January 4th, 2012 | By Peter Thomsen
Kraine is really mad – in fact he is furious, which is good for the players of Act of Fury: Kraines Revenge since that enables us to use his manifest fury as a weapon. Kraine is out for revenge against the bastards who experimented on him to start with, the bastards, however, are out to destroy Kraine and this wonderful little moral impasse is only solvable by violence, explosions and similar overdramatics of that nature. Darkwave Games and Reply Forge have made a game that puts the “skool” back in “old skool”.
In some ways Act of Fury: Kraines Revenge is a decidedly old-fashioned bullet hell shooter, with one important twist. You do not shoot the multitudes of enemies out to get you, instead you have to touch them with the electromagnetic forcefield (OF FURY!!) that surrounds you. In normal mode, touching an enemy with the forcefield stops them shooting at you, which is good. But other enemies on-screen are free to gun you down mercilessly, and since you are rather prone, because you are in the process of destroying the first enemy the game becomes wonderfully like the Japanese bullet-hell shooters of yesteryear. You earn stars by completing levels, which can be used to upgrade Kraine’s powers. So nothing new there, either.
What is new, however, is the fact that this game is available on iOS devices; long bereft of hardcore shoot ‘em ups, we now find this wonderfully ludicrous over-the-top addition to the genre.
The graphics are appropriately cartoony, and the explosions satisfactory my iPhone 4 easily handled everything that Act of Fury: Kraines Revenge could throw at it. I have some issues with the rather large hit-box, which means that I had to put an extra effort into learning when Kraine is hit – that could certainly be tweaked.
The controls are responsive and I never felt let down while moving Kraine to and fro, so kudos to Darkwave Games for that. The music is nothing short of awesome though, I was reminded of the dingy arcade halls of my misspent youth. I really recommend playing Act of Fury: Kraines Revenge with headphones for that overpowering arcade-like experience.
Now for the bad part; while the game is really intense and fun in short bursts, the level design and lack of variation in the enemies begins to wear on you after a while. The game lacks more bullets and more hell to make it a true bullet-hell classic, like Ikaruga or Radiant Silvergun. The aptly named, Hell-mode tries to remedy that but never really succeeds.
In short this should be a game where everything should be turned to 11 – but instead idles at 8 or 9. I need more of everything to say that this game is more than “just” good fun. Crtique aside, it is really good fun and very good value for money. If you’re like me and like a good shooter, buy this game now!
A quick note to developers:
Please make more of these types of games. iOS is starving for games that have that hardcore edge. There are some like Darkwave Games and Llamasoft who are making the effort. But us gamers needs more! Games are supposed to be fun! You all played crazy Japanese import games on the Saturn or in the arcade – make more and release them on the App Store. We are dying for it.