Twin Blades: Windows Phone 7 Review

Twin Blades was released late last year on the iPhone, and then earlier this year an iPad version hit the iTunes App Store. Twin Blades on Windows Phone 7 is a very simple hack and slash game, but what sets it apart from other titles in the same genre are the great graphics and the addition of Xbox LIVE support.

Help sister defeat the scourge of evil Zombies! An action packed game will transport you the medieval ages where you will play as a kick-a** nun on a quest to rid the world off Zombies.  The heavy zombie-killing action will take you across multiple environments. Venture through the city market, the cemetery, a chapel in ruins and the city’s outskirts to purge the town of all its living-dead inhabitants.

Buy new skills and powers and upgrade them as you progress day after day. Manage carefully your energy by slicing zombies with your mighty scythe in order to use the destructive powers of your artillery!

  • 6 range weapons ranging from machinegun to explosive nukes.
  • Upgradable skills for your character, which can be bought and trained.
  • An immersive storyline with epic boss encounters!
  • Different kind of zombies behaviors, shake your device to get rid of grabbers!
  • 10 exclusive new environments discoverable at different times of the day or night
  • Show the whole world what you’ve achieved and improve your Gamerscore online with Xbox LIVE.

Twin Blades on Windows Phone 7 is almost identical to the iPhone version, all bar slightly longer loading times and Xbox LIVE features. The game still has all of the bits and pieces from the iPhone version where you move your character, Sister Angelika, through levels filled with Zombies and many other creatures. The zombies come out of the ground and you can either blow them away or hack them down if you so wish.

The game has a number of locations from monasteries to market places and can be played in both day and night settings. Within the levels you must vanquish enemies with your gun or scythe. Both of these weapons can be upgraded, but using the gun takes up some energy, which can be replenished by switching back to your blade. There is little use for the gun during the game except when coming up against some of the bosses in later levels. The scythe does the trick most of the time! So why use anything else?

Upgrades are bought via Zombie hearts that you gain when you kill a zombie. You can upgrade weapons as well as health by returning to the monastery. To switch between the weapons that you buy in the game, you just flick up and down with your finger on the icons. Controlling your character is all done via an onscreen thumbstick on the left of the screen, while icons for the weapons are on the right of the screen.

The game also has a very basic storyline and although it is one that can easily be ignored, it does add to the game in general. Another good point is that Twin Blades feels very polished for a mobile title, it never crashed for me, it flows smoothly and didn't have any performance issues. The game does repeat on you over time, but that can be said for nearly every hack and slash game released on any other formats, but the game does have Xbox LIVE achievements so you can work towards them too.

Graphically, the game looks great on the HTC Trophy screen as it really shows off the excellent artwork and colours that the game has. I hope that the art designers get to work on other platform based titles in the future that could really show off their skills even more. Sound is suitably gory, though it would help if it was in stereo on the speakers, but that is more an issue with the design of the devices rather than the game developers.

Overall the game is fun enough to play, though i'm not sure it is worth paying out the full price on Windows Phone marketplace. This is especially true as the iPhone version is far cheaper (in the U.K.) and offers the same gameplay. But with some excellent graphics and Xbox LIVE achievements, this is one to show off how great some titles can look on Windows Phone 7, even if it doesn't play as well as other titles.

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6 Comments

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The base GPU requirements of WP7 devices is something MS did right.

The XNA framework that utilizes DX9 is also something they did right, and with the XNA framework ramping up in the near future with more advanced features, the WP7 can easily be the gaming phone of the next few years.

On iOS and Android there are two problems for gaming, one comes from the limited OpenGL ES features and performance. The other is the lack of a strong baseline GPU in devices, that leaves older iPhone users out, and Android leaves users fragmented with many of the devices having a poor GPU if implemented at all for 3D gaming.

One thing that WP7 users appreciate is that the entire OS and applications framework are all GPU assisted, making interaction very fluid, and fast.

So even if you hate WP7, this should push to get Apple and Google to get more GPU acceleration in their devices for the basic OS as well as more support for better gaming. -Android is already working on updating the OS Shell with non-CPU bound graphics.

There are some good games on both the Android and iOS, but most are CPU bound OpenGL rendering, and just imagine what good GPU support could do not only for performance and graphics, but even battery consumption when gaming.

When you are no longer stuffing everything through the CPU, it can not only help the performance on these devices, but also help battery life. Win7's Aero is a good demonstration of this as laptop users have found, the OS disables the transparency, but leaves Aero running, as battery life is extended over the non-accelerated Basic and Classic desktop modes. (Hint as to why: Some operations are far more efficient when process by the 3D GPU, also a bit of additional RAM active instead of redrawing application windows all the time is also far more efficient.)

This is one of those games you notice colour banding on the most, especially when you put it right next to the iPhone version (that, and the fact that who ever ported it has stretched the GUI graphics, so now everything that was circular is now slightly ovular)

I must say though, even though the gameplay is very very repetitive, it's definitely my most played game so far, very vice graphical style! Shame the first boss was so damned hard to get past, let alone the last boss. Last time I checked on achievements tracking sites, no-one had got the achievement for the final boss yet. It's just too hard to do with the touch screen controls >__<

Good review ^^;

~Johnny said,
This is one of those games you notice colour banding on the most, especially when you put it right next to the iPhone version (that, and the fact that who ever ported it has stretched the GUI graphics, so now everything that was circular is now slightly ovular)

I must say though, even though the gameplay is very very repetitive, it's definitely my most played game so far, very vice graphical style! Shame the first boss was so damned hard to get past, let alone the last boss. Last time I checked on achievements tracking sites, no-one had got the achievement for the final boss yet. It's just too hard to do with the touch screen controls >__<

Good review ^^;

Hi Johnny - yes I've noticed the colour banding on this and a few other WP7 apps and games, I assumed at first it was just the screen but it seems like that or all handsets. Still great art style for this game, just a shame about the pricing for wp7 games at the moment compared to iOS and Android

~Johnny said,
This is one of those games you notice colour banding on the most, especially when you put it right next to the iPhone version (that, and the fact that who ever ported it has stretched the GUI graphics, so now everything that was circular is now slightly ovular)

I must say though, even though the gameplay is very very repetitive, it's definitely my most played game so far, very vice graphical style! Shame the first boss was so damned hard to get past, let alone the last boss. Last time I checked on achievements tracking sites, no-one had got the achievement for the final boss yet. It's just too hard to do with the touch screen controls >__<

Good review ^^;

I wonder if the color banding can be fixed with a quick update from MS at this point.