All your shoddy game are makes you sad.
I love good tower defense games. Sure, they may be simple, but they’re usually a fun way to kill a few minutes between classes or meetings, and they make me think a little about strategy. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m even a little bit biased towards them. I’m telling you this because when I say a tower defense title is bad, that means it’s really bad. We’re talking irredeemably bad here. Carrot Top bad. Guess what, folks? Milestone Vietnam’s new tower defense title, The Battle of Shogun? It’s that bad.
The Battle of Shogun employs the usual hallmarks of the genre. You have melee, support, and distance units that you have to place around a map in order to defend your castle. Enemies walk, fly, or dig undergound as they progress down various paths, and it’s up to you to stop them from completing their journey. At the end of every level, a boss-like enemy will trundle up the aisle and do as much damage as possible. Occasionally a fallen enemy will drop an item that your handy ninja will dash out to collect, which you can then employ against the next incoming wave. If you’ve ever played a tower defense game before, you’ll feel right at home.
Gameplay is the only thing about The Battle of Shogun that isn’t completely unlovable. The game plays like it should: defensive units all function like they’re supposed to, enemies reliably progress towards your castle, and the game never freezes. That said, it’s extremely slow-paced and boring. The game only has two speeds: slow and a little faster. On top of that, we’ve seen all these units before, as well as their abilities, and there’s nothing new here to hold anyone’s attention.
Visually, this is a game that is stunningly unappealing. The graphics seem like they’re straight out of the 8-bit era of Nintendo, and the backgrounds are all static images and feature no animation whatsoever. Character models are a little bit higher-res, though they still aren’t terribly detailed or good-looking, and the animations are extremely basic when it comes to unit movement across the map.
The weirdest part of the game’s visuals, though, is its title screen, which doesn’t fit at all with the cartoon-like character designs featured in the actual game. On top of that, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all three of the painted characters on the box art for a Super Nintendo game somewhere, though I couldn’t verify this by the time this article went to print.
Even the audio is obnoxious. The sound effects are passable, but the music repeats the same ten second loop of faux-epic scoring over and over again on every level. Seriously, there’s no discernable difference between level soundtracks. After the third level, I just muted my iPhone.
Milestone Vietnam clearly needed some help when they were translating the game to English. Even the game’s title doesn’t make sense. Shouldn’t it be “Battle of the Shogun”? Looking through the tutorial, I found gem sentences like, “prevent attacking castle from them is your object. Placing your army to defeat enemies’s [sic] waves,” and, “there are maximum two gates depend on each.” It isn’t quite as awesomely bad as All Your Base Are Belong To Us, but it’s close.
There is nothing to like about The Battle of Shogun. Nothing. It’s ugly. It’s repetitive. It’s unoriginal. It’s badly translated. It plays the same music endlessly. Worst of all, it’s dull. For a tower defense game that costs $3.99, players shouldn’t have to deal with any of these issues. There are far better games out there, ones that deserve your money more than this shoddy title does.