App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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Armed and Gorgeous is a 3D hack-and-slash game featuring a demoness who's fighting off hordes of enemies while revealing the vast majority of her body. The line between making commentary on gaming's ignominious history with scantily-clad nubile heroines and just plain featuring a scantily-clad nubile heroine in a game is a fine one, and like with Bayonetta it's hard to tell which side of the line Armed and Gorgeous sits. The outfits unlocked later reference Tomb Raider and Soulcalibur, and the cut scene cartoons make a point of stretching her caricatured body to ridiculous proportions.
Even if I'm willing to give Armed and Gorgeous the benefit of the doubt, I have to say that unlike Bayonneta the core hack-and-slash play is severely lacking in depth. No-one's expecting a Devil May Cry-like litany of combos, but with only two hit buttons who only produce combos when mashed singularly, only one special move, and no dodge or roll it's hard to get too engrossed in the action, even across the short hour or so it lasts. Even the weapons and outfits unlocked as the game progresses are purely cosmetic.
It's a shame because Armed and Gorgeous' engine is actually gorgeous and deserves far better. Moving the heroine around is wonderfully easy, as is aiming her attacks. In fact, the analogue-like button for movement is one of the most graceful I've played on the iPhone. The enemies have impressive ragdoll physics to complement superb animation, and the visual quality in general for a fully-fledged 3D game on the iPhone is quite high. The boss fights, in which I actually have to think about my attacks and timing them against a hard-hitting brute, show in particular the potential of this game and its engine.
Right now, Armed and Gorgeous is hard to recommend. It's not just the character's wardrobe that's skimpy as the game itself is lacking depth and length for the current asking price. Nonetheless, it's worth keeping an eye on Armed and Gorgeous should the developer ramp up the hack-and-slash through updates so that the play better complements the engine.