Barbarian - The Death Sword iPhone Gameplay Review -

Uploaded by AppSpy on 28.02.2012

Whether you remember the Palace Software developed game Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior by its
original name or the US published title of 'Death Sword', what should be invoked is the
fond memory of a frantic, bloody and difficult-to-conquer action fighting title from a by-gone era.
Anuman and Interplay have resurrected the title, pairing it with 3D graphics to ship
it out to iOS gamers, but has the classic gameplay held up after 25 years?
The premise is a predictably simple one, placing you in the leather-thong sandals of a barbarian
out to save a woman being held as a virgin sacrifice. You know, typical fantasy fodder.
Along the way you'll decapitate vikings, shamans, warriors and dark priests who stand in your
way by swinging your brutal two-handed sword with grace and speed.
Only, the grace and speed for which the original was so highly praised for has strangely disappeared.
Oh, the 3D graphics are sharp, clear and smooth, but the characters react to blows (be they
sword strikes, blocks or blows designed to push them back) so awkwardly it's hard to
reliably predict the outcome of any of your actions. Throwing a wild kick by pressing
towards-down and attack can just as easily do nothing to someone standing right next
to you with an open defense as it will blow them over despite completely missing them.
Thankfully much of the combat can be side-stepped by pressing your attack-advantage on your
foe, blocking the occasional telegraphed blow and depleting your recharging power-meter
to deliver one of four increasingly brutal attacks. To offset your brutality, the AI
is rewarded with an unfair advantage of gaining power regardless of whether or not your blow
hits a defending opponent, meaning you'll need to finish the fight before you cop one
too many super-blows on the chin.
Worst of all, the poor controls, collision detection and animations are brought to a
painful climax as you attempt to dodge fireballs (a completely new mechanic not otherwise introduced
to players prior to the final boss). For your efforts a new mode (Arcade) is unlocked, with
Survival also being available. Players who feel the need for something more hardcore
can engage in the 'original' mode where death requires a full restart of the storyline.
Barbarian - The Death Sword banks on its nostalgia to appeal to old-school gamers while dragging
in younger gamers with its promise of brutal combat. Sadly the snappy, visceral combat
of the original 1987 title has been lost, making it a hard game to recommend to a modern