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Quick review: Espgaluda II for the iPhone July 21, 2010

Posted by Cesar in gaming me.
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I have to be honest: I’m slightly biased when talking about Espgaluda II. First of all because I love vertical scrolling shooters. And second because Guwange and ESP Ra.De., two old school shooters also developed by Cave, are in my top 3 together with Treasure‘s Ikaruga (which tops the list).

But bias aside, if possible, Cave did a great job with Espgaluda II for the iPhone. In a world where wide screens dominate the market (in Brazil I even had a rotating wall mount just to play Ikaruga with my LCD sideways), the portrait layout of mobile devices provide a great alternative for shoot’em up games to emerge again. And Espgaluda II delivers.

To be perfectly honest, if you played Espgaluda or ESP Ra.De. you’ll feel some déjà vu. The games are very similar in nature. But that’s not a bad thing, because Espgaluda II is awesome. The graphics are great, the controls are very responsive and there are more bullets on the screen than you can imagine.

Among these factors, the controls are possibly the most interesting. Analog sticks on the iPhone are very awkward. So Espgaluda II follows suit with other successful touch based shooters, like Space Invaders Infinity Gene and rRootage, allowing you to drag your character with your finger. And it works very well. But look at the screenshots above. Notice the border around the game screen? In Espgaluda II you can set the game screen to 3 different sizes and none of them fill up the whole screen. I suspect the reason for that is a proportion difference between the original arcade version and the iPhone port. But it ends up working very well. You see, you might not have noticed, but our fingers are not transparent. And until they become at least translucid, our moving our fingers always hide something on the screen. In manic shooters, it can be very frustrating to die because your forefinger is hiding the killing bullet. You get used to avoiding that, of course, but in Espgaluda II you don’t have to, because you can place your fingers on the bottom border of the screen, which is not part of the play area.

The other great aspect of the game is that it is freaking hard, as you would expect from a Cave manic shooter. Of course you can keep tapping continue and get to the end fairly quickly. But that’s the cheap way to play, it is not how these games are supposed to be approached. The idea is to resist temptation and get as far as possible with your original 3 lives and nothing more. If you do that I assure you: it will be a very long road until you finish this one on the hard difficulty.

So to sum it all up: if you like manic scrolling shooters and you own an iPhone, Espgaluda II is definitely a must buy.

See you space cowboys…

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Comments»

1. Wallace - July 23, 2010

I still haven’t finished it. All 3 lives go away on last boss =/ (but hey, if I just manage to keep 1 of them…)

Cesar - July 24, 2010

Way better than me. I only get to stage 4 :(
Hehehe…

2. CritAnime - July 24, 2010

Nice review ;)

Cesar - July 26, 2010

Thanks dude.

3. mx - August 25, 2010

nice.. about games: have you seen this openpandora.org ?

Cesar - August 26, 2010

Wow that is weird. I never heard of it but looking at the website I confess I have little to no faith. How can a platform like that compete with the likes of DS and PSP?

But success aside, it is very interesting.


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