Friday, May 1, 2009

Pandemonium Review

The high quality developer, EA, recently released the port Pandemonium! for the iTunes App Store for the low price of $4.99. It is a "2.5D" side-scrolling platformer, with a 3D environment, but a defined path. It is very unique, because platformers are usually only 2D or 3D, not in between.
You play as either one of the characters Nikki, whose special ability is to double jump, or 
Fargus, who can plow dow
n enemies. You control the characters by pressing the left, right, and down buttons, jump by pressing the A button (double-jump as Nikki by pressing the A button again near the top of the jump), shoot a weapon by pressing the B button, and if you are Fargus, press the C button to do a roll. There are enemies that walk around, and if you jump on them, each a certain amount of times, they will flash red and fade. If you walk into a floating heart, you regain some of your health.
The graphics of Pandemonium are relatively good, and I had no stuttering or gameplay problems once in the game, except for slight annoyance at the lag of the jump button, which caused a few problems in the first world. 
Pandemonium has 18 worlds, like the PS1 version, each with a few levels. The levels range from taking about ten minutes to taking about one.  I completed the first two and a half worlds in about 45 minutes, which leads me to believe that there is about five and a half hours of gameplay in all of Pandemonium, which is very good, considering that you can also replay the levels, 
taking slightly alternate paths and try to collect 100% of the "treasure," or green gems scattered around the levels.  EDIT: I have played more and am only up to World VI after 3 hours of play, and I am still being entertained even better than before. This seems to have 9 or more hours of gameplay!
For some reason unknown to the public, EA only released Pandemonium for the App Store in the USA, not internationally. Some fans of the original game are frustrated at this decision, because they would love to bring one of the games they like from the PS1 and N-Gage around with them on their iPhone or iPod Touch.

Unique 2.5D Gameplay
Many hours of gameplay
Relatively easy controls
2 Characters, each with his/her own special ability

USA only release (this only matters if you're out of the US)
Jumping can be frustrating because of slight lag

Pandemonium is a good buy for a fan of platformers. Otherwise, you might want to wait until a possible price drop. EDIT: Now that Pandemonium dropped to $2.99, it is a must buy!



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