The league are back, and once again it is down to you to take out the bespectacled scientists…
League of Evil 1 was one of my favourite platformers of last year, but it just so happened that 2011 was a great year for platformers across the board. A look at our picks for platformer of the year and you’ll see what I mean.
While it didn’t take home the crown, it did succeed in delighting us with it’s excellent controls and challenging level design. Not to mention the great 8bit style graphics.
League of Evil 2 is very much more of the same. First off let me tell you that is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. If you are looking for a revolution, you’ve come to the wrong party. But, if you stick around long enough you’ll find a welcome evolution in its place.
The first thing that grabs you is the new art-style. It’s still very much 2D, so it pretty much sticks to its forebears roots. However, the pixel design is out of the window, and is instead replaced by a hand drawn comic look and feel, reminiscent of flash animation.
As you can imagine this looks excellent on the iPhone 4/4S’s retina display, with crisp and clean lines throughout. Not limiting itself to the 8bit retro look allows the animation to be smoother and for the game to run at a slick 60 FPS.
When I first heard that Ravenous Games were changing the art-style I was a little worried. Mainly this was because I loved how the pixelated Evil Scientists looked. However, do not despair, for that same dormant look on their faces is just as funny in HD. They might be evil, but you kinda feel sorry for the bespectacled fools.
What hasn’t changed – thank god – are the excellent controls and core gameplay. Many games fail to replicate buttons on the touchscreen, but these work flawlessly. You’ll have no problems double jumping, wall jumping, wall siding and performing flying kicks, with only your self to blame for mistakes.
While this is true on iPhone and iPod Touch, the same can’t quite be said for the iPad. It’s not that the controls differ, instead it’s purely the size of the device. To move right your thumb needs to stretch a little further than is comfortable, and despite being able to touch anywhere above the control layout, playing it for long periods will begin to hurt.
For the best experience though, you can’t beat connecting an iPad up to the iCade. It works beautifully, and coupled with iCloud save support I was able to play the game on my iPhone while out and about, and then continue to play on my iPad with iCade when I got back to TouchGen towers.
League of Evil 2 once more features a great selection of levels. There are 100 in all which play out across 5 different themed environments, such as jungle, desert and snow. The environments play no part in the gameplay however, and instead are just for show. Your character co-ordinates his wardrobe this time out too, with a selection of themed outfits. While these are a fun addition, they are just for show.
Much of the genius with the level design last time out was down to the obstacles and their placement, such as the swinging hammers. LOE2 is no different, but features new and challenging obstacles, like bazooka wielding guards, multiple types of automated cannons and heat seeking drones.
New to the scene are boss encounters. Initially I felt they jarred with the core speed-run style gameplay, as they definitely slow things down. However, on reflection they do add a welcome change of pace.
I was in two minds when I booted up League of Evil 2. One part of me wanted something more radical, while the other yearned for more of the same. After completing the first chapter though, both these feelings dispersed and I was just left with a simple primal urge to punch a scientist in the face, collect each briefcase and do it all in the quickest time. So what if it is pretty much the same game as before… it’s still awesome, and I’m hungry for more!
League of Evil 2 is out now for $0.99 (60% off RRP). Get it on the
Note: It seems a few crash bugs slipped through the net, and while I do usually frown on such things, I’ll give Ravenous the benefit of the doubt that they’ll fix them soon.