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iPhone  header logo

Illusia

For: iPhone   Also on: Android

Money for old rope

Product: Illusia | Developer: Gamevil | Publisher: Gamevil | Format: iPhone | Genre: Platform, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Illusia iPhone, thumbnail 1
2D action role-playing games are hardly in short supply on iPhone and iPod touch, so it goes without saying that any new addition to the genre needs to bring something unique to the table in order to stand out.

Illusia has the building blocks for a role-playing classic, but the uninspired, overly familiar gameplay prevents it from being a must-have download.

Predictable plotting

The plots of most role-playing games are so interchangeable they hardly merit a mention. Needless to say, Illusia involves a malevolent force, a fresh-faced teenage hero and cute companion characters.

It's hardly revolutionary, but at least the dialogue is a step up from the norm, with well-written passages cut through with just the right amount of humour.

Although Illusia boasts plenty of role-playing conventions – side-quests, experience points, customisable equipment, recovery potions and magic – it actually manifests itself as a 2D side-scrolling platformer.

There’s still plenty of combat, item usage, and character customisation to sink your teeth into, but on the whole this feels more like Super Mario than Final Fantasy. Navigating each location involves making pixel-perfect leaps from platform to platform.

Clouding your judgement


Unfortunately, it isn’t all that well-suited to this style of play. Much of this problem comes down to the controls, which obscure too much of the screen.

This is never more evident than in the first moment you’re given command of your character: because your hero is completely covered by the virtual D-pad, it takes a few seconds to even register that you’ve been handed control.

Once you start moving, the irony of the control scheme becomes all too apparent. While the D-pad is annoyingly effective at blocking a large portion of the screen, the 'jump' and 'attack' buttons are packed too closely together.

You're sure to lose count of the number of times you accidentally jump when meaning to attack. The quick-paced gameplay demands lightning-fast reflexes, and when you’re in the heat of battle you simply don’t have time to glance at the virtual button you’re trying to tap.

This problem is amplified by the quick-use slots, located on the right side of the screen. Here you can store items for ease of use, but the buttons are tiny. Again, when the action intensifies, selecting one of these items is much a hit-or-miss affair.

Poetry in motion

A cursory glance at Illusia should be enough to tell you that its failings are a crying shame, because it looks beautiful in motion. The hand-drawn visuals are highly detailed and particularly well-animated, and other aspects of the presentation – music included – elicit feelings of nostalgic joy.

Illusia isn't a poorly constructed game. Role-playing junkies are sure to lap up its vast quest, menagerie of colourful enemies, and rewarding levelling system. It’s most definitely competent.

But it's tough to ignore the unsatisfying controls and general lack of innovation. Developers are simply rehashing what is a tired and spent formula in the hope that gamers will continue to part with their cash, but such stagnation is often rewarded with indifference.
 
Illusia
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 26 December 2010
In spite of some appealing presentation and a suitably epic quest, Illusia possesses a generic nature and ill-conceived controls prevent it from contributing much to the genre
 
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Joined:
Sep 2011
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Nimish pandit | 17:47 - 10 September 2011
Ass hole
 
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