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What makes a good RPG / Dungeon Crawler? If you were to ask someone like myself, who almost never plays them, it would be one that appeals to the masses in its gameplay encompassing something for everyone, not being to in depth to understand what the heck is going on, and having an even level progression and gripping storyline.
Orc: Vengeance, Chillingo’s latest fledgling entry to these adventures, is something that caught my eye from its initial release, and even being somewhat adverse to the genre, I thought I would give it a go. Mind you, the last time I dug into a similar title was Aralon: Sword and Shadow. I am certainly glad that I hit that Buy and Install button!
The story of Orc is actually a worthy one, even with other reviews saying that it may fall into the cliche category, with you taking on the guise of an Orc Warchief, Rok, who’s homeland clan, Argon, is threatened by the ever flourishing ‘Dark One’. Your objective is to take on said damnable force and breach their stronghold head on, and put an end to this evil that was actually brought on by the now mortified humans. There are a variety of cutscenes that tell the story, but the more interesting way the chronicle is told is via strewn about books that you find similar to loot.
The graphics are gorgeous. The animations are top notch, and the backgrounds are all exquisitely detailed. The framerate never suffers, and I can definitely say this is one of the prettier games I have had the pleasure of playing while maintaining such a great framerate.
The loot system is downright perfect, with the enthusiast never feeling the urge to even glance at the all to existent and optional IAP system. Each enemy you destroy drops some coins, and there are also treasure chests impeccably placed around each level. Another way to earn loot is to pick up dropped weapons from your defeated enemies, and sell them to the vendor whom you are prompted to visit upon each level completion. You can also hit the main menu at anytime, go to the vendor, and select the level you were on and you’ll be returned to the last checkpoint.
The weapons and shields have the typical attributes such as speed, opposing weapon upgrade capabilities, and defense powers. The weapons are all fun and unique, and I personally thought that having the biggest, baddest weapon was the best and didn’t care that it was the slowest. Their are limited inventory slots to use, which may be a put off to some, but I found the ones available to be plenty.
The leveling system is standard fare as well; attack, defense, greed (ie. coin % earned), and vengeance. Vengeance is a key component to your combat as it is limited in supply, although is replenished over time, and is what is drained when doing your advanced combat ‘Skill’ moves. These skills are found in chests, so it is key to explore, something I found pleasure in and I think adds to the game. You can upgrade all of the skills, everything from the blizzard slam attack to the replenish health points, and this is based on your character’s current level.
The combat is awesome. The interface is made up of a tap to move system, and the combat/skills are similar in using swipes and other gestures. You are allowed up to four(4) inventory gestures; I used two combat skills, and two for health/vengeance upgrades. Some may question the use of the touch to move interface as opposed to a joypad, but I can confirm that it works fine.
Combat scenes are extraordinary. Everything stops for a second, sort of a cutscene, and you will feel your adrenaline surge until Rok bangs on his shield as if to say ‘Bring it!’
The adversaries will certainly gang up and smother you if you don’t keep moving, which really add to the urgency of the combat scenes. The adventure has a great sense of pacing in that you will have an insanely intense battle scene, a perfectly placed checkpoint, and then you will be allowed to explore for a while to loot and upgrade etc. I found great pleasure in not having to battle back to back, well, not until the final few chapters anyway, but that’s to be expected when you’re getting close to your villain.
If there is one fault of Orc, is that the foray went by all too quickly with the entire game taking me roughly 4-5 hours. I certainly think that the money spent was entirely worth it however. Those looking for an all around dungeon crawler with amazing retina visuals, fast paced combat, and great albeit not too in depth character and weapon leveling up systems will find a great time with Orc and I highly recomend it to those new to the genre, as well as to the seasoned Hack n Slash veterans.
GooMonsters is a new top-down hack-n-slash game from DigitallyBold, the makers of Fly Away Rabbit, which was on the CNET 100 in 2010. With their success of Fly Away Rabbit,DigitallyBold has set their standards pretty high. GooMonsters is a great example of that. In GooMonsters, you play as a girl who ends up stranded on a remote island in the middle of the ocean. When you come to, you realize that your dog has gone missing, and that there’s tracks leading off to the distance. Following them, you find your dog, only to see him right before he’s taken away by a Goo Monster. Now, you need to battle the Goos in order to save your dog,Fluffy.