart from Time Crisis or Duck Hunt.

Visual Presentation: Com2Us has in the past gone with fairly cartoon-like, 2D graphics, but not here. Heavy Gunner foregoes sprites for full 3D, and a “hard sci-fi” look akin to the Terminator or the 2003 Battlestar Galactica television series. Heavy Gunner looks pretty badass.

Nonstop Action: Constantly under fire from Tarmat forces, Heavy Gunner doesn’t give you much downtime to ponder things. The action is fast and furious, and you won’t last long on your laurels. Even the short breaks necessary to reload your cannons between salvos seem an eternity with enemy forces bearing down on you. Keep pace or die.

Customization Options: Mission success nets you currency to spend on new weapons and weapon upgrades. In combat you can arm both a primary and secondary weapon and switch between them on the fly, and weapons are different enough to be interesting and employed with purpose. For example, the Crusader Light Machine Guns can be aimed independently to fire on separate targets; the Avenger Heavy Machine Guns deal significantly heavier damage, but can only fire dead-center, meaning that you much pivot the entire ICP to aim and can target only one Tarmat at a time. The Crusaders are great for wiping out large invading forces, while the Avengers are ideal for dealing with large, singular targets. There are also energy and missile weapons, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Your weapon selection can really impact how you play the game.

In addition to offensive customization, you can also spend credits to improve your ICP’s defensive capabilities, shield regeneration and even purchase an EMP “weapon” to use when feeling overwhelmed.

Stage Rank, Achievements and Difficulty Settings: In-game achievements give you goals to strive for beyond mission completion, of which I am always a fan. Stage Ranks are also used to rate performance for each mission, with greater rewards being given for a job well done. Achieving the S-rank and unlocking all achievements gives Heavy Gunner a lot of replay value. There are also three difficulty levels to choose from: Normal, Hard and Extreme. Fans will have plenty to keep them busy shooting for 100% completion.


Controls: The first few times I played Heavy Gunner, I hated it and the controls were entirely to blame. By default, cannon pivot is set to tilt control and the pressure of aiming at separate targets with two thumbs while keeping your device in a flat position and using the accelerometer to adjust your view … well, it sucked. It wasn’t until I delved into the options menu and discovered touch-turning that I began to enjoy the game.

Even still, the thumb-sticks for the cannons don’t feel as smooth as they should. It’s not the deal-breaker that the tilt-turning was for me, but still a gripe. It makes targetting feel imprecise, and your cannons jerky.

Audio: Heavy Gunner’s audio is a mixed bag. The heavy metal riffs definitely suit the game, and I have no gripes with the audio content, but with the audio quality. It just sounds too compressed, like listening to mid-quality MP3 files instead of the original CD. The sound effects seem a little canned, and not quite as immersive as they should. Playing with headphones definitely improves things, but the audio isn’t quite at the level I’d like it to be.

I admit, I was not impressed with Heavy Gunner at the start. My first few attempts at the game left me with a poor aftertaste, and the only motivation I had to come back to the game was the fact that I had been assigned a review to write. But ultimately, perseverance has shown me the error of my first impressions. My first step towards enjoyment was ditching tilt-turning for touch control; I cannot emphasize enough what a difference this made in my enjoyment of the game. Then I delved into ICP customization and realized how unique each of the available weapons was, and the effect they had on the overall experience. My time with the game, and the discoveries I made only after penetrating the surface have led me to a very positive conclusion on Heavy Gunner.

On the surface, Heavy Gunner appears to be a shallow shooter, with the dual-thumb cannons only a gimmick. Taking the plunge beyond that surface, however, reveals the game to be quite deep, full of choices and with great replay value. How you choose to upgrade and deploy your armaments can vastly impact how you play, while the achievements, stage rankings and difficulty settings will keep you returning to previously completed missions, striving for perfection. In addition, the game has great visual and audio style, and the English translation is Com2Us’ best to-date. Heavy Gunner is one of the best arcade shooters in the app store, and a game I definitely intend to spend more time with.

Heavy Gunner 3D is developed by Com2Us and sells for $2.99; a free version is also available. Reviewed on an iPhone 3G.

‘Heavy Gunner 3D’ Released from Com2us

Com2us, ever since it’s success with Homerun Battle 3D, has been releasing game after game.  Their newest iPhone title just happens to be Heavy Gunner 3D, a mix of first-person shooter and dual-stick shooter, pitting you against what I assume are aliens.

A noticeable feature is the 130 different weapon combinations, and while it most likely means parts and upgrades, it’s definitely a lot to fully take in.  The graphics are also mightily impressive, and from my very short hands-on time, the game seems to be priced correctly also.

Again, with my short hands-on time, I’m overly impressed.  Expect a full review from us, but for now, check out the trailer.

Hands-On Preview with ‘Caligo Chaser’ from Com2us

You know Hybrid Eternal Whisper from Gamevil, and maybe some other titles from other indie devs, but Com2us‘s game Caligo Chaser may be nothing more than a name of a game to you.  But honestly, this is more than a name of a game; this is a game.  Unfortunately, it isn’t a game that will blow off your socks, but it’s a game that will slightly nudge them off your feet.

The first thing that I noticed right off the bat was the soundtrack.  It consists of heavy metal riffs along with some piano keys that seem to slightly give homage to Zelda.  I found the soundtrack to be one of the key factors in the game, and while it wasn’t out of this world, it’s definitely well composed.

Another feature that Com2us seemed to nail with this title are the combo attacks, and while they aren’t as elaborate as Hybrid: Eternal Whisper, the controls handle the combos well.  There are parts of the game when the simplistic combo system is pretty much all you need, and all you really feel like accomplishing is hitting the monsters as fast and as many times as possible.

I haven’t gotten too far into the game as I’ve had trouble doing so, but the overall game seems to be shaping up.  I’m not a huge fan of the somewhat pixelated graphics, and the controls were a bit too small for my hand, even though I have some of the smallest hands in the history of man hands.  Either way, it’s a game that should definitely be on your watch when it is released.

Caligo Chaser has been submitted and should be available soon.  Fans of Hybrid Eternal Whisper will find this game to be a lot less complex, and it’s more of a game for casual gamers.  If you’re familiar with Inotia: Wanderer of Luone’s quest system, then you should be familiar with Caligo Chaser, as it’s basically going from one quest to another.

We should have a full review up once the game is released.