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Clash Force Review

By , on April 1, 2012


Clash Force
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • This game feels at home on the NES.
  • For on screen buttons, the controls are pretty responsive.
  • Awesome weapon upgrades.

CONS

  • While great, the one chiptune track level after level is annoying.
  • Some of the reaction needed surpasses the response of the buttons.

VERDICT

A retro platformer invoking memories of the Megaman and Contra games. While the on screen buttons are tweaked well, this game is begging for a NES controller.


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With the popularity of pixel art, chiptune music and sending gamers back to a simpler time period bathed in the warm glow of nostalgia, the landscape is as ripe and ready as it's ever going to be for a game like Clash Force. Taking its cues and look from games like Contra and Megaman, this game feels like it would be right at home on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Does that translate well to a touch screen mobile device however?

Well yes and no. A NES-esque gamepad lays at the bottom of the screen with buttons to move left and right, to shoot, to jump, and a big pause button in the middle. The buttons are quite responsive and do the job of dealing with the enemies, projectiles, and crevices assaulting you on screen, but it feels like they're just not responsive enough for what the game is asking of you. The biggest discrepancy is with shooting and jumping, and how due to button placement, it really feels like you can either have one or the other. Oh of course you can shoot in mid air, but there's this delay from spreading fire over the landscape to jumping over an incoming bullet or flying robot, and that delay can really throw a wrench in your plans.

The game itself is classic platforming. Run left to right, jump over holes and bullets, and shoot anything that moves. As you plod along, there will be robots carrying power-ups for your weapon that can be grabbed. This is where the Contra influence really shines, as you have short wave laser fire, purple multi-shot, and of course a spread cannon. The weapons pack a lot of punch and each one feels powerful and a joy to litter across the screen. Getting hit will deplete one of your health packs and make you lose any special weapon you're carrying, so funnily enough death is a secondary concern to the loss of your super gun as the difference is really noticeable when you're stuck with the default pea shooter.

With some devilish platforming and bullet dodging, and huge mechanical bosses to boot, Clash Force is a blend of many of the best platformers the NES had to offer. The difficulty is a little annoying at times, but aside from being authentic, it's more due to the touch screen not being a suitable replacement for a NES controller. Still, choosing your favorite anthropomorphic animal with a gun and destroying some robots has never been this enjoyable so for platforming fans or those with a nostalgic itch to scratch, Clash Force will definitely amuse.

Screenshots

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