So Many Zombies! The Lone Gamer’s Dead Trigger 2 Review (iOS, Android)

Posted in Android, Dead Trigger 2, DLC, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games, My Stuff, Shooters, Zombie Games on October 28th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Get your Trigger Finger ready, friend. The Hero from the first Dead Trigger is back for more killing.

More than a year ago, MadFinger Games released the first Dead Trigger, and it was suitably controversial among iOS gamers. For the most part, the game looked amazing- perhaps one of the best-looking games on the platform at the time. It succeeded in making its zombies look amazingly horrible, evil-looking and chunky-bloody fun to kill. On the other hand, the gameplay was repetitive (although satisfying) and there was little depth of nuance other than upgrading guns and your character to be a better zombie killer. Once you reached a certain point, you will most probably be plowing through the undead like a snowplow.

Upgrading your guns is key to surviving in Dead Trigger 2. Of course, more powerful guns means more cash to build (and more time as well- dammit, MadFinger!). So far, my winning combo is the M1 Garand and Dual Glocks.

For the record, I enjoyed DT from day one up to today- as a simple shooter it wasn’t perfect; but as a mobile game you can just pull out and play for short bursts (of machine gun fire and zombie flesh), it’s quite a value. I bought my copy (99 cents) before it became F2P, and spent quite a bit on IAP funds to get a big and freakin’ cool arsenal- which I am still enjoying today.

Now, Dead Trigger 2 is out. How does the sequel stack up, and what changes have accompanied this latest portable plague of the hungry dead?


Your Zombie Fighting Cell is a smooth, cozy operation, complete with NPCs to keep you armed and ready for every mission- is that a chicken..?

STORYLINE
WHOA! Yeah, there’s actually a narrative. It’s no World War Z, but it’s there at least to give sense to all the senseless action. This is a step up from the interstitial text pages of the first Dead Trigger, whose storyline was little more than tongue-in-cheek nonsense (they had a character named Dr. McGuffin, for crying out loud).

You still play as The Hero, that square-jawed male who battles zombies with gusto while mouthing one-liners like a cross between Duke Nukem and Christian Bale Batman. This time though, instead of being just a soldier working for a faction of survivors, the Hero is running his own little zombie-fighting cell- alongside a few NPC workers/shopkeepers, he’s running a cozy little hideout where he can rest between missions and upgrade his gear as they fight a war to retake the world from the zombies.

Listen to Dead Trigger 2′s Radio for the first time and get a John Connor-esque speech. Kinda neat though.

Really, it’s not that deep but it’s appreciated that they took the effort. It’s not so much a story as it is a setting though, and it’s not half bad- kinda like the storyline in Terminator, except with zombies instead of robots… heck, they even stole John Connor’s radio speech. Heheh.


Your missions start off establishing your base in the US, to battling zombies and trying to survive. Eventually though the fight will take you and your crew overseas…

GRAPHICS
Dead Trigger was already an awesome-looking game; it would follow that DT2 would look even, um, awesomer. But well, not really. There’s not as much a step up in quality as there is in variety though. The zombies still look great, and the new look to the rank-and-file walkers plus the addition of new sub-boss zombies makes for a game that’s much more enjoyable to look at. There are several settings and two different campaign worlds/areas to run around in, which is great instead of having to slog around in greenish urban areas all the time. Still, this is one of the most pretty games on the appstore, and it will look better the more upscale your device is. Zombies still look gross and evil and fun to kill, and that’s numero uno on the list of need be’s.


DT2′s zombies are properly hideous and consequently quite fun to kill. Man, check out those glowing peepers.

SOUND/MUSIC
I find myself kinda missing the somber repetitve score of the original game, now replaced by the kinda-jazzy music in your hideout. The music is pretty good, but the sound effects are noticeably not as good as the first game. For the most part, zombies still sound damn scary, and the distinct screeches or screams of the special zombies will surely raise the hair on the back of your neck when they announce the coming big bad.

But it’s with the guns that DT2 falls a bit flat. Your arsenal just doesn’t seem to pack as much punch as before- they really sounded darn awesome in the first game, and here they’re a bit restrained. Not terrible but could have been better. Maybe I just miss the roar of my Upgraded M4A1. Sigh.

GAMEPLAY
As with the first game, the game controls like a dual stick shooter, with one thumb moving your Hero around, the other aiming your reticle/camera. The big change being that the game by default gives you an Autofire scheme- you no longer have to press a fire button to shoot, you simply have to run your crosshair over a target, and if it’s in range you’ll shoot.

On the one hand, this may seem to veteran shoot ‘em up gamers as a dumbing-down of the game, taking away a crucial bit of control from the player. In practice though, I found Autofire to be a boon, letting me concentrate on movement and situational awareness- invaluable when zombies are coming at you from all sides.
The game can get so fast-paced, you will welcome the help having an Aliens-like smartgun functionality. It also conserves your ammo since you only shoot when you’re on target. Another bit of added gameplay is that your character’s melee attack is a LOT more effective and very viable- I suggest you upgrade your hand-to-hand tool as much as you can.

Wait for the crowbar.

Mixing up the gameplay is the addition of Special or Boss Zombies. These each have their own trait, attack style and weakness, which you will have to deal with as they appear. Early on you may be frustrated as your dinky gun won’t do much against them, but as you upgrade the fight against these monsters will get easier. Really. Still, I suspect these creeps are just a wee bit unfair. But then, all the more easier to hate them.

Aside from a somewhat brief Story Mode campaign set of missions, you can also do side missions which can be replayed as you want. And you WILL, since you will need to grind for the tons and tons of cash needed to upgrade your weapons and the experience to make your Hero tougher. It will take hours and hours, but if you’re okay with grinding and are one of those gamers who love upgrading this will just mean a lot of replay value and gameplay time.

FREE TO SLAY
Dead Trigger 2 is one of the better Free-to-Play (F2P) games. Once you download and install it, you can play it to your heart’s content. You can even grind as you want to earn your cash and buy your upgrades with your own sweat. IAP is limited to gold which can either be used to buy bonus and temporary upgrades (double firepower, double money earned, etc) or used to cut down on waiting times for upgrading items/technology. Basically, it’s there for impatient but monied gamers to use. Otherwise you’re perfectly welcome to not pay anything and just play and play. Me? I have since paid for a ten dollar gold pile to hurry up upgrading. I want my gear. Sadly the permanent character upgrades from the first game are nowhere to be seen- man, I miss my Speed Boost and Health Regen…

LOTS OF THOUGHTS
Just like before- nay, even more so- I am enjoying Dead Trigger 2. Killing zombies this meaty and chunky never gets old, and the way you get better and upgrade your tools of destruction is satisfying. I like the ‘Global Resistance’ storyline and how your Hero and his chums move from country to country, battling zombies. Supposedly MadFinger will update the game with additional territories to fight in after release, so that should add more variety in locales, zombie skins and perhaps added new guns and equipment.

The Special Zombies have both good and bad aspects- I love the fact that they add quite a bit of challenge given how much more dangerous and deadly they are, however it is grossly unfair of the game to throw these things at you at times where it is basically a sure death. Early on you will simply have NO WAY to kill or defeat these things, and if they get too close you are almost surely dead meat.
The most annoying thing that I’ve experienced was during a Defense mission, where you’re basically waiting out a timer while limited to a small area to move in. The game waited till a couple of seconds left before throwing a Rager at me- the muscle-bound bruiser jumps into my little nest, where I was trapped, and proceeds to kill my ass a second from me finishing the mission. WHAT THE EFF? REALLY? In actuality, this happened TWICE.
I just thirst for the day when my upgraded guns can off these bastards in a few bursts. I THIRST.

Lastly though, I do NOT like how Dead Trigger 2 is ONLINE-ONLY. Yep, that’s the one big caveat; you WILL need an internet connection to play the game, as if missions were streamed in from MadFinger’s servers to play; it kinda feels like a single-player MMO. Ordinarily this would mean me turning away immediately, but damn- I’m already hooked. This is the reason why, however, that I keep the original Dead Trigger (which can be played offline) on my devices even now. Plus my guns and Hero in that game kick ass more.

For the most part, this is yet again an awesome zombie-themed shooter, and the online-only aspect aside, it is well worth looking at for iOS gamers who enjoy quite a bit of blood and gore. It’s up to you if you want or need to spend on the IAP, but even without it the game is a solid shooter and well worth checking out. If you don’t mind the grind, this is a keeper.

GOOD
• Still the slickest, prettiest-looking zombie shooter you can bring on your mobile device (iOS or Android).

• Free and playable as much as you want from the get-go; IAP is not necessary (but makes the game’s best gear easier to get) so if you don’t wanna pay, you don’t have to. But I recommend paying a bit for good stuff. And support the game makers, really!

• Auto-fire is pretty good and overall gameplay is fast-paced and exciting. New Boss Zombies are challenging and fun to fight, even if they can be damn cheap.

BAD
• Requires an Internet Connection to play

• Waiting time can take DAYS. Like, WHAT THE HELL? I paid real money and I can’t even play until after two days???

• If you didn’t like the first game, you probably won’t like this one.

WE NEED MORE ZOMBIE KILLERS. ENLIST NOW! THE WORLD NEEDS YOU!!!

Busting Zombies

Posted in Fan Service, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, The Walking Dead, TV, Uncategorized, Zombie Games on October 3rd, 2013 by thelonegamer

MythBusters take on Walkers this month.

I LOVE Mythbusters. It’s one of the few shows I really really really watch, and man, I’d totally be on board for an all-MB channel! Anyways, the show is currently on hiatus I think, but will continue later this month. And apparently their debuting episode this coming October 17 will be a Zombie Apocalypse Special! Yep, Jamie, Adam and the Build Team will be taking on Walkers for an hour of splattery fun. Walking Dead actor Michael Rooker is going to make an appearance as well. This is yet another ep where the Mythbusters have crossed paths with another TV show- in the past they’ve done stuff with shows like Deadliest Catch and the recently-concluded Breaking Bad.

Anyways, that’s in a couple of weeks time. I love all things zombie, though sadly I’ve been remiss in some of the more popular bits of the genre- I haven’t been watching The Walking Dead, nor have I been playing Plants VS Zombies 2 (my time got hijacked by Kingdom Rush Frontiers and then Infinity Blade III). Maybe seeing the Mythbusters Zombie Special will spark a return to the shuffler scene for me. I DO want to get State of Decay when it comes out on Steam eventually, as well. Hmmm.

FINALLY Played The Walking Dead: The Game…

Posted in Comics, DLC, Gadgets, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, Mobile Games, My Stuff, The Walking Dead, Zombie Games on January 3rd, 2013 by thelonegamer


The Walking Dead’s protagonists: Lee Everett and Clementine.

… and wow, that was pretty fantastic.

Yeah, yeah, I’m a bit late to the party. This game’s been out for months and months and already won a gazillion game awards, including Game of the Year from several game sites. Truth be told, I made it a point to get this game once all the episodes were available, but even then, while I already owned it for quite a while, the opportunity to actually PLAY it didn’t come till recently. I really don’t think The Walking Dead is a game (or perhaps an experience?) you can just pick up and play. You have to be ‘ready’ for it; you have to commit to playing/digesting it, and once that’s in, it’s just like watching an extension of the TV series.

I’ve so far only played the first episode, “A New Day”, and well, it’s certainly impressed me. I have the iPad version, which runs great and looks fabulous. The touchscreen controls are very intuitive and easy- moving protagonist Lee around and interacting with things is quick and painless. The atmosphere and tone is perfect, the artwork (which is based more on the comics) is great. Anyone expecting a Resident Evils shoot ‘em up or action game will be a bit disappointed- this is a slower, more deliberate title, an adventure game more in line with Point-and-Click classics.
This isn’t so much about surviving zombie attacks as it is about interacting with the other, live humans around you. It doesn’t hold your hand in these interactions either- you mold the game as you play, mostly via dialogue choices that will affect how other characters look or treat you. Off the bat I played Lee like myself- mostly honestly, and that earned me a stern talking-to that cautioned that I’d better be a better liar. Yikes! At certain points though, your choice will majorly affect the game, and you’ll have to live with the consequences.

After playing through Episode 1, I’m still digesting the experience, and building up the ‘mood’ to continue. Episode 2′s already on the Pad and ready to play. One problem is that it takes so darn long to download new eps, and the darn DL can’t be paused or continued if something botches it up. But I’ll get to playing this through to the end eventually. Hopefully before next year? We’ll see…