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Free Games: Yay or Nay? War 2 Victory

Originally posted BY  MYASHARONA at Gamerfitnation.com 

War 2 Victory

Based on the hit WAR2 browser game with 3,000,000 monthly active users across multiple platforms, the FREE MMO strategy game War 2 Victory now lands in the App Store. Seek honor and glory in the battlefields of WWII. Take charge of either Allied or Axis forces and build a lone outpost into a mighty war machine.

Build, Expand, and CONQUER!

War 2 Victory By LiangBangChuangYe Investment Consulting Co Ltd is available for free on your iphone but is it worth the download?

The game is available for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later and boasts the following features:

  • Expert battle system. Rapid turn-based combat puts you in charge, allowing intricate control of over 30 historically accurate units. Crush your enemies with massed infantry, a blitzkrieg of tanks, swooping bombers, mighty battleships, or stand unconquerable behind an invincible line of fortifications.
  • Detailed Resource Management. Control multiple cities, each producing a variety of resources, and manage a growing workforce. Build up your industry, feed your army, and turn your citizens into soldiers or factory workers.
  • Develop new technologies to unlock powerful new units, strengthen old ones, or boost your industry.
  • Play with hundreds of people across the globe from your iPhone. Form powerful alliances with fellow players to crush your opponents and wage epic wars against other alliances.
  • Intuitive missions system guides you through your early development, assuring you get right into the action.
  • Absolutely free to download and play, no tricks! In game “speed-ups” that allow you to progress faster are available but there is no exclusive content.

Expecting an mmo experience that would have me involved for substantial intervals I quickly came to realize that this was not the case with War 2 Victory. Instead of my usual play through War 2 Victory became my ‘wait time’ companion; meaning that whenever I was in a situation in the real world where I was required to wait for something I opened up the game. For the better part of a month I played this game in small bursts but never really felt that I was using the experience to its full potential.

Ifanzine.com posted an extensive and in depth review of the app game (here) in which the reviewer states that

“A better way of framing War 2 Victory would be to describe it as a deep construction and management simulation with a helping of territorial conquest on the side – think of it as SimCity with Sherman tanks thrown in for good measure.” –ifanzine.com

I whole heartedly agree. During my time time almost all of my attentions where given to leveling up my resources, managing soldiers, troops, politicians, as well as collecting and selling resources while upgrading my technology and structures.

There is a great level of detail in the game surrounding the management simulation and I certainly enjoyed this aspect of the game. My only foul with the system is the surprisingly long time it takes for your management to take place. If you decide to upgrade your city hall or marketplace you will find an estimated time of completion pop up in the top right of the screen. As an app game I was surely shocked the first time I saw this ETA pop up with an estimated time of 2 hours or more. For me this meant closing the app and coming back to it later to ensure it had completed to my satisfaction.

Scrolling along the bottom of the screen is the real time chat. Don’t forget that others are playing this game with you! I found it very easy to get caught up in my city/troops’ development and forget this aspect. I rarely engaged in the ‘mmo’ features of the game. And while I may not have utilized it to the fullest potential, War 2 Victory, supports its community. You can find evidence of continued game and community support with frequent improvements and even active responses via facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/war2victory?sk=wall).

So back to the question at hand: War 2 Victory By LiangBangChuangYe Investment Consulting Co Ltd is available for free on your iphone but is it worth the download?

If you like micro management and creation and development in your game alongside short bursts of play throughout your day, I say sure! But it may be a pass to those looking for intense world war II battles and the chance to meet players whom you will continue to game with.

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Free from Square Enix: Imaginary Range

Imaginary Range from Square Enix is a unique playable story that makes a formidable attempt to marriage sequential story telling with casual gameplay. Although short, and easy, the game elements are interjected within the story of a comic at intervals that help propel the story forward.  Like all things Square Enix the artwork is eye catching and undoubtedly worth the App Store price tag of free.

Described by Square Enix as a “full-color comic that includes a selection of mini-games inserted within the flow of the plot [in order to immerse] gamers alongside the cast as they proceed through the story”, Imaginary Range is a pleasant push away from conventional app presentation.

“The project was overseen by Motomu Toriyama, director of FINAL FANTASY® XIII, with Souki Tsukishima, author of the novel Emeth: Ningyo-tsukai no Shima, who wrote the story. The art was handled by Toshiyuki Itahana, character designer for the FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES® series.”-SquareEnix. 

The mini games in this release are simple, easy, but somehow still effective in achieving an overall cohesiveness. As you read your way through the comic you are encouraged to  collect special content, similar to the collectable stickers in a game like Little Big Planet. Collecting special content does, of course, open up even more options that become available as you finish and advance. The mini games consist of picture puzzles and missile shooters and are always quick enough so as not pull your from the story’s plot for too long. While the games might be quick they are also very easy, almost insultingly so, and so the entire experience shouldn’t be expected to last you hours upon hours.

The comic itself is interactive and eye catching with an overly complex storyline. Set in France, as it is attacked by an enigmatic menace, the comic features a cast that can freely jump between reality and the world of dreams. The characters are, of course, slightly more sexualized than necessary and seem to embrace all the drama of their situation with the bit of quirky light heartedness that you would expect from any manga you might be reading. In a recent press release Square Enix described the story with the following statement:

“The nation of France remains in a state of complete chaos after a sudden attack by a giant creature known only as Omega. Cid, a technician and psychotherapy specialist, travels into France and works alongside his friend Ciela to put a stop to the menace. What is Omega after? Why are Cid and Ciela talking about the end of the world as they fight? At the end of a battle that transcends dreams and reality, the world will come closer and closer to the truth.”

The English words appear to have been integrated into the app at a higher resolution than the artwork itself, making the thin crisp lines of the speech bubbles a little jolting compared to the soft lines of the artwork. In some instances the Japanese characters that remain part of the original artwork, alongside the French characters that appear in some settings, make for three languages in a single sequence and small details such as that will either add or take away from your experience, depending upon your position on such an eclectic visual mix.

Imaginary Range from Square Enix is FREE in the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users and a recent post at the Square Enix Blog indicates that an Android version will be available very VERY shortly. With a price tag of free you just can’t lose, but don’t expect much more than an interesting mix of sequential art mediums. In a recent review TouchArcade even went as far as to predict “that Squeenix might be releasing this to give us a taste, then either sell additional “issues” either as separate apps or in-app purchase”. Whatever the case, a beefier more challenging experience from Imaginary Range would only further the structure they have started to build with this comic-game hybrid.

Be sure to check back at the Official Imaginary Range Website for details about the android release.