Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Com2uS, creators of Homerun Battle 3D and the Inotia series, are really the masters of creating fairly complex games that seem like casual experiences. Homerun Battle 3D, for all the cartoony graphics and lighthearted play, was a fairly deep baseball RPG with an extremely impressive multiplayer experience. With Heavy Gunner 3D, they have created a rather long RPG shooting game that puts you inside of a turret ship with a mission to blow stuff up, but with short levels in abundance, you never feel tied to the game like you would in similar games. The story line is a basic, aliens invade the Earth fare, but the game really boils down to a fighting in battles that closely resemble the battle scene in the last Matrix sequel where the robots try to take over Zion with those angry flying things.
I found myself very confused at the beginning because there is no tutorial or the standard first level that teaches you how to play. I found myself in control of a turret with two buttons, left gun and right gun. Once the enemy ships started coming at me, I quickly realized that I had to tilt my iPhone to aim and fire. The aiming mechanism seemed pretty tough at first, but the guns do a pretty good job of doing aim correction for you, particularly the big machine gun. After you beat each level, you get point to upgrade your weapons or to buy new ones. There are three weapon classes, machine gun, optical, and missile, along with an EMP and a shield regenerator. All have their own advantages, and all are quite fun to use.
I quickly realized that once you buy your second gun, you can swap between the two while you are reloading. If you want a heavy duty machine gun backed up with a missile launcher, just save up some money! Once you get the hang of aiming and weapon changing you'll blow through the levels like you're a pro... until about level 17 of 35. The levels quickly get difficult and I found that having a strategy helped tremendously. The strategy that you will find most important is smart weapon buying, because wasted money on weapons that you don't use really becomes a killer. Pick your weapons wisely, and definitely keep in mind that the EMP and the Shield Recharger take up a weapon slot. I made the mistake myself, so don't go on and make it too. Once you run through all the levels, which is no easy task, you can either progress onto a harder difficulty or move onto the challenge modes, which are just levels with infinite enemies.
[caption id="attachment_27349" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="The Maginot Line? Is anyone else worried that the fate of the Earth rests on the Maginot Line?"]
The graphics and sound, while not stunning, are quite nice, and on my 3G could be compared to what I remember the later MechWarrior games looking like. The backgrounds are all dreary and war-like while the sound, assuming you are using the machine guns, are all of bullets flying. I did notice some lag in the graphics on my 3G, but in the game settings menu you can select either the "speed" graphics setting or the "quality" setting. After I changed over to the speed setting, the game ran perfectly.
Like you would expect from Com2uS, Heavy Gunner 3D is a quality game with surprising depth. With the tilt controls being the way they are (you can change them to touch, but it doesn't work too well), I don't recommend playing in a public place, but in the comfort of your own home or office, Heavy Gunner 3D is quite fun. In my opinion, it was made for those who like to stand up while they play their iPhone games, so free yourself from your seat and have at it! For less than the price of one Chipotle burrito, I would definitely recommend buying Heavy Gunner 3D.