Updated: Espgaluda II Review

Cave LTD, the developers behind Espgaluda II, announced yesterday that their popular shoot-em-up is now compatible with 3rd gen iPod touch devices. This was made possible via an update that is free to download for everyone who purchased the game.

If you are still confused about whether Espgaluda II will work on your device, you can download Espgaluda II LITE for free, which was also made available yesterday.

Espgaluda 2 is a top-down scrolling shooter with a frantic style shared by many other games from Japan. It’s also not a game pronounced or spelled very easily. Nevertheless, Espgaluda 2 offers explosive gameplay, intensely rendering many enemies onscreen at one time and forcing you to act quickly.

We should note right off the bat that Espgaluda 2 is designed strictly for the iPhone 3GS (though it also runs on an iPad). That means if you have an earlier iPhone, or any kind of iPod Touch, this game will not currently install for you. A patch is coming soon to play Espgaluda 2 on an iPod Touch 3rd Generation, but you can also perform a simple fix yourself by reading instructions located at the bottom of this page.

Visually, Espgaluda forces the iPhone hardware to handle hundreds of moving parts onscreen at one time, without slowing down in the slightest. In our time with the game, we never ran into one frame rate hitch or complete gameplay freeze.

And you thought the subway was busy.

While particles, enemies, and bullets are flying all over the screen, it’s your job to dodge your way around them, taking the least amount of damage possible. This is done quite easily following some basic gameplay principles.

First off, by killing various enemies, their bullets will turn into gems that power up your character. This is important to know, because you’ll want to focus your firepower on the baddies shooting the most bullets to make it easier on yourself. If you want a high score, you can try to keep as many bullets onscreen as you can handle.

Second, you’ll want to use your powerups at opportune times to defeat the enemy. Examples of these powerups are shields and a wave that disintegrates all bullets onscreen, among others.

Giving as good as you get.

Due to the fact that you have unlimited lives and continues, Espgaluda can be very easy. Sometimes you are faced with literally a wall of bullets and no way to get around them, but if you die, you simply hit continue and keep going. No harm, no foul. While this can depreciate your sense of accomplishment when you reach the end of the level after 67 consecutive deaths, the real satisfaction is in earning a high score to share on OpenFeint.

If you aren’t going for a high score, Espgaluda 2 is not about being restrained. You’re able to use your never-ending ammo to kill seemingly endless swarms of enemies without fear of losing lives. While a number of people will enjoy the challenge of obtaining a high score and staying alive as long as possible, for others the focus can simply be about blowing things up.

This review originally stated that only 3/4 of the screen is used, but you can change the view mode in the options menu. We have included a link to a website that tells you how to install the game on an iPod Touch 3rd Generation. This review also incorrectly stated that different difficulty levels have different health meters, which we have removed, and that the focus of the game is not on obtaining a high score, which we now agree is one possible goal of the game. STP regrets the errors.

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