Infinity Blade - iPad Review

Infinity Blade was a title that caught my eye quite some time ago. As soon as trailers for it started to come out, I was smitten with the graphics and the reviews did not do much to discourage me from wanting to try it. They were generally ranging from pretty good to amazing depending on the reviewer. I picked this title up some time ago on sale, and with the recent release of Infinity Blade II, I figured this would be a good time to take a look at the original.

Graphics - 10:

This is a gorgeous game. Easily the prettiest I had seen on the iPad when I first got it. A couple of rivaled it since, but the fluid animations, lens flare effects and detailed environments really stand out and changed how a lot of people viewed iPad games.

Sound & Music - 6:

The sound effects are decent, and the music is pretty good - though it lacks much variety. I did run into a few quirks though, where once in awhile the sound would not play in my session until I closed the game out and restarted it.

Gameplay - 7:

More good than bad to be here. The swiping gestures work well most of the time, and I liked drawing out the magic sigils during combat. I felt like the menu was a bit clunky to get around in at times, and there were definitely times in combat where defensive gestures seemed to go wrong - especially dodging. Also, while the concept was interesting, more variety in the environment would have been greatly appreciated.

Intangibles - 7:

Fights don't take long, giving the game a nice quick-fix pick up and play feel. The progression system is pretty cool - I liked how maxing out gear increases value and gives you levels as it, like you, gains experience. I found myself using every single piece of gear along the way, even if it wasn't the best available, simply to take full advantage of the leveling system. Unfortunately, it does not take long to beat the God King, there is not a lot of variety in the enemies you fight, none of them are particularly difficult and the limited number of environments mean you will see and do it all pretty quickly. Another complaint? The game seems to crash somewhat frequently on my wife's iPad, requiring complete system reboots. Not every time, not even close - maybe 10% of the time, but that still seems too much.

Overall - 7.5:

In some ways, I would like to rank this game higher. I really enjoyed it quite a bit - it's one of my most heavily played iPad titles to date. But, it is not without some flaws - such as the crashing or the limited number of creatures and environs. Considering how cheaply the game can be acquired now, it's hard for me to suggest not acquiring it - though I have not yet played the sequel, which I have read is superior in almost every way and might prove a better investment.
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5 comments :

  1. I have to admit that those are some pretty sweet graphics. Have they tried patching the game to relieve the crashing?

    I have mixed feelings about portable gaming on iPads/smartphones. While it is pretty cool to see how far technology has progressed, it's also looking like we'll be seeing the end of handhelds from Nintendo, and that is just a sad thought (at least for me).

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  2. I am mixed on iPad gaming. My wife loves it, but she plays much more casual titles. Games like Madden just don't seem to translate well in my opinion. Infinity Blade has had some patches, but we have a first gen iPad and I think it just struggles to keep up with the engine. Fun game though in doses, though I've done everything there is to be done in it now.

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  3. I'm thinking of getting an iPad or some sort of tablet. The games look really fun! Nice review, sounds like my kinda game :)

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  4. I think games like Angry Birds, Tiny Wing and similar titles work extremely well on those devices. They are cheap games well worth their price in exchange for the hours wasted/enjoyed.

    As for your reviews, I really like the idea of including an Intangibles section. It seems like a good spot to put comments or critique that might not belong elsewhere in the review. Such as the bit about how the game crashes from time to time. Overall, this is a great review and would make me want to buy the game if I owned an iPad/phone, etc.

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  5. Thanks for the comments, guys!

    @Oliver - I do enjoy our iPad, though I will state my wife gets a lot more use out of it than I do. But the mobile access to games or online is awesome, and I like the screen far better than using a smartphone.

    @Parko - I agree completely - these sorts of games are a really low-priced way to spend some time. Most of them lack the depth or precision I look for in a major gaming title, but there is definitely fun to be had there.

    Thanks for the compliment about the intangibles too. It seemed like the perfect way to talk about things like the amount of content, or a particular part of the game that rubbed me wrong or struck a positive note for me. Gameplay, Graphics, Sound & Music - all integral parts of the gaming experience, but when I was coming up with my review system, I knew I needed something 'else' to help balance it out.

    Appreciate the comments!

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