Tag Archives: Madfinger Games

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.

Likes

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.

Dislikes

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.

Samurai II Vengence Review: Cell-Shaded Graphics, Heads Flying in All Directions

There aren’t too many cut-throat, violent games on the App Store. Nor are there many games that feature the aesthetic beauty of hand-painted, cell-shaded graphics. Samurai 2 Vengence by Madfinger Games is such a game and a wonderful brawler to boot. The action can get very intense and the visuals are truly gorgeous here. To those who haven’t played the original and who have a weak heart, be warned however. Samurai 2 has some violent gameplay – compromised of decapitating the enemies’ heads, arms, and bodies in half as well as unleashing rapid combos in all directions at them. The way decapitation works is sometimes the game slows down allowing you to swing the sword and if it hits an enemy a decapitation takes place.

You are a Samurai bent on a mission to save villagers from an evil human-demon hybrid named Orochi that gained power from the underworld after escaping capture. The story isn’t going to win awards but it is well presented through cutscenes in between the game’s seven chapters. Gameplay consists of using keystroke-combinations of two virtual attack buttons to take on enemies ranging from those using bows and arrows to samurai with swords. As you defeat enemies and break barrels you can purchase additional attacks or combinations — as well as health via the points you acquire.

Besides fighting your way up to Orochi there are also obstacles to overcome like wooden spikes or blades coming from the ground. The camera sometimes changes angles and direction and there is a nice variety of level layouts as you progress through chapters.

Likes

Presentation: The game has incredible presentation and production values for an iDevice app — and is an Universal App. From the game’s melodies giving the game flair and mood of the Far East to the beautiful visuals and colors to moving platforms. Control is also really well done with a virtual analog and two different attack buttons as well as a roll. The graphics are just pure eye candy and I don’t think I’ve seen anything that matches this on the iDevices yet. The controls with the touch analog and various button inputs like dodging-rolling are very well implemented and keep the game fresh. This isn’t just an average brawler type game, but one with art and style and some great gameplay. The game is no cake walk and has various difficulty settings for different kinds of players but is aimed at the less casual crowd.

Variety of gameplay: There is a Dojo game mode in addition to the main storyline where you fight hordes of enemies including Orochi himself with no continues and this should be a nice addition for gamers who already beat the main storyline.

The game’s pace flows real well between fights because of a variety of gameplay elements besides combat. For example, I had to navigate obstacles coming at me with spikes and move platforms to advance as the camera zoomed in various ways showing the game’s aesthetics.

Dislikes

No block button: I Don’t like the fact the enemies can block various swings with the sword but I couldn’t. A block option as another input would have been nice but the roll does the job as well although sometimes it can get redundant to constantly use it during larger battles when every hit against enemies will be returned five fold. Some options to mix strategies up with a block would be great.

Lack of multiplayer: Although GameCenter support is included with leaderboards and some other network options, online multiplayer would be a blast to play with a co-op campaign on the hardest difficulty setting and versus battles against rival Samurai is missing as well.

Length: The game is not long and shouldn’t take more than a handful of hours to finish even with the high difficulty on anything beside the easiest setting.

Overall, Samurai 2 Vengence is a very solid game that shows the potential of the kinds of games the iDevices can handle despite lacking the processing power of a PC or modern console. I played this on my iPad and the game felt incredible in every aspect. The developers are also listening to the community and adding updates like they have with a lower difficulty setting. I highly recommend the title to any serious gamers not turned off by decapitations and blood — as there is plenty here.

Samurai II: Vengence was developed by Madfinger Games, and I played through version 1.0.3 on my iPad.  The price is $2.99.


‘Samurai: Way of the Warrior HD’ Released into the App Store

Samurai Way of the Warrior, developed by Madfinger Games, brought about an intuitive control mechanism using only one finger, putting the iPhone’s touchscreen to a whole new level.  It also included some bloody and quite gruesome gameplay, along with some soothing katana action.

The HD version, a version we’ve had a hands-on preview of, was released today on the App Store, including an all new Dojo mode exclusive to the iPad.  SWOW also includes more animations, updated graphics, wounds, and settings.  While I didn’t quite notice more animations and such, the HD version should be of interest to anyone who hasn’t played the iPhone game.

Samurai Way of the Warrior HD is available now for $4.99.

Hands-On with ‘Samurai: Way of the Warrior HD’

Madfinger Games released one of our favorite games for the iPhone not too long ago, named as Samurai: Way of the Warrior.  The whole theme or description of the game is that you’re a samurai slicing up all the baddies.  It’s simple enough, but wait until you hear the control method.

This is one feature that was touted as original and unique, and it has definitely lived up to its uniqueness.  You use one finger to move your character and slice the bad guys; either horizontally or vertically.  It’s so simple, in fact, that you don’t even have to be paying attention and the controls will just naturally come to you.

And with the iPhone game now on the iPad, things got even bigger.  The one-finger control method is still there, but you have more flexibility to move around.  Along with that, the graphics have been largely HD-ified to look great on the 9-inch screen.

While there hasn’t been anything new added, the developers promise to bring some new things such as a new Dojo mode once the game launches.  We’ll see if that really happens or not, but for now, this is one game worth looking forward to.  If you haven’t played the iPhone version, I would just suggest you wait for the iPad one; it’s glorious.