Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid

3 07 2009

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=321084051&mt=8

Well the game is expensive at 10 dollars. But I do like the integration with ngmoco’s Plus+ system by the way if you would like to challenge me my Plus+ id is Redsoxsrule424 . Anyhow I recommend you guys check out this great game. Here’s Big Albie’s review to help convince you:

One of the great things that have happened with the iPhone/iPod Touch platform is the evolutionary creativity that devs have shown. While accelerometer-based controls are nothing new, the platform has helped make it commonplace to the everyday gamer. Rolando was a successful example of a platformer designed specifically to take advantage of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Rolando 2: The Quest for the Golden Orchid not only builds on the original, but adds even more innovative touches that really bring us back to why we play games in the first place—for the fun of it.

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the original Rolando. While the original was good, it didn’t rock my world. Rolando 2 does include additional features that improve the game and raise the appeal to non-fans like me, while at the same time offering the familiarity experienced by fans of the first Rolando. Honestly, if you didn’t like the first Rolando, it would be presumptuous me to tell you that you’ll like Rolando 2. The mechanics and gameplay are similar, and chances are Rolando 2 won’t turn you on either. While the game has more content and likeable characters, I have a feeling this like its predecessor will be hit or miss for many.

Hype aside, Rolando 2 is polished and oozes personality from the intuitive menus and world map to the individual environments and gameplay. I’ve been playing this on my iPod Touch 2g, and the graphics and animation are smooth. Presented in 2D, the scenes are presented with in-depth colors, and the layouts really pop. I’ve seen the term “2.5D” thrown out there, but that means little to me. Let’s just say that your eyes won’t be disappointed, although there are a few minor annoyances. For one, the zoom can be disorienting and not responsive as you would like. Another is that some of the graphics can occasionally be somewhat jerky. The soundtrack composed by Mr. Scruff on the other hand is really an added bonus because it just sounds cool, and you can access the Music Shack where you can listen to individual tracks and also play with a Mr. Scruff Rolando. It’s lively enough that I haven’t had to turn it off yet in my options menu. All of this combines to deliver enough charm and a boatload of personality to lure you in. But, is it enough to keep you there?

From a storyline perspective, the sequel sees our rolling friends on an island where they seek a cure found with the Golden Orchid. Apparently, the Roland population has been struck by a sickness caught from previous travels. The objective is to work with a variety of different Rolandos to reach the exit in each level with a certain time limit, and ultimately the fortuitous mountain peak that harbors to cure what ails them. The game has 5 chapters—Majestic Shores, Mysterious Temple, Savage Jungle, Cavernous Caves, and Stormtop Mountain—with 46 levels of play. Unlike the original with its linear progression of levels, Rolando 2 gives you more flexibility to experience different stages in all of the chapters. Each level is a puzzle that has a minimum requirement of how many Rolandos must safely reach the exit as well as crystals that can be collected. Achievement medals are also awarded based on crystals collected, time to reach the exit, and number of Rolandos saved. For me, the enjoyable part of the game is simply ignoring the timer and really experiencing the game without feeling rushed. I end up replaying levels until I can get them all the Rolandos to the exit because it’s a sad day when even one Rolando is left behind.

To add to the replay value, there are a number of awards that can be earned that range from completing basic training and leadership skills to discovering various islands and securing all medals on an island. In addition, the online scoreboards and friend challenges through the Plus+ add to the replay value.

You’ll be working and dealing with a cast of characters each with their own physical characteristics and personalities with dialogue in the form of individual bubbles so you know exactly what’s on their mind.

Royalty
King Edward XVII
Queen Gertrude
Prince Gladstone
Princess Angela
Lord Derby Disraeli

Commandos
Major James Cardigan
Sergeant Henry Palmston

Crew
Billy Loutfish
Fenny Saunders
Jim Lad Hawkins
Lightening Lilly Langtree
Turgut Reiss

There are new touches in Rolando 2 that add to the depth of this physics-based game. For one, there are lot more secret routes and paths that can be traveled through. There is also the use of vehicles and special Rolandos. For example, Rolandos can use carts and rail cars to quickly travel from one place to another using the device’s tilt function. Another is and the new what I like to call Gassy Rolando will blow through the air. While the Commando Rolando (think Rolando with Spiderman’s capabilities) from the original returns in the sequel, there’s also the Cannibal Rolando that climbs walls. In addition to the usual crystals that Rolandos can collect, some are hidden that add to the challenge of the game. As I said, there are as much similarities as there are differences in Rolando 2 that should further appeal to fans.

As in the original, the controls are tilt and swipe based in Rolando 2. Using the tilt and swipe controls to perform a variety of functions such steering, jumping and activating elevators or moving platforms is rather intuitive with a slight learning curve. And, moving a group of Rolandos or interacting with certain tools and switches is done via touch. The fun part of course comes from finding creative ways to help the little rolling guys along whether it’s bouncing them off bumpers, rolling onto and off spinners, or jumping caverns. From past user comments for the first Rolando, the controls can be a make-or-break deal for many so be sure to factor that in your buying decision.

Beyond the usual challenges of Rolanods (think bad Rolandos) and the obstacles of traveling on a strange island, you have to the Royal Rolandos to deal with who just as before tend to be either asleep or very uncooperative in terms of movement. Being physics-based, the mechanics in Rolando 2 are well done and highly responsive, and the Rolando series really goes beyond simply rolling around. It’s really about using each Rolando’s abilities for certain tasks in terms of buoyancy, flight and driving. For example, switches are located throughout that perform a variety of functions such as opening doors or activating weapons. Some are located in uniquely challenging spaces that require a certain type of Rolando. Smaller Rolandos make them better suited for smaller and tight spaces but they are highly buoyant, while bigger Rolandos are stronger and can move underwater. Of course, there are ways of dispatching the mean natives of the island including laser beams and arrow turrets. Did I mention the bomb fruits? These are easily one of my favorite tools for blowing up obstacles, and there’s even an award for that.

Overall, Rolando 2 delivers a wonderfully entertaining experience that is both engaging in gameplay and visually enticing. I’m sure we can expect additional levels in future updates and the current version should be enough to make you eager for more. In this case, the sequel is a step up from the original, and that alone is worth the price of admission for fans.

Albie Meter: 4.5 Stars (recommended for fans of the original and for those who enjoy platformers; new elements may interest even those who didn’t like the original)

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2 responses

5 07 2009
Flash

Great post!

7 07 2009
redsoxsrule424

@Flash- Hey thanks!

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