Aug 222011
 

Played on: iPhone 3GS
Version:1.1
Developer:LapLand Studio
Price:$.99

Wesley Snipes is a bad ass. I meant it, I love his movies and think he’s a kick ass actor. He was Blade! So when I heard of a game made about him, possibly by him I had to try it out. Little did I know what I was in for.

Julius Styles: The International (feat. Wesley Snipes) is a bad ass character. He’s some kind of agent trying to figure out who’s doing what and when. He looks cool and carries a gun but he’s not really action-oriented. He’s a slow walker and even worse, dumb when it comes to puzzles (after all I’m playing as him…ouch). You have a bunch of missions to do and your goal is to execute them all. This sounds a lot easier than said. There are a lot of puzzles (actually the whole game is pretty much based around puzzles) and the way they happen are kind of good but the way you play them is not.

To be fair the puzzle aspect is a neat idea it’s just not executed well. You move around and tap everything on the screen hoping something happens. I was stuck in a room with a tool box because the hint was I had to open said tool box. I had no idea I had to literally drag items off my menu onto the tool box. The game didn’t say anything! I had to figure it out myself and all it did was make this game longer. You’re never really sure what’s part of the scenery and what an item that you must pick up is. It feels like it’s kind of based on good luck then actual strategy.

Cheryl?!

You do have a little PDA device that gives you hints and missions which work quite well. With out that I’d definitely be lost, assuming that that is pressed and not the menu button. Honestly that PDA device is very important and it’s very close to the menu button which brings you back to the main menu, why not put this in the pause menu is beyond me. The worse part of mistakenly pressing that button is the load times. This game is covered with loading times.

Most of the game has you solving puzzles, which is all fine and dandy but just like the toolbox example I have absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to do. Some are quite simple like picking a lock but others like guiding a hack? Worm (see image below)? Something through a dark maze and you’re supposed to do something, hell if I know. The game gives you a vague (but usually wordy) description of what you’re supposed to do but half the time I’m not following. I don’t know if this makes as much sense as when I was actually playing. It took me a while to figure out that to move the worm-thing I had to scroll the screen not direct the thing…like I have been this whole time. Lucky there is a skip button and to be honest I used it a lot, not because I couldn’t get the puzzles but because I didn’t know how to solve the puzzles even if the answers were right in front of me.I’m As Confused By This As You Are….No Context Needed

 Speaking of awkward controls, this game controls as awkward as this sentence is structured, no clever segue. You must tap where you want to go and assuming Julius Styles understands what you meant he’ll caress the walls with his body until he finds a door. It’s presented in an isometric point of view which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just awkward. Since you’re stuck at a certain angle and can’t zoom out. So if I want to see if it’s worth to reach the corner of the room I physically have to move my slow-walking, wall-caressing Julius there. There are even items hidden unfairly behind walls and locations you would have never guessed to go a unless you got lucky by accidentally tapping  that area . The only reason I’ve found these items was because I’m clicking everything on the screen because I want him to walk right.

The game looks decent though, the characters are interesting enough and the style is different; for an iOS game anyways. There are some spoken dialogue, and it’s done very well, but the actual gameplay aspect is tedious. Finding mistakes on a passport took forever because I didn’t know what was considered a mistake and was just part of the passport. So I tapped everything until I got all of them. There are rooms with no clues as to how to continue and the speed at which he walks makes this game become incredibly boring.

Sadly, This is The Best Parts of the Game

In closing Julius Styles: The International is not a terrible game. It’s just a game that feels like it hasn’t been polished. There is good somewhere in here but it’s hidden under terrible controls and mysterious puzzles. There are some good locations and situations that you’ll find yourself in but some can be ruined by some cruddy controls The idea and visuals are nice but the gameplay is just awkward. I’m sure after a few more TLC or “updates” as you kids call em’ the game may improve but for now, just like I do with the puzzles I’d skip it.

5/10

Pros

Looks Good
Interesting Premise
Lots of Varied Puzzles

Cons

Bad Controls
Unclear Situations
Menu Button Close to PDA Button
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