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iPad Game Review: CF Defense HD
      #37978 - 07/26/10 10:10 AM

iPad Game Review: CF Defense HD
Reviewed by JadeDragon

Cross Fire Defense, or now called CF Defense for the iPhone was a popular game. With the CF Defense HD, iPad gamers can now defend their beaches on a larger screen, and believe me when I say this: it produces a completely different and immersive gaming experience thanks to the iPad screen. CF Defense is a Beachhead type of game where you are placed in a bunker with a heavy machinegun and your job is to slaughter anyone who dares to set food on your beach. Let the bloodshed begin!

Gameplay

Think of your iPad as the window of your bunker with a full view to the beach you are defending, and your iPad itself as a machinegun. The game uses accelerometer for aiming which works extremely well. There are large on-screen buttons for firing a machinegun and an artillery gun; and there is also a radio icon to call for backup which you won?t use often. As you tilt your iPad to aim, a crosshair helps you with accuracy. Enemy units come from the water (just walking out of water), from amphibious landing crafts dropped off by cruisers, and from the sky parachuting onto the beach. Most of the units are infantry and they must get very close to the fence to shoot at your post. After a few levels, you will see some officer type of units who can shoot from the beach and take many more hits than the infantry units when you try to take them down. Then you have side-saddled motorcycles, armored cars and more, each type is harder to kill than the last.

CF Defense has sophisticated weapon upgrade paths. Both machine gun and artillery offer a great number of upgrades, and the weapon system purchase menu is very well designed. The machinegun in CF Defense is your bread and butter weapon with unlimited ammo and it deserves higher priority in your upgrade path. You can increase the speed of the firing, the number of bullets in a clip, power level and area of your shots. The first 5 levels or so in the game you won?t have much need for these upgrades, but after level 10 in any difficulty level, you will have a hard time to survive if you don?t upgrade your machinegun. Since you won?t get rich in completing the levels, you do have to manage your money wisely since you will need your hard earned money for weapons, health and calls for backup. Luckily in machinegun upgrades, you unlock different upgrades with time, i.e. at level 5, 10 and 15 you unlock clip upgrade, power upgrade and area upgrade respectively, so you don?t spend your money all at once.



Artillery upgrade isn?t as essential in the first 10 levels or so in Easy and Normal modes, but once the vehicle starts to get on the beach, it becomes more important. You can hit the amphibious landing craft before they let out the troops with artillery, saving you a lot of time and bullets shooting the large number of troops the landing crafts carry. You will need to buy the shells after the initial patch that game starts you with, and upgrade its speed and power. They are not cheap either, so make sure you balance your war budget. We experienced a bug where the artillery aiming went on the fritz some times and didn?t hit where you aim. Other things competing for your money include backup and health. Backup works like nuke, once it?s called, it will pretty much annihilate everyone on the beach and in the water. You might still have a couple of paratroopers but they are very easy to take out after everyone else is gone. There are 10 levels of health, when all of them gone, the game is over. However with careful planning, you can save money to buy health levels back. Again these costs are very high, and after you upgrade machinegun and get some artillery shells, you will be hard pressed to have enough money to buy more backups or health. So don?t rely on the backup, only use it as the last resort.

While the game is stingy with money, it does give you another way to collect more ammo, artillery shells and health. They are called paratroopers. When the enemy paratroopers are still in the air hanging on their parachutes, you can shoot them. Most of the time they will be just dead paratroopers, but some carry goodies like ammo, shells and even health. So while your primary targets are on the beach advancing closer and closer, you can rake in big rewards if you spare a few seconds to shoot the paratroopers.

There are three difficulty levels in CF Defense and the AI puts some distance between the difficulty levels so that you can really feel the difference. There are also three maps, though the game calls it three stages, but they are really not. You will start from round 1 in each of the ?stages? and climb the same military ranking ladder and earn money the same way. Each map looks a bit different from others, but the basic layout is very similar. For every 10 levels you complete, you unlock a new map and when you start with a new game you can choose from any map you?ve unlocked. Scores are tallied up at the end of the game (when you die) and submitted to OpenFeint for comparison to the leaderboard.



Graphics & Sound

The 3D graphics in CF Defense looks sharp and smooth. The military units have realistic design and your machinegun and controls look super detailed. The cartoon-like character design (a muscle filled male and a free spirited female soldier), menu and weapon system screens look awesome. The accelerometer control works like a charm; even the machinegun kicks back and rolls to aim at different directions, the aiming never filters. The game has options for horizontal and vertical inversion should you prefer the opposite directional control.

CF Defense has both background music and sound FX. The BGM is unremarkable: it?s not the topical military themed music though keeps a good beat to accompany your actions. Sound FX on the other hands is excellent, from weapon firing sound to bullet casings hitting the ground, everything sounds crisp and clear. When you call for backup, a voice will shout out: ?air backup!?, then sound of artillery looms over and explosions and destructions ensue. You can turn off both music and sound FX in the Options menu.

Conclusion

If you are a fan of Beachhead genre games, CF Defense will wow you with its polished graphics and excellent controls. The use of accelerometer on the iPad feels completely nature and the firing buttons are super responsive. The over the top military character design and menu screens are eye-catching, and enemy units look great in 3D. Though there aren?t any aircrafts to shoot down, CF Defense is still qualifies as one of the best Beachhead shooter games on the iOS!



Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Very sharp graphics, smooth 3D actions.
Sound: - 4.5 - Lovely sound FX but music isn?t memorable.
Controls: - 5 - Accelerometer works amazingly well for aiming, on-screen buttons are very responsive.
Gameplay: - 4.5 - Three different levels and three different beaches mean a lot of gameplay. We?d love to see some aircraft enemy units.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- Save up your backup and artillery. Use the artillery on vehicles only. It isn?t effective against humans. Save the backup only when you are about to run out of life.

- Don?t forget to upgrade loading speed along with the gun speed and bullet clips.


App Facts:

Developer: UwinGame
Release Date: Jul 24, 2010 (v1.1 update)
Price: $2.99
Buy App: CF Defense HD


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