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I went ahead and downloaded Infinity Blade II from the App Store today and played through the first 30 minutes or so of the campaign. For the most part IB2 is very similar in look and feel to the original, but there’s also a few improvements.  I definitely prefer the new inventory management screen to the first one, because it seems to flow much better with its layout.  The graphics do look a little sharper, but the difference isn’t great enough to make a claim that it’s like playing a PS3 game versus a PS2 game.  Regardless, it’s still a very impressive mobile app that needs to be played if you are an Apple-ite.

Infinity Blade 2 (As played on the iPad 2)

EB 9 out of 10 Buddhas

The Awesome: Simplicity, Mobile Visuals, Cost

The Not so Awesome: Buggy (Remember that this is day one, so bugs are to be expected), Repetitive

The Awesome

Simplicity

Infinity Blade 2’s controls are just as easy to pick up as the original’s.  If you have two fingers you can play this game, although this doesn’t mean that it’s simple either.  If you’ve played the first one you’re well aware of how hairy some of the later level fights can get, so just because this game only requires swiping gestures doesn’t mean it’s only meant for simpletons.  But in the same regard it’s still a great looking game that can be picked up and played by anyone, even non-gamers.

If you can swipe you can play this game

Mobile Visuals

Chair, with Epic’s guidance and Unreal Engine, have crafted another amazing looking mobile game.  You have to remember that this game is designed for use on smartphones and tablets, and not your traditional mobile gaming platforms like the PSP and 3DS.  That’s what makes the graphical excellence of this game even more impressive.  IB 2 easily looks better than anything I’ve ever seen on those two portable gaming devices, and it exemplifies why many gamers both traditional, and non-traditional, have started shying away from handheld systems in favor of smartphones and tablets.

I did notice a few sluggish moments with the visuals while certain cutscenes were playing, but it was nothing that a gamer isn’t used to.  I mean console games still exhibit this behavior, and their guts are much beefier than home consoles, so I can look past a portable tablet choking a little bit.  Outside of this small issue I have no complaints about this game’s visuals.  They’re easily on par with early next-gen games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you showed footage of this game to a complete n00b and they asked which console it is for.

Epic’s Unreal Engine proves once again why it’s a powerhouse in game design

Cost

The low cost of IB 2 has to be listed as an awesome trait.  For a measly $7 you can download a 1GB game that easily competes with $30-$40 games of traditional handheld gaming systems.  Best of all there’s no freaking disc to deal with either!  Who wouldn’t want a complete library of games already installed on their device while they travel?  No discs?  Yes please!  The fact that games of this quality are coming out for less than $10 makes me feel good to still be a gamer.  It’s nice to know that I can play games that could easily be confused with console titles for a fraction of the price that traditional games cost.  Chair is essentially giving you an amazing experience that will lasts for hours for the same price of a artery clogging value meal.

The Not so Awesome

Bugs

These days most games suffer from launch day bugs.  It seems to be the new norm in the gaming industry, so the fact that Infinity Blade 2 has a few bugs today doesn’t surprise me.  Many users are reporting that the game won’t run at all on the OG iPad.  To them I say get with the times and buy an A5 equipped iPad 2, because I don’t really think that this game was meant for the older Pads and Pods.  Luckily for them Chair is aware of the issue and working on a patch.  The only bug I experienced was the fact that when I first fired IB 2 up I couldn’t hear any SFX.  I was only getting background music, but after a restart I was back in business.

Repetitive

Just like the first IB the sequel also gets a little repetitive.  For an ADD gamer the gameplay can get a little old after an hour or so.  It’s a great game to kill some time here and there, but I don’t plan on ever sitting down with it for hours on end.  I think I’d end up stabbing my own eyes out due to the repetitive nature of the gameplay.  This doesn’t mean this game is no fun, because it is.  It’s just not a game that you set aside a weekend to play like you would with a console title.  For me it’ll be a time waster while on trips, or standing in a line, which is just fine with me.  Fellas, your significant others will love apps like this, because you won’t bother the hell out of them while standing in a line, or waiting in an airport.

Sometimes the simplicity in gameplay gets a bit repetitive

The Final Verdict

Infinity Blade II proves that console quality games can be made for nontraditional mobile gaming devices like the iPhone and iPad.  It’s simple to use controls and amazing visuals makes it the perfect app to show off to your poor a*s friends who don’t have these products.  Sure there are some day one bugs, but Chair is already hard at work addressing them, so in my book it’s a mute point.  Outside of the repetitive gameplay I really can’t find many faults to this iOS franchise.  For this I give Infinity Blade 2 an EB 9 out of 10 Buddhas.  If you’ve got the tools then you’ve got to download Infinity Blade II!  Check out a gam play trailer below and be envious!  You’ve been amazed at where mobile gaming is going…

Inside Infinity Blade 2 Gameplay

httpvh://youtu.be/po95N9oC_OA

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EB Original

IB 2 App Store Link

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Tags : ImpressionsInfinity Blade IIiOSUnreal Engine
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.