VG Tribune

Swords & Soldiers II Review

May 23, 2015 / 5:11 AM

By: Justin Masson

Hitting the Wii U eShop this week is the sequel to the 2009 award winning game Swords & Soldiers, that was released on the Wii U in 2014, appropriately titled Swords & Soldiers IISwords & Soldiers II is developed by the Awesomenauts developer, Ronimo Games.

I must be honest that I did not play the original Swords & Soldiers and therefore I have nothing to compared it to, but rather I take the approach as a reviewer as being new to series and look at Swords & Soldiers II on its current offering.

 
One of the first things that caught my attention in the game was the vibrant colors and design of the characters and setting. With the 2D effect you feel as though the characters have been pulled right out of a comic strip. This “comic feeling” allows for the game to take some fun turns that seem completely normal given the tone and approach of the game, such as turning an enemy into a sheep then zapping it with lightning to create a kabob for you to eat and refill your health.

If you are a completionist, then  this game is definitely for you. Each level in the campaign mode offers a core objective to complete (ex: get to the end of level) but also offered up 3-4 other challenge objectives such as completing the level in a certain amount of time or not using a certain spell. These additional time based and challenge based objectives definitely help for the replayability of the game.


Perhaps the biggest challenge I had with the game was the controls. The game offers 2 primary control actions for you to take, summon soldiers and cast spells. These actions are taken by either holding the ZL button for soldiers or the ZR button for casting spells. Once you have decided what action you will be taking you must hold the appropriate back button and then use the analog stick to spin around in a circle to select the solider or spell you would like and then select the A button to summon them. Although this may seem like a relatively simple set of controls, I noticed that when the levels got more difficult and I was trying to very actively manage the three basic tasks (fortify, defend, attack) that I was struggling to select the proper actions I want quickly enough as I was spending that time processing button combinations I had to make. Another feature, if you should choose to use it, is the ability to use the stylus on the  Wii U GamePad instead of the button combination. I thought this was a nice feature to include, and I think works best if you are playing the game in an “off TV” approach as forces you to be 100% focussed on the GamePad to ensure you are being successful in the level.

Another function I really enjoyed was the 2 player option. This function allows for 2 local players to compete against each other. One player uses the GamePad as their primary viewing option and the other uses the TV and, in my review, a wii remote to point and select your soldiers and spells. This feature is very much in line with Nintendo’s approach to create a “couch gaming experience with friends” and I felt was a brilliant way to add additional value and depth to the game.


Final Thoughts

I found I very easily lost track of time playing Swords & Soldiers II and keep coming back for “one more level”, which is a testiment to the level creation, challenge and entertainment value of the game. Although Swords & Soldiers II has lots of great things going for it including a campaign mode, local 2 players and skirmish option with the ability to customize and build your squads I feel the biggest challenge is  the  controls. I felt I was tripping over the controls in an attempt to manage  the tasks of the game. Overall, it’d give Swords & Soldiers II  a 7/10 as it is a great addition to the indie game offering on the Wii U.

Swords & Soldiers II

7

Final Thoughts

7.0/10

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