Speedball 2 Evolution Review

Speedball 2 Evolution Review

Aug 29, 2012

It’s almost appropriate that Speedball 2 Evolution has finally been released on Android, given that this futuristic bloodsport contains plenty of robotic players. A modern enhanced version of the classic Bitmap Brothers game, this takes the guts of soccer, ups the scoring, adds in bumpers and bonuses like pinball, along with the kind of extreme violence of football. Players can be killed outright. The only rule of Speedball 2 Evolution is that there are no rules, besides the ones that govern scoring! YEEEEEEEAHHHHH!

The game may be a couple decades old at this point, but it is still gleefully brutal fun. The controls have been simplified for mobile, where taps and holds on the screen perform all the actions, and movement is either through tilting or a virtual joystick. There’s a fun campaign mode whwre players earn money and fight their way through the ranks of the various Speedball leagues, taking on themed teams, like one named after metal singers. The developer Vivid Games is based in Poland, which explains the inclusion of a player named Nergal. I throw up the horns for that.

The problem with the game is really that it is too easy. Yes, players of the original are probably wondering what is wrong with me. But the mobile version is tuned to be much easier for the modern gamer. I’m fine with this, but the AI is just awful and easy to exploit. In fact, most goals are thanks to the AI being inspired by Leeroy Jenkins. Once it is discovered that they rarely go for the ramps that multiply points, it becomes easier to run up the score, and even if the player’s team is relatively outmatched, there’s still a fighting chance. It just takes a few matches to get used to, and boom, domination. I was clamoring for a harder difficulty, but none was to be had!

However, despite the game giving good players a sizable advantage, there’s still something so purely fun about smashing faces in a futuristic bloodsport. Just do expect a walk in the park.

Theme Thursday: Scratched for ADW

Theme Thursday: Scratched for ADW

Jun 14, 2012

After a long run of GO Launcher-related themes, this Thursday we will be looking at an ADW Launcher theme by popular theme designer ADDesignes. Scratched is the name of the theme, and like most themes, the name is very indicative of its style. Featuring three different wallpapers that incorporate a worn sheet metal design, “Scratched” is probably the most appropriate title for this theme.

As far as the actual design of the theme goes, there is really a lot to be desired. The icons are surrounded by a battered square backing which is actually very well done, with little bright areas of freshly chipped metal adding an impressive level of detail. The problem is that the app icons are only noted by a recessed etched out area that is very hard to see and makes it tough to quickly scan through a page of apps. The biggest problem is the dark and light hatching that is used for these icons, as the light hatch marks almost exactly match that of its backing. For those who are fans of the icons, however, there is a generous selection here, although I would have liked to have seen some of the more common features like Phone and SMS drop the square backing and stand out a bit more.

It is hard to decide weather or not I find this theme particularly attractive or not, seeing as the whole metallic idea is not usually my ideal as it tends to become too busy. The hard edges of the icons, in my opinion, make the screen look too cluttered, and my suggestion to those employing this theme is to try and limit the number of icons on one page to lessen the confusion. For anyone who does not immediately find this theme stunning, I would advise against it; especially with its $1.49 price tag.