Developer: Chillingo
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

It’s madness! Madness I tell you!

Here is the short tale of my go-around with Seed 2. I started the game early in the morning, thinking that I could get pretty far in a few hours. Since Seed 2 is a longer looking RPG, I blocked out a good portion of time for it.

The first thing I noticed upon launch (besides the muddy graphics), and this was almost a deal-breaker for me, was the awful control system. For the most part, I’ve gotten over my whole virtual joystick issue. I don’t love it, but in some instances I’ve learned to like it. Seed 2 is not one of those instances.

Technically, Seed 2 doesn’t have a virtual stick at all, and instead has a virtual D-Pad. But unlike most of the newer D-Pad’s I’ve used in games, this D-Pad gives you no leeway for your thumb. In the heat of a battle, you’d better be darn precise with your fingers, basically without looking, or you’re toast. I trudged on like a good reviewer, but this did become an issue later.

The game’s story is much like any RPG story. You know: you are a guy who basically has to save the world. There are factions fighting each other, some kind of civil war, and there is a super evil that might swoop down to torment everyone. Basically, if you often find yourself sucked in by RPG stories, this one will do the trick. The dialogue definitely wasn’t written by a Pulitzer Prize winner, but what RPG dialogue is?

So I went on a few quests, got a couple of level ups, and put on some cool items. I was mentally into the game, prepared to play it in its entirety. I finally got to the second town — or was it the third — and was given a quest to find a bunch of “pendants of dexterity.” So I head north and start clumsily killing things. I’m not typically a clumsy guy in video games, but these controls would bring the best to their knees.

I kill the first snake thing and get a pendant. Well, I tried to get the pendant. See, in Seed 2, to pick up an item you have to stand on top of it, like right on the very pixel that it stands, and then hit the fire button. In a fight though, enemies will get in your way, and if you aren’t directly on top of the item, you’ll just use your weapon instead. The hurdle that I couldn’t quite get over is that if you don’t pick up the item within maybe 10 seconds, it vanishes. More than once I found items after I’d killed every enemy and had it vanish before I could find the exact place that the game wanted me to stand on to pick it up.

Past my item debacle, I charged on like a mad cow as best I could (due to the awful controls) to try to get to a shiny thing. You see, I like shiny things in video games, so I didn’t just walk, I ran towards it. On the way, without knowing, I bumped into some trees and they came to life to kill me. I got pretty beat up, so I used a health pack real quick, but before I knew it I was surrounded and had no chance. I died, which is a pity, really.

I figured, “oh well, I’ll just load up my autosave.” Wait for it… there is no autosave.

“WTF!!! Was this game made in 1988!?!?!?!”

My iPhone has a built in 16GB hard drive that is instantly accessible by any game out there. Save files don’t have to save onto a cartridge a la Final Fantasy 1 on the NES, they just plop a tiny file onto the massive sea of hard drive space that I have. At no point does the game say, “Alert. This game was developed and brought to the future via time machine, so we don’t have an autosave. Please excuse our blunder.” No, it just lets you go on your merry way, only to lose all that you have played.

I’m pretty angry.

To sum it up, if you love, and by love I mean LOVE RPG’s, you’ll probably find yourself wrapped up in the world of Seed 2. If it were the only RPG on the iPhone, I would probably give it a slightly better review, but compared to the rest of the field it really takes a beating. The graphics, the controls, and the menu UI are all below average, and the lack of an autosave really makes my blood boil.

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