iPhone Game Review: Etolis: Arena
Reviewed by Epox
FacetStudios, a relatively new developer has just released a game published by Chillingo called Etolis: Arena. Dual-stick shooters are common on the app store, and there are only a few gems. Etolis offers a variety and a surplus of content to make their dual stick shooter worth it. They also added a few graphical tweaks to enhance the game even further. Etolis is one of the most polished dual stick shooters we?ve seen on the iOS so far.
There is a lot of gameplay in Etolis: Arena, it features modes like Dronez, Rockets, and Hammers. In Dronez you must battle against an endless horde of deadly drones while defending yourself using a variety of small arms. With Rockets, survive as long as you can, fending off your enemies with a ton of super explosive rockets! In Hammers you're gonna have to get in close and crush your foes with a giant hammer! But, oddly there is no story mode even though there is a story behind the game. There are 6 maps, where you can play each different game mode. All these add up to a beefy gameplay.
What would a dual shooter be if there were any power-ups to play for? Luckily Etolis offers 4 power-ups that will help you do better during battles. These power-ups, like with the maps and weapons in this game, need ?points? to unlock. You unlock these points by playing the game and killing some enemies. There are also 8 types of enemies, each with their own positives and negatives. Now, for the most important part of any shooter, the controls.
While the controls are quite simple to use, they don?t feel very responsive or as sharply as those in dual stick shooters like Minigore. This might have something to do with the game speed also. The game is a bit jerky, for example when you try to run during the heat of a battle, the game would just stop for a second. Though that?s not a long time but because of the dynamic lights used in this game, that quick second can cost you a life. Luckily, the developer has informed us that an update is in the works to fix the lags and address this issue. Can?t wait!
Other than the lag issue, Etolis: Arena is excellent in every other aspect. It delivers plenty of content to keep gamers busy and ton of replay opportunities. Another huge plus for the competitive gamers, is Gamecenter leaderboard and achievements (13 of them).
The graphics are absolutely gorgeous and work for the game nicely. The graphics show lots of details and are nicely rendered. The only downfall perhaps is that the graphics look similar to some other dual shooter games.
In the menu screen, your are greeted by a sort of sci-fi music. And during the gameplay, you hear a quick, fast paced sort of song. The menu screen music is actually more fun to listen to, but still the soundtrack shows great quality. The sound FX are also good and not annoying at all. If you get bored with the in-game music, well, you are out of luck. You can?t play your own iPod music while playing the game.
Etolis: Arena is a very well polished dual stick shooter, filled with lots of content, graphics and dynamic lighting. Dual stick fans will definitely like this thanks to the good replay value. The lagging issue will be addressed according to the developer. If you are not a hardcore dual stick shooter gamer, wait for the update to fix the lagging bug.
Graphics: - 4 -The gorgeous graphics work and look very well, but they are generic and not very unique, which is what the app store is all about.
Sound: - 5 - The in-game and menu music is very good and addicting.
Controls: - 4 - Controls are tough to master as it?s not very responsive.
Gameplay: - 4 - Even with all the lag issues and the not very good shooting controls, it is still a good shooter and fun to play.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Some things I recommend while playing this game is to use the power-ups effectively and to use the surroundings to your advantage.
Developer / Publisher: FacetStudios / Chillingo
Release Date: Feb 2, 2011
Buy App: Etolis: Arena
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Changes in 1.01:
Significant increased performance
Significant optimization and reduction in memory usage
A new map named Penthouse
Camera movement updates and refinement. Standard camera is now default.
Lower point costs for game types and levels
New in game menus and death screens (now shows kills, rounds, and points at end).
Control options presented before every game
Updated balancing to be easier for beginners and quicker to reward.
New iPad controls size options (1x, 1.5x, 2x)
Option to turn dynamic lights on/off
Some character animation smoothing
Now shows time and battery usage in the in game menu
Various other bug fixes and optimizations
A recent update to the app Etolis: Arena made the game much more playable and a lot more fun. Before, the update the game was laggy and was really boring to play. Thanks to a recent update the overall game-play is much more smooth and fluid. The controls are a lot sharper and easier to use while in the midst of a battle. Though, the game-play still is a little slow (you will see this when you are running), the update makes the game worthy its money. Also, in this update another map was added and the developer says more is to come.
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