Super Crazy Wars iPhone app blends RPG elements with classic beat-’em-up action

Feb 6, 2011
Action

If nothing else, Super Crazy Wars has history on its side. From classics like Final Fight, Fatal Fury, Contra and Battletoads, time has proven that gamers love a side-scrolling beat-’em-up game like no other. The allure is simple: When done right, the beat-’em-up is easy to get into, but usually insanely difficult by the game’s […]

If nothing else, Super Crazy Wars has history on its side. From classics like Final Fight, Fatal Fury, Contra and Battletoads, time has proven that gamers love a side-scrolling beat-’em-up game like no other. The allure is simple: When done right, the beat-’em-up is easy to get into, but usually insanely difficult by the game’s end, providing both the cathartic experience of blowing away a screen of enemies like John Rambo, as well as the rewarding challenge of beating something that feels insurmountable at times.

Super Crazy Wars does the genre proud, providing a few new key wrinkles to a classic formula. For starters, there’s a robust upgrade system in place. Players start with one character (and can add a few more to their repertoire), and will accrue money and experience points that can be used to upgrade weapons and skills. The homage to fantasy-based RPGs, complete with a mana meter used for special attacks, serves Super Crazy Wars well by providing an added layer of depth to break up what could be a monotonous time, endlessly clearing screens of bad guys.

Gameplay achievements aside, what most benefits Super Crazy Wars on the iPhone might be an in-game save feature that’s available at the beginning of every stage. Players can clear a stage or two in a few minutes of downtime, quickly save, and then return to the game at their own convenience. It’s an obvious inclusion in this generation of gaming, but it’s still great for someone who remembers scribbling 16-digit passwords.

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Visually, there’s a certain pop to the app. It would be a hearty stretch to say Super Crazy Wars boasts amazing visuals for an app game, but they do look very good. The game moves quickly, and controlling characters and firing weapons feels almost instantly natural. A good variety of colors and level backgrounds tops off a solid visual presentation.

The biggest thing working against Super Crazy Wars is probably its genre. Beat-’em-up games in the 3D realm, like say a God of War, tend to throw in more puzzles and some truly stunning visuals. In that sense, this app is a bit of a throwback, but it’s a worthy throwback. It doesn’t feel hashed together or sloppily done. If you’re looking for a Contra substitute, Super Crazy Wars could be just what the doctor ordered.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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