Act Of Fury: Kraine’s Revenge in Review – A Shooter With No Shooting?

Judging by the iTunes description for Act of Fury I had a feeling it was going to be something different, and boy was I right.  It’s a scrolling shooter.. kind of.  The thing is, while it looks the part and controls like one, you don’t actually shoot anything.  Instead, you use the powers imbued in you by a failed experiment in order to destroy things that you get close to.  Between the unique game play mechanic, the variable upgrade system and the need to revisit old levels in order to progress further in the game, Act Of Fury takes scrolling shooters in a direction that I rather like.

You take on the role of Kraine Severe, and if I had to guess I’d say some very bad people were attempting to turn you into the ultimate weapon.  They certainly gave you the powers to accomplish their goal, but your lack of allegiance has turned you into a driven force, and that force seeks vengeance for the monster these villains have turned you into.  It seems that your “weapons” are limited to a swirling mass of energy that surrounds your body, though, and you have no way to expel them towards your foes.  That means you have to get up close and personal to destroy the bad guys.  At least that way they can see your face when they die.

Each level is filled with tanks, helicopters and various other military vehicles that will try and destroy you.  Eventually you’ll start running into buildings that have weapons on top of them which can take you out as well.  When you get in close enough to an enemy to damage it, the enemy will start flashing red, and on normal mode that enemy won’t be able to attack you.  This protection is either much weaker or non-existent on hell mode, though, because the bad guys dented me pretty well even when I was up close.  If you position yourself just right or your field of influence grows you can actually cripple multiple subjects at the same time.  You can also use exploding buildings to damage vehicles if you time things right.

Destroyed vehicles and buildings leave green gems which help heal you and red gems which fuel your fury meter.  Once fury mode is activated, you are simply more powerful for a short period of time.  When you beat levels you’ll earn stars which can be used to buy extra lives or health or purchase enhancements to your powers.  The nice thing about upgrades is if you decide you want to try a different combination you can deactivate an upgrade to get the stars back and use them on something else.  You can earn up to 3 stars for normal mode and 3 stars for hell mode on each level, and it appears that all earned stars can be used for upgrades regardless of which mode you’re playing.

The graphics are pretty typical for a vertical scroller.  That’s not to say they are bad, because they are in fact really well done.  The bad guys look good, the explosions are cool, and the backgrounds have a slick console style look to them.  It’s just that they are fairly similar to several other shooters out there.  Though he’s a bit small, I do really like the look of the main character and the fact that the energy cloud changes its look as you upgrade his powers.

Much like the visuals, the sound effects are pretty standard fare.  It is kind of odd hearing moans and groans every time the main character gets hit (he is just a man, after all), but at least it’s something different than what you’d expect.  Even the music sounds like a continuation of the soundtrack to several other vertical shooters I’ve played.  However, I the songs are well written and I’ve really enjoyed listening to them.

If you’re looking for the next great audio / visual masterpiece of shooters, this isn’t it.  The aesthetics are good, but nothing truly out of the ordinary.  On the other hand, if your desire is to play a game where the mechanics stand out from the pack and power up configurations actually make a difference in how a level plays out, then Act Of Fury is just the game for you.  Absolute newbies might balk at the need to repeat the initial levels several times to get all the stars you need to move on, but average gamers will enjoy the thoroughness of normal mode and hardcore shooters will be able to sink their teeth into hell mode for a respectable challenge.  With Act Of Fury the iOS platform has another vertical scroller victory on it’s hands.

App Summary
Title: Act of Fury: Kraine’s RevengeDeveloper: Forge Reply
Reviewed Ver:Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$1.99App Size:
  • No shooting in a scrolling shooter… at least for you!
  • Plenty of challenge without being impossible
  • Decent audio and visual elements
  • Cool protagonist concept wasted on cliche bad guys
  • Sometimes level layout forces your hand to block view

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