Saturday, August 20, 2011

Destroy Gunners SP - 8.99 (Shade Inc.)

Destroy Gunners SP is a new mech game by Shade Inc. First off, yes, it is kind of pricy for an AppStore game, but hopefully this review will help you decide if it’s up your ally or not. Shade Inc. is no stranger to the video game scene, having made The Granstream Saga, Orphen: Scion of Sorcery, Onslaught, and more, they know what it takes to make a great action game. But having worked primarily on console games, the question still remains, do they have what it takes to make a great mobile game? After playing the lite version of Destroy Gunners, I was convinced that they could make a game that controls well, but it seemed a little mindless and there wasn’t much customization available. With the full version though, you get enhanced graphics, missions, more environments, and tons more customization, along with a couple more mechs to unlock and obtain in the store. But I will be comparing between the lite and full version quite a bit throughout this review, because let’s face it, for $9, most of you are going to be checking out the lite version before you buy the full.

The goal of the game is to go through the levels collecting upgrades and weapons, blowing up enemies, and killing bosses. You control your character by using a joystick in the left corner, and using left and right buttons in the right corner to turn your point of view, and flip your mech around. To fire, you place your finger directly on the middle of the screen, dragging around with the crosshairs slightly above your thumb. You’re also given a jetpack button which lets you reach higher areas of the levels, and touching on the gun select button brings up your equipped weapons. You can change between pausing the game when you press on the weapon select button, or keep the action going in the options menu. Between the lite and full versions, control isn’t really different, so you can get a pretty good idea of how it works by checking out the lite. It actually works extremely well on a touch screen, which surprised me quite a bit.
The missions in the full version range from collecting upgrades, to killing bosses and killing a certain amount of enemies in a given amount of time, and more, but it does stay fresh through each of the levels, and upgrading your mech with new abilities, defenses, and weapons will definitely keep you going through each mission. Enemies drop ammo, health upgrades, and components, which are turned in at the end of the stage, or at death, and can be equipped in the customize section. The components consist of new weapons, defense upgrades, attack upgrades, and special abilities like power recovery and increase component drop rate upgrades. You’re able to equip 6 of these components at a time, and goes up with each unlocked mech, so switching out and checking out what you’ve recently picked up between stages is a pretty big part of making it through the game. In the lite version, your upgrades are picked up on the battlefield, and automatically equipped, but you only get certain weapon and HP upgrades, so the customization between the lite and full versions is extremely different, and a lot more customizable in the full version. Also, in the lite version, you are not given missions, you just end up going through the levels, blowing up enemies, and taking out the same boss at the end of the two environments they give you.
The graphics in the full version are better than in the lite version, unless you’re running the game on an older device, in which case, you’ll probably have to select lower graphics in the options menu in order to get the game to play smoothly. But the graphics on full graphics mode are great. The environments really stick out, textures look great, and the explosion animations are better, along with better smoke trails on your missiles, and the like. They are impressive graphics to have on a mobile device, and the atmospheres really give you something to sink your teeth, or eyes, into. All of the animations and movement are very smooth as well, giving you awesome eye candy.
There’s loads of challenge, especially since you can select the difficulty in the options menu, so the game will keep you busy and your heart pounding most of the time. OpenFeint leaderboards and achivements are also included and do help add to the replayability quite a bit. Music and effects are top notch as well, adding to the feel and general aesthetic of the entire game. To make a long story short, you will be getting your moneys worth if you decide to buy Destroy Gunners SP, and Shade Inc. has definitely thrown down the gauntlet in terms of mech gameplay on mobile devices, though some might find it repetitive and mundane after a while, since the only real drive is grinding to collect more gear to equip on your mech, and rising up the leader boards. There‘s no story, or any sort of plot to follow, and that would have really been a very welcome addition to the game. But if you are a fan of mech attack action games, this is the best you’ll get on a mobile device, and $8.99 will be money well spent considering how much gameplay and content is included, and how good it looks and plays. I’m giving Destroy Gunners SP 4.5 out of 5 stars, with an exception; if you don’t care about story, or plot, this is a 5 out of 5 star game, controlling extremely well, looking beautiful, and packing loads of challenge. If a story or plot is essential for you to enjoy a game, you might not care for Destroy Gunners SP. But I’m certainly glad I picked it up, and it will never be deleted from my device.


This game is so damn hard to finish even in normal mode. Level 8 is almost impossible to accomplish. Good game but a very hard one

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