May 10, 2010

Super KO Boxing 2

It seems like sports games are now all the rage on the Android with Hockey Nation 2010, Backbreaker Football, and now Super KO Boxing 2 all appearing on the Android in the past few weeks. Depending on your personal preferences, Super KO Boxing 2 may actually be the best of the lot. It's a huge game... but Glu Mobile was smart enough to download all 80+ meg of that extra data to the SD card so this game doesn't take up much of your internal storage space at all. I LIKE that! Second, the game comes in two flavors... $4.99 and free with ads (and the ad supported version is IDENTICAL to the $4.99 version). Being a cheapskate I went with the free one.

One thing that is increasingly frustrating for me is the assumption that once I load a game I'll immediately know how to play through clairvoyance. I tire of  games that do not include instructions as a bare minimum (or better yet, a tutorial system). Super KO Boxing 2 makes this mistake. Believe it or not, while I don't like to read instructions I do like to have them as a backup for when I finally admit that I don't know what I am doing. It took me a while to figure out that fighting involves more than using the block button and the on screen 'super charge' meter, but rather requires swipes to land punches. It took an ever longer while for me to realize that swiping doesn't work well because I just need to tap on the screen where I want to punch. But once I figured all of that out the game played very well... until I got knocked out. The game does provide onscreen instruction there... tap the screen as the numbers meet in the center of the screen (it'll make more sense when you play it) and I, for the life of me, can't seem to do that.

The graphics and sound in the game are phenomenal... just take a look at the screenshot. Very nice, cartoony graphics and a bunch of opponents each with a personality. They even offer an online strategy guide to help you get past seemingly impossible opponents. All things said and done this is a game of learning your opponent's weaknesses and exploiting them... kind of like real boxing. The game offers a few different control systems in terms of button placement and whether or not the accelerometer is used, but punches are fired off via tapping on the touch screen.

All things considered this game is great and I can't believe they've released a freebie full version supported by advertising. That has to be experimental marketing and I just don't see it paying off unless they are getting paid by impression... for a start the ads don't affect game play during the actual game, but rather just during loading sequences and downloading the initial payload of game data. However, if you're honest and you play the game through more than 5 fighters you really owe it to Glu Mobile and the life of the Android platform to pay for the $5 version. It will have been worth it and your dollars are essentially a vote for whether development of future Android games is worthwhile. In the meantime, if you're unsure please give this title a try unless you absolutely abhor boxing... you might be surprised how much you like it. 5/5 stars.

Edit: It appears my pricing is wrong... the full version is just $2.99. A steal!

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