Developer: Hyperdevbox Japan
Price: $3.99
Version: 1.7
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4s

Graphics / Sound Rating: Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

ExZeus 2 is a mobile take on the Hyperdevbox Japan developed arcade series known as Ex Zeus or Counter Force. While I do not have any prior experience with previous installments in the series, ExZeus 2 seems like a faithful re-creation of a 3D arcade shooter, for better or for worse.

In ExZeus 2, players are placed in control of a robot called “Minos” and be tasked with saving humanity from the returning threat of alien war machines. Gameplay-wise, this translates to players using a virtual d-pad and buttons to shoot and punch everything on screen while dodging attacks as they are placed in an on-rails flying sequence or boxed in a small, arena-like ground space.

photo 3 (28)Much like many other arcade games, ExZeus 2 peppers the screen with timers, powerups, and combo meters to keep players aware of their game score and performance. This has the added bonus of being a very lively-looking game, especially when accompanied with the nice looking character models and impressive environments.

Although ExZeus 2 looks rather nice, its flashy appearance only gets it so far. Put simply, the gameplay present in ExZeus 2 just isn’t very deep. This may not be immediately apparent on a quick first play, as the developers have incorporated some variety into how players maneuver through each level, but the core of the game is just mashing the shoot button and occasionally dodging, regardless of what you are fighting, even bosses.

photo 1 (29)Beyond the game’s shortcomings, there are also some peculiarities that crop up each time players boot ExZeus 2. Every single time players launch the game, they are asked if they wish to turn bluetooth on to use a control peripheral and they are asked if they want to take advantage of online capabilities to track their score. This seems odd purely because these options seem like something players could simply set to on or off in an options menu without having to be prompted each and every time they wish to play.

All in all, ExZeus 2 is merely an all right game. At its best it can feel kind of like a Starfox game, while at its worst, it is just plain boring wrapped in colorful packaging.

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