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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "Star Wars Battlefront: Mobile Squadron"

Galactic Republic EmblemImage via Wikipedia

Star Wars Battlefront: Mobile Squadron is an interesting attempt to add meta gaming to a perfectly simple game, but the end result falls a bit flat, as it's really just a fancy version of "shooting gallery".

In SWB:MS (just SWB from now on), you can join one of two campaigns: the Galactic Civil War (i.e. Rebels vs. Empire), or the Clone Wars (Republic vs. CIS). The only difference is the planets and locations on the planets available. There are X planets on the map. Each planet has three "locations" where missions can happen. You can choose to go to a specific planet / location, or you can do "instant action" while playing online and you'll be sent randomly to a location.

Once there, you realize that the whole game is just really a shooting gallery, albeit with a bit of variation. You can choose one of three units on each side: a regular grunt, a heavy weapons guy, or a sniper. Regular grunt have the fastest shooting weapon, but each shot only covers ONE spot on the level. Heavy weapon shoots slower, but covers 4 spots on the level. Finally, sniper shoots slowest, but fires 3 shots at once in a vertical spread. If there's an emergency, you can activate one of your "grenades" which will do the whole screen a bit of damage. You may periodically pick up more grenades, bacta tank first-aid (but only if you have been wounded), and minitank (20 seconds of wide-shots, covering SIX spots).

Each map consists of 3 stages. Clear all three stages of enemies, and you "win" the level. And you of course, clear the enemies by shooting them. Some enemies require two shots, so be careful. You only have five "grenades" (but you can pick up more if they appear by shooting them when they do).

So what exactly is the "meta game"? You get "control points" for each kill. In a typical "normal difficulty" mission you can score about 1400 points. There's also easy, hard, and extreme levels of difficulty should you need more varieties. Control points at each battle location (remember, multiple planets, each planets has 3 battle locatios) have each side's control points tallied, and totaled to see who has control of which location, and the side who owns two out of three (or more) locations of planet owns the planet.

You also get medals in each mission for special accmplishments, such as score X points without getting hit, getting lots of grenade kills, and so on. What's more, you also get AWARDS (handed out once a week) for special accomplishments, such as 30 100% accuracy games in a week. Finally, there are elite "squadrons" that you can be "assigned to" once you meet the criteria (once a month).

While the idea of "meta gaming" is good, picking something as simple as "shooting gallery" just doesn't quite make sense, even though it's a pretty well done one. All battle locations are nearly the same. The "grid" where enemies appear is a little different, and the background plate is different, but otherwise, it's the same thing level after level, location after location.

And that's it, really. The meta-gaming is a bit of a fluff when you get right down to it. Basically, you play the shooting gallery a lot fo accumulate poins for the "meta" contest of various locations.

Thus, while the game is somewhat interesting, it is at its heart, a gallery-gallery game, and thus, it can oly received 7/10 as the game's too simplistic.

Overlal rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: easy to setup, Star Wars-y
Cons: just a very fancy shooting gallery, rest sounds more impressive than it really it

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