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iPhone Game Review: Caligo Chaser
      04/16/10 09:43 AM

iPhone Game Review: Caligo Chaser
Reviewed by Austin

Follow the epic quest of a young Private Knight in Com2us' side-scrolling beat 'em up; a hybrid of arcade hack n' slash and RPG. Play as Zack and fight against the dark forces to save the city of Emporion and its inhabitants. Dominate your foes with seven unique skills, 20 passive skills, and over 300 different types of items. Travel across desert wastelands, frozen tundra, grassy plains, lush forests, and inside treacherous caves. Battle various types of monsters each with their own strengths and weakness. Forge your own equipment and enchant it and make your own unique set.

Gameplay

The game is controlled with an onscreen d-pad with an attack/confirmation button and a charge attack button. There is a hotkey tray on the bottom of the screen with five slots. These can be used to store skills and potions for quick access during combat. The controls take a bit to get used to and some of the buttons seem a little unresponsive at times.



Caligo Chaser is not an open world game, with the exception of the town; the areas are set in stages that have a set number of sections depending on how far it is into the game. Monsters must be cleared from a section before moving onto the next. Some stages feature a mini-boss in the final section. Your performance is judged based on various factors such as time, damage received, and style. You receive a letter grade, "D" being the lowest and "S" being the highest, according the above stats. After receiving your grade, you are rewarded chests that bare items. The better your grade is, the better the loot. Break the chests and claim your loot fast; you are automatically returned to town after 30 seconds.

Combat consists of three main categories: dash, skill, and charge. Double tapping a direction and the attack button initiates a dash attack. Skill is simply the use of any skills; both aggressive and supportive are included in your grading. Hold the charge button to charge your gauntlet for a powerful punch; the longer the charge, the more devastating the attack. Combining these three abilities along with the basic combo is imperative to receive a high grade.

As you progress and defeat foes, they sometimes drop materials for combinations. There are a total of 72 recipes. Not all are for equipment though; some are used to upgrade less rare materials into better materials for the more complex combinations. You receive the best equipment from combining items. It might take more effort, but collecting materials helps keep the game from getting repetitive and rewards you with more powerful equipment.



For every foe vanquished, you are rewarded with experience points. After accumulating so many points you gain a level. For each level obtained, you are given five stat points to assign to strength, dexterity, luck, stamina, intellect, and spirit. Strength increases your base attack and allows you to wield stronger weapons. Dexterity increases critical hit rate, evasion rate, and grants access to better gauntlets. Luck boosts drop rate and enchantment success. Stamina adds to your max health, your base defense, and allows you to equip better armor. Intellect increases your max mana and grants access to more powerful skills. Spirit increases elemental resistance, health and mana regeneration rates, and is required for some skills.

The story of the game is carried on with quests. Quests' objectives range from "talk to this person" to "defeat this boss". Quests can be a little unclear at times, and if you don't raise your luck stat early, quests that require loot can become quite annoying and take a lot longer than they should. There are also side quests that are optional and reward experience and sometimes loot or the in-game currency called leon. Dialogue and story are major parts of any RPG, but unfortunately it seems lacking and the game is riddled with spelling and grammar errors.

The game has a lot to complete to be truly beaten. There are medals to obtain, completing the recipe book, monster book, and obtaining S ranks on all stages. Even without these the game has quite a bit of playtime in it; around an estimated 10-15 hours depending on how you approach the game.



Graphics

The game looks amazing and seems to be very polished. Different equipment shows on Zack. Wearing equipment of the same color changes Zack's hair color. Attacks and skills are flashy and very nicely animated. The game runs smooth and there doesn?t seem to be any lag.

Sound

The menu music sounds amazing with what sounds like an upbeat thrash theme. The music for the most part is well written and has enough variety to not be repetitive.

The slashing sound of a basic attack tends to get annoying. There doesn't seem to be too much variety. It is a brawler after all; you will hear a lot of hits.

If for some reason you don?t like the in-game music, you can listen to you iPod music. Playing a song disables all in-game music and sounds.


Conclusion

If you are a fan of beat 'em ups, hack n' slash, or RPGs, then there is a strong possibility you will enjoy this game. The game does tend to get hard into the higher levels as you work your way to the end. The casual gamers may find it too hard, but it is still enjoyable game.




Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: 5 The game looks great, the equipment changes you?re appearance, and the skills/attacking animations are flash and attention-grabbing.
Sound: 5 The attacking sound is a little repetitive, but the music is amazing.
Controls: 4 The charge button is unresponsive a times; not game-breaking, but can be annoying.
Gameplay: 5 A solid game that never seems to get old; racking up high combos and defeating enemies feels rewarding.

Playing Hints and Tips:

? Only raise your strength, dexterity, stamina, and intellect just enough to get your basic equipment. You need to raise your luck as much as possible early on.

? Don?t bother with buying equipment after the first few levels, equipment from combination is far better and is cheaper.

? Do not try to enchant skills above three until you have luck at least above 100 with fine enchanting oil. Even with 150 luck and medium enchanting oil, it is still difficult to get a skill up to +4 without destroying it.

? You can?t cheat the system. After every enchant your game autosaves, so if you happen to destroy an item or fail, you are out of luck.

? Keep your combo at all costs. Your combo not only helps your grade, but increases your attack and critical rate.

? Save all potions and food. Later on, you will be healing and refilling mana quite often.


App Facts:
Developer: Com2uS
Release Date: March 14, 2010
Price: $2.99
Buy App: iTunes App Store

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