ILLUSIA 2 Review

Our Review by Rob Rich on April 20th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ROUGH CUT
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GAMEVIL follows up one of their lesser-known titles, but has time (and a bit more effort) allowed the sequel to surpass the original? Not exactly, no.

Developer: GAMEVIL USA
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

The original ILLUSIA was one of the first few games I’d ever purchased as an iOS user. It held my interest for a bit, but eventually other games came along that stole my attention away. That and I wasn’t too fond of just how ridiculous my character’s current hat looked. It was some weird leopard-print frycook-looking thing. Anyway, now there’s a brand new ILLUSIA to fulfill all my RPG/platforming needs. And for the most part it doesn’t do a bad job of it.

ILLUSIA 2 shares a lot of base commonalities with GAMEVIL’s other RPGs. Namely that it’s colorful, vibrant, has a nonsensical plot, and a script that may or may not have been written by an ESL student who’s only been taking classes for two weeks. Unlike the developer’s other more prolific franchise, this one involves side-scrolling and platform jumping. It’s still an action RPG first and foremost, with all of the skill sets and plethora of equip-able items we’ve come to expect, but jumping is important.

As with most of GAMEVIL’s titles as of late, ILLUSIA 2 looks decidedely pretty. The visuals are more colorful and detailed than the previous installment, and the animations are much more fluid. While it’s not unexpected to see various bits of equipment show up in-game, it’s still a very welcome detail. Too few games do this kind of thing as far as I’m concerned. Having three playable classes (warrior, mage, thief) that all feel unique and have slightly different storylines is also great. Although I’m torn between choosing the mage with her ranged attacks or the warrior with his heartiness as my favorite.

Though ILLUSIA 2 has plenty of desirable features, it’s not flawless. As I’ve mentioned the script is terrible, both in technical presentation and in general silliness. Although the silliness could be considered somewhat charming. The other problems I’ve run into are more technical, such as characters blinking out of existence or their dialog not finishing properly during cutscenes. Worst of all, though, are the movement controls. Fighting and skill use is fine, but walking/running/jumping are very stiff. Especially the jumping. Seeing as this is kind of a platformer (of a sort), this is something of a bummer. It’s manageable, but unfortunate.

If ILLUSIA 2 didn’t have so many technical shortcomings it would easily be a must-have. Since it does, it’s more of a probably-should-check-out. It’s still entertaining despite the rough controls and cutscene glitches, plus it doesn’t cost a thing. Not that being free is an excuse, but it certainly makes it easier to sate that curiosity.

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