As promised last month, developer Firi Games have released a huge version 2.0 update to their fantastic vertical shooter Phoenix II (Free). The biggest change in this update is a new League system which will move players up and down in various levels of leagues based on how they perform in each day’s mission. So, if you found the game pretty difficult you’ll likely stick around in the lower leagues and get daily missions that are a bit easier. If you’re quite proficient at the game, you’ll rise up the league ranks and get daily missions that are increasingly harder. It’s a smart system that should hopefully cater to a wider level of gamers than the original release.
The next big addition in this update is a set of 10 new ships. One of the greatest things about Phoenix II is its wide variety of playable ships and how they by and large play quite differently from one another. This remains true with the new selection of ships that each have their own unique weapons and at least one new special ability. Another change in this update that should make a lot of people happy is that XP is earned through destroying enemies whether you beat your previous high score or not. This was a point of contention for many as if you weren’t able to beat your high score on a daily level you really weren’t making any progress in the game. Now you’ll be making progress each and every time you play Phoenix II.
Finally, Firi has implemented a TON of balance changes, mostly dealing with offensive special abilities. One of the problems with having so many playable ships and different weaponry is it’s tough to make sure they’re all balanced well, and there were definitely some ships and special abilities that were overpowered compared to the rest. That may still end up being true even after this update, but it’s nice to see Firi being active in addressing the problem of balance in the game. Some smaller things that round out this update include a new level called Prometheus Array which should start showing up in missions in the next few days, a new music track, haptic feedback support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, new enemy weaponry, and a visual change that will show enemy ships flashing red when you’re hitting their hull, yellow when you’re hitting their armor, and blue when you’re hitting their shield so you know what the heck you’re shooting at.
Phoenix II is a really fantastic shooter that felt a little barebones when it first launched but is finding its stride nicely through these post-release updates. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s free and very much worth your time.