Kroll Review

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by dckura, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. dckura

    dckura New Member

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    I just finished this game on hard, here's my full review:

    Gameplay: 4/10
    In summary, the gameplay is simply shallow. You can only move left and right, you can't even jump. Enemies attack from both directions while you slowly make your way to the right and eventually encounter the boss, it's the same formula in every chapter, and it quickly becomes repetitive. There are 3 chapters and 3 short levels in each chapter. Each chapter has a well-drawn story that you can read. On hard I finished the game in about 30 minutes.

    You have 2 attacks, quick swing and hard swing, and there aren't any defensive moves. The movement and attacks are activated by pressing buttons on the side of the screen. As you kill enemies your weapon power builds up and glows red and does more damage. You also have one special move that uses life force, it knocks back surrounding enemies, this is activated by shaking the iPhone or touching your character. The shaking is a completely useless feature and interrupts the gameplay, it seems to be a gimmick so they could say they used the accelerometer. If your life force is full and you die you'll be revived on the spot rather than starting at the beginning of the level, so there's a choice of whether to use your special move or not.

    The simple control system isn't aided at all by the lack of variety in enemies, there are pretty much 3 enemies and 1 boss. In each chapter the 3 enemies are themed differently, but their behaviour is mostly the same. Scorpions constantly bombard you from each side, while bigger brutes stand in your way, and then at the end of the level there's the mini-boss character that has a shield and a spear. You button mash attack through the 2 kinds of enemies, and then against the spear mini-boss you run backward to dodge his spear (because you can't block) then attack. That's it, that's the whole level, rinse and repeat for all 9 levels!

    The entire game you are running right on a rail, and the camera is on a rail too. Once you encounter the boss you are just completely on rails, as you have just one button. Each chapter boss plays out like a cinematic, and it's the same boss every time. As the fight between you and the boss plays out in a cinematic, a symbol appears and you have to quickly touch it. If you miss, you die and have to restart the boss. You have only 3 lives, so you can very quickly lose your lives in the span of 15 seconds and then have to start at the beginning of the chapter again. I found that the action just happens so fast, the entire boss plays out in 30 seconds or less, so your eyes are glued to the screen waiting for symbols to press, you have no time to pay attention to what's going on in the cinematic, nor do you care, because where the symbols appear is mostly arbitrary. In the end, the beautiful cinematic ends up being just a distraction.

    Graphics: 8/10
    Kroll gives a good idea the graphics iPhone can handle, but leaves much to be desired. The environment is colourful and gorgeous, it seems to be a fantasy themed volcanic island. You start at a beach, go through a volcano, and end up in a stone-filled fantasy mountainous region. It's gorgeous but there is little variation, and the backgrounds including the water and lava are mostly static with little movement. There's *zero* interaction with the environment, you just walk right. The enemies are simple and with just 3 types, it gets old fast. There's some effects when you hit enemies and use your special move, but actually nothing outstanding. The cinematics of the boss fight are pretty to watch, but are over quickly. With the simplistic boss fighting you wonder why they don't just pre-render the cinematic and play it as a movie. There's some dynamic lighting on the characters and a simple circular drop-shadow.

    Sound: 6/10
    The sound in the cinematics is great, but the sound effects you hear most, during the gameplay, are highly repetitive and don't use 3D sound location for left-ear / right-ear. The music is cinematic, high quality, and fits the theme of Kroll.

    Presentation: 8/10
    The menu is interesting as it's 3D and done in pages of a book. You can flip through the book to select your level, access help, and read the story for each chapter. The help is thorough and explains all aspects of the gameplay. The chapter stories are simple but accompanied by skillfully drawn art. There's a lack of polish here, as there are some minor artifacts when the pages flip.

    Value : 3/10
    This is where the game really flops, because here you have to factor in the price. The game is finished in 30 minutes or less and there is zero incentive to replay with just one unlockable, no other game modes, no multi-player. A score of enemies killed, lives lost etc. is tabulated at the end of each level but there is no high score. There is one unlockable difficulty (insane mode), but the game is just frustrating at higher difficulties -- the AI isn't smarter and more interesting, they just do things like throw more damn scorpions at you so you die faster. This game was built to be played through once, maybe twice, and because of the novelty of the high quality graphics, I'd say a good price point would be $4.

    Overall: 5/10
    High production value with little gameplay. After 30 minutes all I get is a pretty showpiece for my friends. The only time I'm going to fire this game up again is to demo the pretty graphics of the iPhone. This game belongs at an Apple convention on a big screen, not on my personal iPhone that I'll carry on me for years. These graphics and production values are slowly becoming standard on the iPhone, so the novelty value will be short-lived, and this game will be sadly forgotten.
  2. Totally 1337

    Totally 1337 Active Member

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    Well i wont be buying that game.....
  3. myahele

    myahele New Member

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    thanks for the review. you certainly made my decision easier

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  4. russiaone

    russiaone New Member

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    I totally agree. Chain's of Olympus this turd is not.

    I may give up on App Store gamewise and just go back to my DS and PSP.
  5. dckura

    dckura New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Most of these first generation iPhone games are gonna be pretty bad as they're just rushing to capture the novelty market. It's the same as any other console or handheld. Don't give up on iPhone or even the company Digital Legends yet, wait like 6 months for the next round of games, and in the meantime don't rush into purchases and wait for reviews.

    If Digital Legends combines their production value with good gameplay next time, they'll have a winner on their hands.
  6. SeeFreaky

    SeeFreaky New Member

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    I strongly agree. Kroll could've been a lot better, but hey, the graphics are pleasing aren't they?
  7. ricardofelix95

    ricardofelix95 Banned

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    Me neighter, Even tho its already on my iphone.

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  8. spyboy

    spyboy New Member

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    Well its not bad for somethin u got for free

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    At least i did

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    Yeah high end graphics games are short, the ones that u enjoy n spend hours playin are the simple ones; for example Bejeweled 2 i still got it n play it often. Its a shame this game only has 9 levels; i was kinda curious to c how it looked like since they showed it b4 the appstore was launched.
  9. Appstore 2.0

    Appstore 2.0 New Member

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    Aww I really wanted this game, but if it's only 9 levels and is basically just a button masher then i won't get it.

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  10. Quasimir

    Quasimir New Member

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    jesus, when i bought my ipod this year (loong before the appstore) i was never expecting that one day a game will deliver such eyecandy on this device. The graphics are outstanding but the gameplay is simplistic and i finished the game after nearly 45 minutes.

    I must admit...i didnt bought the game

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    after reading the first opinions and boy, would i be disappointed after paying good money for that graphics demo.

    the presentation leaves you wanting more, more gameplay, more levels and more action but the game is just so f***ing short.....

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