That perfect mix of fun and frustration returns in League of Evil 2

Have you ever wanted to punch someone in the face so hard that they explode? If you happen to be the protagonist in League of Evil 2 then you’re in luck, because that’s pretty much your entire job description. Of course, to reach that moment of pure awesome you’re going to have to make death-defying leaps across chasms, dodge giant hammers, evade gunfire and more, but all in a day’s work, right?

League of Evil 2 picks up immediately after the ending of the original game, and the basic gameplay remains unchanged. Players still jump and dodge their way through incredibly perilous levels in order to punch a scientist right in his explosion-prone face, and a great deal of the game’s elegance stems from its simplicity. The title harkens back to the long-gone days of traditional platformers wherein quick reflexes and expert memorization of each stage were the primary ingredients necessary for success. While the tough-as-nails platformer is making its way back with titles like ‘Splosion Man, N+ and Super Meat Boy, it’s nice to see the genre making its presence felt on iOS as well.

Though the gameplay feels familiar, a lot has changed since the original League of Evil. The most notable change is in the visual style, as the sequel eschews the pixelated look of the first game in favor of hand-drawn animation. In most respects this is an improvement, though the franchise may lose a bit of its charm for the folks who equated it with old NES titles like Mega Man. Fans of animation in all forms should be pleased though, as the game looks really great.

Beyond the art style, the most divisive issue in League of Evil 2 may well be its controls. This game calls for the utmost precision right out of the gate, and as we all know that sort of pinpoint accuracy is not the strong suit of touch controls. However, put a physical controller in your hands and suddenly you’ve got one of the most brilliant, challenging games on iOS. It may turn out that the gamers who love League of Evil 2 the most are the ones with iCades, while those without may quickly grow frustrated and struggle to find the fun.

League of Evil 2

For those who stick with it there is a ton of content, and the game’s demanding challenges will keep perfectionists hopping and punching for months. There are over 100 levels available from the word go, and considering the post-launch support Ravenous Games showed for the original, we can probably look forward to that number continuing to grow in the future. Those who relish the game’s difficulty and demands for perfection are going to be able to keep themselves entertained for a very long time.

The only real knock one can give to League of Evil 2 is that it is an extremely tough game, and thus will only resonate with a certain segment of the gaming populace. If you’re not the type who doesn’t mind dying over and over again as you try and nail an absolutely perfect run through a level, then stay away; nothing but rage awaits you here. And, as we all know, rage; yada yada yada; Dark Side. For anyone in the title’s demographic though, it’s an amazing app that oozes both style and substance.