Alpha Wing 2

-Glu (2005)

-played on a Motorola Slvr

 

The Story

Thought to be dead, the evil space brain has returned to continue its conquest of galactic domination. Only the Alpha Wing team can defeat the brain menace. They have defeated the brain before and can do so again.

 

My Thoughts

Since I have not yet played the first Alpha Wing I couldnít tell you what is different between it and the sequel, except for one thing; I do know that the first game was a side-scrolling shooter while the second is an overhead vertical. On its own though, Alpha Wing 2 is a very good shooter for your cell phone.

The Alpha Wing team is comprised of three hot shot pilots. First is the spunky Summer. Sheís a pink-haired girl that flies the pink Flamingo fighter. Tareq is a reptilian alien guy and flies the green Gecko fighter. The final member of Alpha team is Robot-X who flies the Blue Shark. What the game lacks in original names, it makes up for in solid shooter action. I assume that these three pilots represent species that are a part of the Alliance: the governing body of Alpha Wing. Although, I donít think there is a planet of robots. Unless of course they already went through the whole robot holocaust that we know will someday destroy the Earth.

The level structure of Alpha Wing 2 is made up of three planetary systems, with three stages each. Terra Prime is the home system of Alpha Wing and is a green and rocky set of three planets. Itís amazing that all three planets look exactly the same. The same can be said of the lava planet Kraka system and the future city system of Traxgen. Traxgen appears to be an artificial system made of pyramidal planets.

The graphics are excellent. All the ships and backgrounds are vibrant and colorful. I know there are other versions on phones with more advanced 3D capabilities that give the backgrounds a swooping 3D look, but the 2D backgrounds look fine. They do repeat landmarks such as volcanoes and floating rock platforms, but they donít get in the way of the action.

The music for Alpha Wing is actually very good. It does loop over and over, but Iíd say itís some of the best music Iíve heard in a mobile game. It fits very nicely with the space blasting action and is a bit catchy. Each planetary system has different music, along with the boss, victory, and ending tunes. A few tracks could even make some nifty ring tones, but I digress.

The three systems also have a boss at the end of each of the third stages. In Terra Prime youíll fight a snake type of battle cruiser. Kraka has a big dreadnought fighter and in Traxgen a ship that hides another ship awaits the Alpha Wing team. The bosses are unrelenting and take a lot of punishment to bring down. They fire off a ton of shots and give you minimal maneuvering room.

All the weapons for the ships are similar, but have their own differences. The forward weapons are merely differently shaped, but the secondary weapons are varied. The Flamingo has straight-on pods, the Gecko has wavy shots and Blue Shark has homing missiles. There is also a temporary shield that can be activated if things get too tough.

If there is one thing holding the game back itís the slowdown. Just like many shooters of yore, if too much action is occurring on the screen the game will slow. While the slowdown actually does help at points when there are countless bullets flying towards you, it is a bit disappointing. I wonder if the game would run smoother on a better phone and most likely it would.

After you complete a stage you can select as your next starting point if you should die or end the game. Unfortunately this means you donít have to go through the whole game with each character. After you reach the final stage with your first character, you can merely go straight to the final stage with the other two without playing through the rest of the game. At the end of each stage the characters will talk and dialogue is slightly different depending on the character that you are, but not much.

Despite the slowdown Alpha Wing 2 has a lot going for it. Shooter fans should check it out.         

Score: 7.0 

-Shawn       

 

 

 

 

 

 

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