Infinity Blade: Hero of the Day (iPhone)

This is the story of an app that dared to be better than all the rest. This app, though just a game, dreamed to be the brightest star in the AppStore galaxy. Filled with tales of epic triumph and bloodthirsty battles, this story promises to be unlike any other. I of course am referring to the journey tale of “Infinity Blade”. This game is the first of its kind to hit the AppStore. It is the first “RPG” game to have the unreal game engine inside, and man I sure hope they make more use of it. This game features a very unique input system for commands, stunning graphics, and a sturdy backbone for building on to.

The controls for this game are some of the best I have seen on the AppStore game shelves. After the opening scene begins the in game tutorial, which is executed beautifully, you are taught how to control the actions on screen. In short the summary of the controls are this: when in battle, whichever way you swipe, is the direction that your character’s sword will fly. You can also use magic by tapping the icon in the upper right. The cleverness here though is in order to make casting simpler and quicker you are reminded at the bottom of the screen what spells your current equipped ring will allow you to cast, as well as what shapes you are to draw on screen. If your drawing roughly, and I do mean roughly, matches the symbol that is there on the bottom the spell is cast successfully. And while your enemy is swinging his sword wildly you can either dodge, by pressing the arrows in either bottom corner, or block by holding down the shield button in the middle. Another option is to parry. This is an option that most fighting games do not do, or at least they don’t do it well. This game however does this accurately to what one would really do in a sword fight. To parry you must simply swipe your blade in the direction that the hit is about to come from and at the right moment. This may sound tricky, but you get the hang of it soon enough. When not fighting, you can pan almost a full 360 degrees, just about as far as the human head can swivel, and examine the landscape for treasure or other possible paths for you to take. There is no joystick, no free movement, it is more like a point and click adventure in terms of movement, but this allows for superb video quality all around. To move somewhere, or engage in battle just tap the glowing blue dots on the screen that you find while panning about.

The graphics in this game are bar none the very best in the AppStore. It has even been said by one of my other testers to rival that of the Playstation 2. And I don’t think she was talking about crash bandicoot. I agree though the graphics are simply breath taking. The textures feel real, the sounds are good, and the scenery is as close to real as I ever dreamed possible on a portable device. I have seen PC quality games with worse graphics than what Epic Games has crammed into the iPhone. The graphics on the iPad are even better. I will say though, as a warning, stop after a while and reboot your device to free up some memory because after a while the graphics may slow, but I’ve not yet seen it affect game play.

While the story is almost non-existent, this game has a solid backbone for improvement. The game, if rated today without the promises of the coming soon button gives us, I’d rate this game at an 8. However, unlike other games, I am going to give a tentative score for this one. However, let me say the reasons why I am holding back. The first downside to this game is the story, or rather lack thereof. I can’t tell you much and keep it spoiler free so I will post that after for those who don’t care about spoilers. The story is very basic and very short. At the present moment, though Epic promises to expand on this later, the game is very short. You could play through it in a little over an hour, but part of the game dynamic is for you to play through the game several times. Cool thing though, after each reboot, you get to keep your equipment, EXP, and money. The next downfall to the game is the short game play also leaves me wanting more of the world of infinity blade to explore. I want to see more of this finely crafted and gorgeous world, but again they promise this too will come.

I am a patient man, to an extent, so I hope to see all that Epic promises to add into the game. I am also forgiving, and understanding, so I can see how they would cut the game short so that the game is a solid home run, even if not fully realized, as opposed to being complete, but only average. As such my final judgment, for the moment is a 9/10. If they make the story a little more involved when the App gets an update, and give me more world to play in, I will be giving it a perfect ten. So, come back in a while dear readers to see the update. For now though believe me when I say, forget the girlfriend, or if you’re a rare gaming girl, forget the boytoy, and spend 7 bucks on this instead of a movie night.

Game receives a 9 out of 10

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Spoiler Warning
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The story, for those who don’t mind a spoiler, is centered around your bloodline. The first character you play with is the patriarch of a line of warriors. You play the tutorial and die. During the FMV they tell us that your bloodline has been chosen, and that your descendants will serve the God King well. After your horrible demise, you see a new man take a hill and proclaim, in what I assume is Italian or Portuguese, “I will avenge you my father”, and it says tap to start bloodline. This is the first son of the first warrior, and after you play through the short dungeon to get to the God King, and more than likely die, you will see a reboot and the cycle begins again. Your son, now the second bloodline will begin. This will continue until you defeat the God King, and even then apparently you will send your child and his child, and so forth down the line, to avenge their fathers in turn. I am assuming that this is something of a momentary glitch. Epic games promises that you will soon see an update with even more dungeon space to explore and then it is more likely that you will have a proper ending. For now it is safe to say that the main goal of rebooting endlessly is to get your character up to par while they update new armors, weapons, and layouts for you. So, be patient, and look for updates later.

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