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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 Sherlock Holmes

Statue of Sherlock Holmes in EdinburghImage via Wikipedia
This movie tie-in game is not bad, and somehow makes more sense than the similar Avatar movie game. You get a 2D game that's semi-isometric and is a combination fighting/shooting game (depending on if you're playing Holmes or Watson). Then every once in a while you do this "coach driving" where you need to dodge Blackwood's henchmen, environmental hazards, and basically get through the stage. There is even a "stealth" level, and of course, MMA level where you beat up the big boxer. Overall, this game seems to fit the movie better, though it seems a lot of stuff was actually cut out and not implemented.

The game has essentially two modes: the 2D isometric fighting/shooting/sneaking mode, and the top-down carriage move/combat mode. In the 2D isometric mode, you play either Holmes or Watson, as you move about London, in and out of houses, and beat up thugs (as Holmes) or shoot thugs (as Watson). If Holmes run across a cabinet, he may be able to get stuff from it. When there seems to be no clue, Holmes can engage "genius vision" to spot special clues. In the top-down stagecoach mode, move left/right/up/down to dodge hazards, run over thugs, and shake off any thugs that decided to jump on your coach.

The hand-to-hand combat is simple enough... hit W to attack. Hit it multiple times to get combos, such as double punch, spin kick, backkick, and so on. Break open some barrels to get medicine, which comes in 20%, 50%, and 80% varieties. There are occasional keys and other objects you will run into to do certain things later. Against normal thugs rapid presses of W is enough to defeat them. However, against the "boss", a champion boxer, his bull rush is very dangerous, so you will have to dodge.

As Watson, you use the gun, and basically, the crosshair appears on a target when you face it. When the target blinks red, hit SHOOT to score a good hit (perhaps even an insta-kill), else you score some damage, or even a total miss, if you miss the red target. You can't take too much damage, so you will have to run around a bit to make room to shoot at people.

You will follow the plot of the movie as you move about London chasing Dr. Melvir and minions of Lord Blackwood. Some information was provided through cutscenes, but those are mercifully short and to the point. And if it's confusing, there are hint arrows pointing out the way.

However, the game feels a bit unfinished. The "genius vision" was barely used (maybe 2 or 3 times during the game), and the game talks about "combining" certain items, but none were ever needed even for the endgame. There is also no high score table. While score is kept per level, no total score is given, and thus no comparisons can be made.

All in all, Sherlock Holmes the movie tie-in mobile game is not bad, but it felt a bit rushed and unfinished, though what is there is pretty good. It is not quite as derivative as the Avatar tie-in game, and that is good.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: not hard to learn, a bit of variety (fighting, sneaking, shooting, etc.)
Cons: feels a bit unfinished, many features underused or unused, no high-score table
Verdict: not a bad tie-in, but not a good one either.

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