Hero of Sparta came out a few weeks ago around the time of Brothers In Arms and it is also done by gameloft. I've come to realize that gameloft has really been putting out some awesome games and this is no exception.
Hero of Sparta brings the "Hack n' Slash" genre to the iPhone.
Note: I showed this game to one of my non-iPhone friends while at his apartment and throughout the day he played it. So his input is also included in this review. He actually ended up beating the game on Easy and then began playing on Heroic difficulty level.
The direction you move is controlled by the "directional pad" in the bottom left-hand corner and you attack methods are controlled by "2 attack pads" in the bottom right-hand corner - shield & attack. In the top right-hand corner you can change your weapon as you progress through the levels.
The controls I found very easy to adapt to. The only problem I ran into (as well as my friend did) that after playing the game for about 30 minutes or so, the "directional pad" doesn't pickup your finger movements very well. I sometimes stopped to wipe my hands dry (as my hands began to sweat due to the heat these iPhones produce.) and began to ply again, it seemed to be fine after that, however I again seem to happen quicker into game play the longer time-ago that I restarted my iPhone. In other words I think that it has to do with the iPhone's RAM.
The different attacks and blocks are mostly dependent on the two buttons and the "directional pad" But for certain special moves, you'll have to tap buttons on the main part of the screen, if you take too long, well, you won't last much longer...
After my friend completed the Easy level and he began playing the Heroic level and he said that he didn't find any difficulty difference, however, I found it much more difficult; although, I didn't play all of the Easy level.
Throughout the game you won't just be hacking away at mythical beasts, but you will be also be dodging arrows, jumping from rock to rock, and collecting crystals. Collect 5 green crystals and you increase you life bar, collect 5 blue crystals and increase your energy bar.
Um, wow... at first I didn't think much of it, but after I began playing I found myself more interested in the cinematic cut-ins and the cinematic special attacks. I'll talk more on cinematics later. The graphics themselves are pretty good, not superior, but very good, as the special moves and the 3D animations make up for the lacking of "superior" effects (in my opinion). Frankly I assume that if the graphics were better, the iPhone would have troble rending the animations and eventually crash. So I guess that is just how it has to be.
In the top left-hand corner the green-bar is your health, while the blue-bar is your energy. Your energy drops as you do special attacks or moves.
Music works well for the game, I never got annoyed nor tired of it, depending on the level of difficulty, you'll have a different soundtrack. The actual sound f/x I didn’t find as impressive and somewhat of a let down. They seem to be somewhat cheesy and very repetitive. It was really the only thing that bothered me in the game. The soundtrack will stop during certain parts on the game such as cinematic cut-ins or special attacks.
Cinematics is a big thing to me. And I was very impressed with the cinematics to say the least at what this iPhone game could do.
The above screen shot isn't really in the game, it's the trailer before the movie, but still, the lighting in the trailer is pretty awesome. Okay so back to the actual game...
The above image was taken shortly after I was supposed to tap certain buttons to do a special move, but failed to do so, so hence - it's me getting my butt kicked.
Again like I said, the special moves are pretty much like 3D cut-ins, but you have to do certain things in order to have them progress, I think it's one of the best things within the game.
I highly recommend this game; it provides game play unlike any other game does in the app store - namely the cinematics. While the controls can be tricky at time, it may take some time getting used to, but it's worth it. Game play is about 5 or 6 hours for easy, and possibly a little longer on heroic (not sure haven't finished playing through it. The replay ability is high due to the fact that all the weapons you gain on Easy or Normal difficulty level, you can use in heroic level.
[Hero of Sparta is available from the iTunes App Store]