May 26, 2010

Apps Weekly: Battle Bears Zombies + Phoenix Wright

Sometimes, you'll encounter a few people on the Internet who happen to have a twisted sense of humor. The developer for this game is probably one of them.

Battle Bears: Zombies!
Skyvu Pictures, Inc.
Free, $1.99
Requires iPhone 2.0 or later, rated 9+

When you look at a teddy bear, what comes to your mind? Aside from Teddy Ruxpin, you'll probably envision a world of adorable plush toys with bug eyes and small arms. But what happens when these adorable creatures become a bit too sickeningly sweet? This is where rogue teddy bear Oliver comes to the spotlight. You, as the player will be tasked with mowing down all the Care Bears that stand in your way, lest you want to get hugged to death.

Battle Bears: Zombies is a shoot-em-up that revels in its sick sense of humor. As you aim for the head and tap to take that shot, you'll soon be seeing a consecutive series of rainbows that substitute blood out of the plush heads of those sickeningly adorable bears who just wish to give you a hug.

Like MacGyver you'll be improvising your weapons by picking up some reindeer dung or some bear body parts to make for some ammunition for flamethrowers, and the like.

Along the way, you'll encounter several huge bosses who all take a matter of you getting used to their patterns and shooting them with some special weapon you pick up.

Most of the game's cutscenes are voiced and animated in a 2D style with a pretty over-the-top vibe and a rather unremarkably tongue-in-cheek contrast of colors.

There's just something about the shooting that feels unsatisfactory. There's a novelty in shooting bears in the head and seeing them bleed out rainbows (thus proving that unicorns do sh*t out rainbows and glitter) but after a lot of waves I just found myself getting tired of it. Maybe a little more tweaking with the "feel" of the weapons and the game would be a total recommendation. As of now though, maybe you can give the free version a try before taking the plunge towards the paid version.

Rating: 6.5/10

For our preview section, we have a little favorite of mine for the DS: Phoenix Wright. You've probably heard me rave about it again and again and again and again, but this time, maybe I won't be all nice about it. You know why?

Because it's a lazy old port.

While I have to admit that Phoenix Wright would be a better fit for the iPhone since the graphics wouldn't look as blurry as the disrespectful WiiWare port, the game is just the same game for the DS that was released about 5-6 years ago. It's true that gamers who weren't able to catch up to the now out-of-print original DS version will finally have a chance to get this once-rare gem in its preserved, authentic form, but Capcom doesn't have an excuse not to at least give the game a bit of a facelift. Redraw some elements here, reconfigure some elements there, maybe even add one additional case, and the game would be a huge draw for the existing fanbase.

That said, the original DS game was once $40, and the iPhone game is sold at the introductory price of $5. FIVE. If you're a newbie to the series, the game is a huge value, because most of the cases involve long, long, long sessions of pointing, clicking, and busting contradictions as well as great dialogue to match, but returning fans don't have much reason to give this port a new whirl-around.

Even then, I'm still playing through this game, if only because I love it that much.

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