SEED 2 – Vortex of War in Review – Better, but not enough to make a difference

SEED 1 – RISE OF DARKNESS (TMA Review) tried to reach for the crown of the Action/RPG genre back in late 2009. Released under Chillingo, it offered several interesting features, including the ability to switch between classes at any point in the game. However it was crippled by the developer’s attempt to squeeze more money out of the players using in-app purchases (IAP), offering the gamers special items that could not be acquired using other means in order to “help ease the gameplay”. In reality some of them were essential to avoid significant frustration which couldn’t help but influence the ratings, which in turn led to the eventual re-release of the game as FREE and an additional release of SEED 1 Gold Edition without IAP. And now the sequel is live on the App Store, let’s see if SEED 2 manages to overcome some of its previous shortcomings.

It comes as little of a surprise that SEED 2 is classic Action/RPG, as was its prequel. 5 years have passed since the events of the original and Litta, now a grown man is teaching kids his skills back on his home island. Awakened by strange dream one night, in which he was contacted by his old master, he decides to go back to the continent and check up on his old love – Gina. Little does he know that his old arch-nemesis has teamed up with Sitan forces to get the lands under their control and Litta has no choice but to go and try to rescue his love and her country.

In essence little has changed since the original. SEED 2 boasts the same ability to switch between classes at any moment, though this time you’ll have to manually switch their weapons in the inventory, instead of a quick button as it was before. This time round, however, there are only 3 classes to choose from – knight, mage and gunner. The first one is the traditional melee hacker, while the latter ones are ranged. Mage boasts higher damage and area attacks, while the gunner focuses on quick but less powerful attacks.

Each class has its own combos and dash attacks, which deplete stamina. In addition there are 5 class skills for each and 5 common buff skills. These are acquired in every other town by completing special quests, which means you will probably have the full set (skills for all classes) regardless of which you prefer. To provide for character customization you’ll get stat points to distribute on each levelup, as well as skill points to distribute on acquired skills which happen as you use certain weapons more and more.

The quests offer a nice variety, which is refreshing for the genre. Together with the common grinding quests, like kill x enemies, or collect y stuff falling out of certain enemies you’ll encounter quests to collect stuff scattered on certain levels and even – defend structures and capture enemies using special items. Diligent completion of all side-quests will ensure that you will be able to handle the enemies with not much difficulty. And the home-away-from-home that master Kanto provided with unlockable bonuses, like the restoration pond or warehouse, bring a bit of Baldur’s Gate 2 into the picture.

On the graphics side SEED 2 sticks to the 8-bit-style graphics, which are the hallmarks of the genre on the iOS platform. Of course, no Retina-quality visuals in sight. A big surprise to me was the interface – which is much much worse than in the first installment. Gone is ability to switch class with a single tap, as well as separate quick slots for each profession. Only 7 slots are available for both items and skills, which is clearly not enough. The controls feel unresponsive and lining up the character with the enemy to hit it with a ranged attack is often a pain. All of this puzzled me since I thought the interface in the original was quite nice.

SEED 2 is a definite leg up from its predecessor in almost every respect but for the interface. Unfortunately it feels the genre is so crowded right now that to make even a minor impact the game must be outstanding. And while SEED 2 has some interesting features, with the 8-bit graphics and audio that are simply out-of-date and the gameplay that is mostly the same as the competition’s, they’re not nearly enough to beset the mediocre but immensely popular Zenonia 2 or the excellent Inotia 2. At least the devs learned their lesson and stayed away from IAP.

With this I declare SEED 2 – Vortex of War officially touched!

App Summary
Title: SEED 2 – Vortex of WarDeveloper: Chillingo Ltd
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$3.99App Size:15.11MB
  • 3 classes switchable at any time
  • A wide array of equipment including set items and crafting
  • Kanto’s hideaway providing base camp
  • Some original quest types
  • Graphics could use upgrade
  • Poor interface
  • Not much new

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