Infinity Blade – (iPad)

As the first entry of this blog, I guess I should explain why we’ve decided to start writing about some of the games that we’ve played. And you can read all about it here.

Now on to the review:

Developer: Chair
Platform: iPad ($5.99)

(Spoiler Alert)

Now, I’m not a die hard Apple fan, but I must admit that they do make sleek gadgets. And I caved into buying a 1st generation iPad, with the release of the iPad 2, causing great drops in ebay prices. Being a gamer, the first app I bought was obviously a game. Plants vs Zombies. A good game. Not outstanding, but entertaining enough for me to make me ignore a few minutes of a soccer match while I decapitate some undead scum with frozen veggies. It encouraged me enough to purchase another app that was priced in the more ‘premium’ price range. And that was Infinity Blade. After all, 1400 5 star ratings can’t be wrong. Right?

So I tap the red icon with a artistically silhouetted sword, with expections of great things raised by the impressive screenshots and the customer reviews. A flashy loading screen continues to impress me, followed by a reasonably well-contrived tutorial that serves as an intro to the context of Infinity Blade: Some unknown warrior challenges the authority of the god king of the game world, and quickly finds out that he is way out of his league. He is cut down by king, who is wielding the (surprise surprise) Infinity Blade. His soul(?) is used for unknown purposes, perhaps stored in the blade.

First impressions are good. Graphics are much more impressive than what I would have expected on an iPad. They aren’t overdone, nor are they toned-back to support higher performance. They deliver a lush effect that is nice to look at.

InfinityBlade01

Sweet looking loading screen. This game must be great!

The combat is simple, yet effective. Watch where a person is going to strike you, and either block it with your shield, parry his blow, or dodge it by tapping the left or right of the screen. Avoid the attack in any number of these ways, and eventually you will find an opening to attack your foe with a great number of strikes, that you perform by swiping the screen. Cool stuff.

The game then starts to reveal more of the storyline: That you are actually the son of the late poor soul who was utterly pwned by the god king earlier on. And obviously, vengeance is what you seek. Take a moment to admire the work that Chair has put into creating an amazing looking castle where the god king resides.

InfinityBlade03

Dont worry. Your shield is ridiculously strong and can absorb the impact of that axe.

So I go about, killing my first foe without much trouble, as should be the way at the start of the game. I click on a couple of points to venture further into what continues to look more and more like a very well-designed level, picking up a few sacks of gold along the way. I dispatch another foe, and follow the prompts to level up some of my skills. I randomly assign them, thinking that I will learn more about the XP system later on as I venture on into the world of infinite blade.

At this point, I should talk about the foes. They are well animated and designed. Every time you see an axe swinging toward you, it looks as if it will crush that pathetic excuse of a shield that you wear around your arm, into a thousand little smithereens. This game continues to impress.

I continue journeying around a well beautifully rendered castle (that maybe is a tiny little bit bare) while slashing through a few guards on the way. I then decide to take a toilet break, so I quit out so that I can surf the net while sitting on the throne.

After my 5 minutes of bowel-clearing, and before starting up Infinity Blade once again, I head back to the app store and I think to myself: “This is a good game. No way I can give it a bad rating. Graphics are good, Gameplay is good. Very well thought out.” And I proceed to rate it well. 5 stars!

I then carry on into the world of Infinity Blade, and realize that my character is in the throne room of the god king. “Hmm. An early meeting with your nemisis, to set the pace of the story no doubt.” I told myself. I then proceed to dispatch both the champion of the god king and the level 50 god king. And suddenly… in 12 minutes. I have completed the game.

…………

I wait for the credits. There has to be more.

…..

It doesn’t take me long to realize that there isn’t more. With just barely learning how to fight, I have already completed the game. Some god king! I stuff around a bit more, and it restarts another character for me, that has the same equipment and level as my old one. They want me to go back in there, kill harder enemies, and fight the same god king, only that he is now level 100 instead of level 50. Whoop-tee-doo. (Ok, granted, as I try to face him again, I realize that I probably just lucked out incredibly the first time I met him.)

You can continue playing a completely identical restart of the game, with newer equipment, and at a higher level. And every time I try to, I just get more infuriated with the fact, that it is EXACTLY the same 12-15 minute routine, but at higher levels.

InfinityBlade02

My stupid Dad. Why on earth would he want to enter such a scary looking castle?

I am not going to deny that the way my Infinity Blade experience panned out probably has a lot to contribute to why I disagree with this game so much. If I was defeated by the god king, and had to slowly train my way up to levels 20-40 before killing the poor chap (who seems to be doomed to sitting there, watching mediocre warriors come up against his authority. Because I have walked around his castle like 20 times, and believe me there is nothing to do there), I probably would have had a slightly better opinion of this game. After all, it has amazing graphics, and gameplay that relies on skillful hand-eye coordination and even a small role-playing element to it. The fact that 1400 people, including dozens of rave reviews by respectable game reviewers have also probably put this game on a pedestal too high for my liking. It also just goes to show how much the visual packaging of a game can influence the initial impressions of a person.

But this review is for those of us who feel hurt, disappointed and maybe even slightly cheated by the fact that our total satisfying Infinity Blade experience lasted a whole 12 minutes for $5.99. (And still managed to deceive us into giving it a high rating.)

Score: 6.5/10

Review by Black Cows

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4 Responses to “Infinity Blade – (iPad)”


  1. 1 Jose June 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

    It makes sense, so much graphics in just half a giga… thanks for letting us know!

    • 2 cows and crows June 26, 2011 at 6:06 am

      Thanks Jose, we do our best! Stop by again.

  2. 3 Jose July 16, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I have now played the game, and found that there is so much more to it. I hope you haven’t deleted it, because this is what comes next once you passed the God King:

    -You are then able to buy Infinity Blade the sword, and open the chambers down below the castle to fight 4 really difficult characters, the last one being incredibly touch as its very quick.

    -Magic, acquisition power and wealth grow as you go through the bloodlines, giving you a better chance to fight the God King and the final characters.

    The fact that there is so much gear to go through in the game makes it even more exciting. By far one of the best games I have ever played, for the graphics, the gear, the intuitive controls and, against popular opinion, a surprise awaiting in the chambers down below…

    All the best

    Jose

    • 4 cows and crows July 22, 2011 at 8:02 am

      Thanks for pointing it out Jose.
      Yes, it took me a while to get over my initial angst of defeating the god king early, and I have played down to those 4 monsters.
      I should probably do a second review of it, now that I am over my initial disappointment.


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