The Moment: Samurai II: Vengeance Rocks the LG G2X Smartphone

Recently on Live Digital, Shelly Palmer’s NBC television program, I talked about a new Android phone with 4G T-Mobile service. The G2X from LG has a dual core processor, which makes it really quite speedy for games. That means car racing games don’t drop frames, and it also means that the artwork in games can be particularly well-defined.

Take for example the game I showed off for Shelly on the phone, Samurai 2: Vengeance. Now, the game from Czech developer Madfinger Games has a mediocre-bordering-on-miserable story attached. Presented between each level in panel by panel style like a graphic novel, the banal tale almost made me avoid playing the game in full.

Yet because the Japanese woodcut-inspired artwork has so much lurid personality, I felt immersed in this fast-paced, inexpensive game. For instance, as I peered over a wooden bridge, a river below flowed red with burbling lava. Japanese folk music was strummed quietly. And then, whoosh, I’m ask to slice and dice the baddies who stop me from wreaking vengeance on those who murdered my wife and child (at least that’s how I remember the mediocre plot).

For the four hours it took to play to the finale, I even marveled at the bloodletting. With a gruesome swish, you cut your foes in half. With a splatter of blood on the wooden bridge, they fall, and you move on to the take on the next enemy. I had the most difficulty with a whirling dervish of an enemy, who spun and cut me even as I bolted away.

There was a problem that bedeviled me, however. The touchscreen controls for battle are far to the right of the screen, almost at the edge. Often in the anxious heat of battle, my finger moved slightly to the right beyond the screen to hit the home button on phone. Which meant I had to boot the game again. Such a wild move paused the game, so it didn’t require a full restart. Still, it was annoying to be taken away from the brutal action so constantly.

Overall, though, I felt the graphically superior games I played on the Google Android operating system performed quite well. Certainly, the number of games on the Nvidia Tegra platform pales in comparison to the behemoth competition of Apple. Yet to find more than a modicum of games available was a happy surprise. And Samurai II: Vengeance had moments of console-grade excitement. And, oh yeh, when the T-Mobile service finds 4G service, it’s really zippy, even when you want to send the cut-above 8 mega-pixel photos the phone’s camera takes.

–Harold Goldberg

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