iPhone Game Review: WW2 Beachhead Reviewed by Jade Dragon
If you have played the arcade version of the World War 2 Beachhead game you will remember the fun and the large 3D helmet you had to get your head into. Sunstorm has ported the game to the iPhone and iPod touch with 4 beaches to defend using two virtual joysticks that work very well for the touch screen phone. Who needs a helmet to fight the Nazis or the Japanese?
The story is simple: you are buried in a fortified bunker with 180-degree view of the beach, and you are one of the last units remaining at this critical line of defense. Your job is to skill as many enemy units as possible. You are given unlimited ammo for your machine gun and limited ammo for the more powerful Artillery Cannon and Rocket Propelled Grenade. What you will face is large invasion groups of enemies that storm the beach on foot, in tanks and via air assault.
Four beaches don?t seem like a large number, but the length of gameplay on each beach is quite long. Too long, it will seem, in the last couple of beach when your ammos are running low and your thumbs are getting tired. The difficulty levels increase as missions moving on. At first the machine gun cuts down the enemy troops like a knife cut through warm butter. But when the tanks and planes start to coming at you, you discover that the machine gun just doesn?t cut it anymore. For the tanks, the RPG is most effective but once you run out of ammo on the RPG, the artillery cannon works just as well. WW2 Beachhead has a clean playing interface where you can check your life meter, your ammo status and switch guns quickly even in the heat of a battle.
Like the arcade version there are power-ups parachuting onto the scene. You can shoot them while they are in the air or when they land on the beach to collect the power-ups they carry. The power-ups include life points and additional ammo. Collect as many ammo crates as you can even in the early missions in which the big guns aren?t necessary. You don?t loose them as you move on from one level to the next. The touch controls feel precise and you can change the speed and sensitivity of the virtual analog pad and turn on or off the tilt control and drag control. More so than the arcade version, the smaller moves get you the most accurate and speedy aiming. Moving too fast the guns will get over thrown, moving you way off the target. So the Zen theory works for the aiming: less is more.
While the WW2 Beachhead offers extensive options for the game control, it doesn?t offer difficulty levels or global scoreboard. The game isn?t impossible to beat, but it might take you a few tries to complete all four beaches. WW2 Beachhead requires you finish all four beaches in one setting, so if you die after beating 3 beaches you will still need to start from the first one. Casual gamers who don?t have time or patience to perfect their skills might not finish all four beaches and get to see and fight all enemy units.
WW2 Beachhead has nice graphics and enemy units move smoothly. There is no distinction on the enemy units, for example, you can?t tell what uniforms they are wearing or what type of tank or plane you are shooting at. But you can clearly see what type of gun you are shooting, where the enemy landing crafts are sitting which is also where the enemy ground troops and tanks are coming from, and the planes flying in the sky as well as the crates dropping onto the beach. The crates have distinctive colors telling you what type of power-ups they carry.
WW2 Beachhead has both sound effects and background music. Sound effects aplenty, they include enemy cries, explosions and your machine gun fire sound. The background music is the usual military mix. They fit the gameplay and help create atmosphere of intense battles.
It doesn?t have the expansive levels of the PC version or the elaborate helmet and machine gun sticks of the arcade version, but WW2 Beachhead for the iPhone and iPod touch gives you a sweat taste of controlling your own guns of Navarone and lay any enemy who dare to set foot on your beach to waste. The levels are long, the graphics are sharp and smooth, and the sounds are realistic. Casual gamers might not see the end of the fight, but for the Beachhead faithfuls the WW2 Beachhead is a must play title.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- Sharp and smooth graphics. Sound: -4.5- Realistic sound FX and military music. Controls: -4.5- Touch controls work well and responsive. Gameplay: -4.5- Long levels on 4 beaches, 3 gun types and many power-ups. Gameplay is fun and satisfying.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Move your analog controls slowly, and make small adjustment on aiming.
-Only shoot the crates with the power-ups you need to save time.
-Conserve your ammo for the big guns, you will need them in the later levels.