Twin Blades HD for iPad could be sharper

Jun 15, 2010
Games

The Twin Blades HD: The Reaping Vanguard iPad game ($4.99), developed by Bulky Pix, is a side-scrolling adventure that champions rich 2D graphics. The game’s protagonist is Sister Angelika, a scythe-wielding, provocatively dressed nun whose mission is to save neighboring villages by killing zombies. When night falls in story mode, the number of zombies per level […]

The Twin Blades HD: The Reaping Vanguard iPad game ($4.99), developed by Bulky Pix, is a side-scrolling adventure that champions rich 2D graphics. The game’s protagonist is Sister Angelika, a scythe-wielding, provocatively dressed nun whose mission is to save neighboring villages by killing zombies.

When night falls in story mode, the number of zombies per level increases dramatically. Specialized weapons, either provided or earned through the game’s upgrade system, are used to defeat specific zombie-types. For example, in the opening stages the scythe is a better choice than the revolver to decapitate the undead that wear pots for helmets and cookware for armor wielding a soup ladle is no match for a gun that fires exploding bullets.

In order to move on to the next level, Angelika must defeat a predetermined quota. Although somewhat illogical, once out of ammunition one must use the scythe in order to reload firearms.

Throughout the game Angelika must return to her monastery for weapon and skill upgrades, courtesy of Father Richiardo, her only known ally. She gains points for upgrades by collecting zombie hearts. It is irksome, though, that she does not have the ability to attack in the air by default. Granted, you most likely will not encounter flying zombies in Twin Blades HD and you can attain a jump attack move through upgrading. Other weapon upgrades include: ice gun, flame thrower, machine gun and holy beam.

This beat ’em up game excels in many areas, but it’s difficult to expect anything groundbreaking from an HD version of a popular iPhone game.  Twin Blades HD delivers sensational graphics; blood spatters the screen when Angelika takes out multiple zombies at once, an endearingly gruesome feature. The boss levels carry a heavy burden, as each is difficult to defeat using the game’s current control system, so prepare for cramped fingers.

The controls include the standard virtual joystick and two-button scheme–the latter both for attacking. Quite frankly, the joystick is too small, an issue I ran into during the very first boss battle against a gargantuan butcher. Shaking the device to break free from grappling zombies is another feature that does not translate well to the iPad.  The game becomes tedious in story mode due to the slow progression from level to level, considering that you will have to go back to past levels and fight off additional outbreaks of zombie hordes to advance. Survival mode is pretty bland as well.

Despite these novelties and minor infractions, this game does not add anything new to the side-scrolling formula. Yet it provides loads of gory fun and textured cartoon-visuals, making it worth your while. Still, one wonders if downloading the $2.99 iPhone version and playing it in an expanded iPad window makes the most sense.

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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