Aug 8, 2016

When it comes to RIVAL FIRE, one isn’t left to guess what it is about for too long.

At it’s core, it incorporates the tried and true cover system style of gameplay. The player joins a team, and in its basest form, looks to take on waves of opponents while alternating shooting with ducking behind cover to prevent instant destruction.

The game helps one along to begin with, with plenty of vivid action. It starts sedately with target practice, which gives a crash course on how to use the bank of virtual touch controls nestled at the bottom of the playing area: firing, assorted weapons, ducking, darting, swinging view and the like. The controls feel easy, and make sense; the visual presentation works well. The game has 4 modes (Campaign, PVP, Survival and Co-op). Some are level-dependent, but Campaign opens up right away.

The action unfolds gradually, with the real action starting with relatively genteel enemy waves. The first few fire at one’s character, as one would expect, but as one goes on, the attackers get craftier and more varied. Soon, one encounters stuff liked lobbed grenades, which force one to use the aforementioned to dart. Snipers make an appearance too, along with transport vehicles and airborne enemy.


Success boils down to quick reactions: evaluate risks, shoot, duck, move and shoot some more. After a successful level, one garners game cash, which can be used to upgrade equipment and attributes, as well as XP.

Frankly, in the cover system genre, it can be a bit hard for a game to set itself apart; the segment is well explored, and there are more than a few iterations across platforms. RIVAL FIRE has an understandably familiar feel to it, but is still able to be a bit different when it comes to its use of angles to advance the gameplay.

The menu system feels somewhat cumbersome and even busy at times; the leveling concept could be simpler.

On the other hand, the gradual buildup does continually whet one’s action appetite, and the other modes (yes, PVP) are excellent variations.

Hero Forces: Free Shooter Game Review

Hero Forces: Free Shooter Game Review

Feb 24, 2016

Hero Forces is one we’ve been keeping an eye on.

While it has many an element common to cover shooter game, it almost is a disservice to describe it solely as such. Looking at the gameplay, one gets an interconnected experience that melds several types of mobile gaming; it’s complex and intuitive at the same time.

The game tutorial leads one to a shooting range to start, and this gives one and idea of how the virtual dual stick control works: move the sights to the target from the left, look for a red tinge, and fire with the appropriate button on the right.Easy enough, and it makes sense. As one slides into battling power, one finds the lead character always defaults to a cover position, and getting the sights on an opponent or object transfers the view to first person. One also learns the intricacies of reloading.

Here, one pertinent difference between this and a typical cover system shooter: the need to manually re-duck. The player has to make the conscious decision to get back to a cover position and this this does affect the gameplay, standing in the open is lethal, of course.


Going in via campaign mode, one finds the game is broken into missions, and the main concept is to defeat the waves of enemy shooters that are intent on doing the player’s character major arm. Success in this area yields game cash, which can — and should — be used to improve attributes. Level success also opens up areas in the store, and the game walks one through just about every major upgrade/procurement process. Again, leveling up and upgrading are quite important, as one does need better and more precise gear to fight the enemy, especially in the face of more advanced weaponry.

Another aspect is the familiar ability to dive from one concealment area to another. This is useful for when, say, a grenade is lobbed past a barrier. There are tricks one can use, like blowing up explosive barrels and using grenades of one;s own in the right circumstance.

It comes together better than one would expect, creating a pretty intense experience, even before one delves into the PVP portion (or the other three available.

Some parts do seem a bit extraneous; one might be forgiven for wanting to avoid the upgrade process. Call me weird, but selecting a computer partner to help out in combat feels a bit more serious when they aren’t clad in summer party gear.

Minor fusses aside, it’s hard not to get entranced in this game. Several modes, non-stop action, and made-for-gaming storyline. It begs to be played, so don’t try to hard to avoid heeding the call.



Mar 14, 2014

Frontline Commando 2 is an urban shooting game that combines several elements into a tidy package.

It is an interesting cover system game, in that it isn’t just a simple matter of shooting and ducking from end to end. The game engine works within the gameplay to create situations where opportunity costs definitely come into play. The general idea is that the player controls a team of commandos, each with life bars and offensive and defensive attributes; waves of enemy soldiers come in in a host of different environments, and it boils down to a level-by-level battle of attrition.

The action is swift, and, just as in the original, is presented in third-person, which works for the gameplay. The FC1action areas are usually visually slight but quite wide, allowing for fairly liberal side-to-side movement, with the protagonists mercenaries occupying the foreground, and the enemy further “up” visually. The controls are spread out, with the shooting button nestled with the duck buttonThere is a sighing mechanism hat is easy to manipulate via gestures; placing it on the enemy and hitting the shooting button fires on said enemy, and if/when the enemy’s life bar is depleted, he is neutralized. Shooting automatically lifts the player out of the cover position, and he remains there until the cover button is tapped.

Now, the enemy gets craftier as progress is made; one weapon to be wary of is the tossed grenade. When one is tossed, there is an ominous red symbol shown on the screen, and it is time to GIT. Direction buttons on either side of available screen show up, and tapping them causes the lead character to hustle to another cover point. Then, snipers appear, as well as boss type of players with special body armor that need even more than usual damage to dispatch.

On the other side, completing missions earns action points and game currency which can be used to recruit players and upgrade weaponry and training, all of which are crucial for continues success. And real cash can be used.

It has smooth graphics; the animations are well designed. It is bloody, but not overly gruesome, and has the gritty looks we almost expect in these type of games.

I would have liked a more homogeneous menu system, but it’s tough to whine about that with innovative branches like PVP mode included. All in all, it a compelling free-to-play sequel, and fun without being pigeon-holed.