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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Review: Final Horizon (PS Vita)

I'm a sucker for the tower defense genre, and happily sink hour after hour into the genre. One of the interesting things about the genre is that it's not usually super twitchy. In fact, in certain scenarios (for instance, certain levels of Defense Grid) you could almost just set everything up at the start and then sit back and watch the show.

Final Horizon is entirely different. First of all, the boards are small, which is a great fit for the PS Vita (though the game is available for the PS4 as well). Secondly, the activity on the game is frentic, as you furiously go from repairing towers (yes, they can be damaged in this game), upgrading them, or switching from one tower to the next as the attack evolves.

The story is forgettable, which is typical of games in this genre (though Defense Grid is a notable exception), and the music tends towards being repetitive. Unlike other games of the genre, however, each level is playable and over within a matter of 5 minutes, even the final boss level. That makes Final Horizon ideal for the PS Vita, which was what I played it on.

With the Vita, everything depends on the controls and the implementation, and I'm happy to report that Final Horizon does everything right. Scrolling, tower selection, repair, and upgrades are easy. If you screw up in this game, it's not because the controls suck.

Every mission has a primary objective for you to get through, but also multiple secondary objectives as well. While this made me play a few levels over just to try to get the secondary objectives, the game didn't build in enough of a reward (other than perhaps trophies) to get you to play over and over again until you get it done. That's probably a good thing, since I spent plenty of time playing the game and while it was good, it wasn't so good that I felt like I needed to put more time into it.

Nevertheless, it's a very different take on the tower defense genre (no fixed patterns to the incoming aliens, no pre-defined path, and destructible towers), which makes it a recommended change up from the usual games. That it easily fits onto the PS Vita for travel makes it ideal.

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