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Comet Crash 2: The Kronkoid Wars

Platform(s): PlayStation 4
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Pelfast
Release Date: Aug. 8, 2017


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PS4 Review - 'Comet Crash 2: The Kronkoid Wars'

by Cody Medellin on Jan. 12, 2018 @ 2:00 a.m. PST

Comet Crash 2: The Kronkoid Wars is a hybrid title that mixes classic real-time strategy, offensive tactics and a top-down perspective with tower-defense gameplay.

Buy Comet Crash 2: The Kronkoid Wars

When it released back in 2009, Comet Crash was refreshing. Tower defense titles were already becoming a thing, but the addition of a real-time twist made the game more interesting. To this day, it remains one of the hidden gems of the PlayStation network on the PS3. It has taken a very long time for it to happen, but Comet Crash 2: The Kronkoid Wars arrives on the PS4 eight years afterward, and while there are a few changes here and there, the experience remains largely unchanged.

The game itself is a combination of two different gameplay genres that work quite well together. At first glance, you get the impression that Comet Crash 2 is a tower defense title. It has all of the hallmarks, such as different turret types that can be upgraded and a base that you're trying to prevent enemy forces from destroying. There's also a pathway for enemies to follow, so you'll always know their route and plan. Unlike most tower defense titles, however, the routes aren't static, and the field has enough play to it that you can reroute the enemy's path with your own towers, creating an effective pathway where you can slow down enemies and kill them before they reach the halfway point — provided you have the resources to do so.

This tower defense title also has some RTS elements. Enemy forces arrive in real time instead of in waves, and they have towers that are similar to yours, including a base of their own. You can also create your own units over time to attack their base, determining when they should leave their station to go on the offensive. As for currency, you can use your ship to collect floating asteroids that can be taken to your own turrets to destroy, allowing you to pick up the ore and other minerals to finance your war efforts.

The fusion of these two genres allows for gameplay that is always active. Tower maintenance is a constant activity, depending on their placement and how often they're attacked. Getting your own towers into enemy territory is almost certainly dooming them to death, but it's enjoyable to see a lone tower or a group of them try and damage enemy towers in their own backyard. Since asteroids fly all over the map, you'll chase them down often, which can mean flying into enemy territory to snag any minerals they've uncovered but haven't collected yet. Most of all, the maps fit in one screen, so you're always aware of what the other side is doing and can prepare accordingly.

Surprisingly, this works well using a controller. Since you're controlling a ship instead of a cursor, moving around the map feels rather natural. It can take some getting used to as far as remembering the button combinations for some actions. Switching from the analog stick for ship movement to holding down a shoulder button and using a d-pad to select units can feel a bit cumbersome at first, but it doesn't take long to get used to it. The tutorials at the beginning only provide a barebones explanation of which button does what, but the hints at the beginning of each mission do a better job of getting players acclimated to the controls.

The main campaign consists of 50 different stages. For the most part, the AI is easy to contend with. It's not a complete pushover, but it will take a while before the enemy starts to make you earn every hit against it. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that new units are always introduced at the beginning of every level, and with no explanation for what they do, you'll likely die the first time you encounter them because you're learning about their habits and nuances. At the same time, all of the battles remain enjoyable despite this, so you'll rarely feel like the game is unfair.

For solo players, the campaign is pretty much it. It's a good thing that the campaign is lengthy, but those expecting a survival mode or even more skirmishes against the AI won't find it here. Instead, the other mode focuses on something people wanted from the first game: multiplayer.

Your enjoyment of the multiplayer will depend on whether you have friends that want to play on the couch. The campaign can be played cooperatively, which makes going through all 50 levels more fun, since there's rarely an instance where your combined powers can't overcome the enemy forces. If you're feeling competitive, you can battle against three other players, and since the maps are the size of the screen, every battle can be frantic. If you play online, however, you'll find it to be a lonely place since few people were playing the game at launch, and the population has dwindled dramatically since.

As far as presentation goes, things take an interesting turn. The graphics won't wow people since there are simple particle effects, bland environments, and units that look more generic than imaginative. However, the new partially cel-shaded look does a good job of letting you know which unit belongs to whose side, which is vital when you get into battles and the field is covered. On the audio side, the music is nice but plays at such a low volume that you might forget that it's there. The same goes for the effects, which sound muted to the point that you'll need to turn up the sound to get the feeling that you're in a big battle.

Comet Crash 2: The Kronkoid Wars is a solid title even if it differs very little from the original. The blending of tower defense and RTS gameplay works fine, especially since the stages are confined to one screen, and the game's length is perfect if you want to spend a few lazy afternoons with it. The presentation feels a bit muted, but it works well enough so you can discern which units are yours. However, those seeking multiplayer are better served with nearby friends, as online play is all but dead now. If you think of Comet Crash 2 as more of a single-player game, then you can check out this title.

Score: 7.0/10

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