Back in June, we reviewed the follow up release to last years successful Battle Bears: Zombies! [99¢], titled Battle Bears -1 [99¢]. While this new prequel to the original game contained the same humor and silly antics that we love about the series, it fell short in a few areas, which kept it from being an entirely enjoyable gaming experience. It was still a fair amount of fun, but the awkward control scheme, repetitive levels, and overall difficulty and brevity of the main campaign ultimately sucked a lot of the joy out of Battle Bears -1.
Now, nearly two months since release and two updates later, pretty much all of these issues have been addressed and then some, and Battle Bears -1 has evolved into a much more competent game than it started out as. For starters, the game is now universal and contains higher quality graphics for the iPad, iPhone 3Gs, and iPhone 4. Both of the campaigns (the included Oliver campaign and the 99¢ IAP Riggs campaign) have been doubled in length, and where you would originally fight the final boss of the game you now receive a new weapon for each character before continuing on.
Oliver's new weapon is a deadly katana, and Riggs gets a huggable head-powered laser gun. The katana is especially fun as it delivers one hit kills to any huggable that gets in the way of Oliver's wild swinging. In addition, the game now allows you to switch weapons at will by tapping an icon in the upper corner (or a button by the right analog stick on the iPad), and carry up to three clips of ammo for each one. The 1.1 update that came out early July let you aim by swiping the screen, allowing you to look around without wasting any ammo, as well as a slider to adjust sensitivity. These changes have really done away with the control issues that plagued the initial version of Battle Bears -1.
The added campaigns for each character take place in different settings as well, alleviating the repetitiveness of the scenery from version 1.0. New cutscenes and voice samples were also added into the game with this new update, and the game has been optimized to run smoother on older devices. And the updates won't stop here either, as developer SkyVu is already planning on adding more weapons, new bosses and enemies, multiplayer support, more cutscenes, and a new downloadable third character with their own unique storyline and campaign.
I'm already much more satisfied with Battle Bears -1 after these last two updates, and it's really become one of my favorite games to play. Further additions can only make it even better, but if any of these previous issues held you back from checking out the game, now is a good time to give it a second look.
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