Game Reviews

Lightning Fighter 2

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Lightning Fighter 2

The arcades that made them so famous may have dwindled almost to nothing, but bullet-hell shooters have found a new lease of life on smartphones and tablets.

Japanese companies like Cave and Taito have updated their most esteemed titles for iOS and Android, and Taiwanese developer Uwan Studio managed to successfully replicate the same style with its iOS offering Lightning Fighter.

Lightning Fighter 2 offers more of the same tense gameplay and on-screen pyrotechnics, but introduces a somewhat obnoxious in-app purchasing system which robs the game of its charm.

Lightning Strikes

As with so many shooters on iOS, your craft has auto-fire enabled and is moved around the screen using your finger. You can deploy shields and smart bombs by tapping the relevant icons, and you can collect coins with which to purchase all-new craft.

Each ship has three selectable weapons, each with different strengths and weaknesses. For example, the first ship has a widespread blast, lock-on bullets, and rockets - by picking up a 'weapon icon' displaying one of these three types, you can switch your armament.

The action takes place across seven levels, each of which can be tackled on Bronze, Silver, or Gold difficulty.

The lush HD visuals and pumping soundtrack make this a real delight to behold, but the way in which the developer has attempted to further monetise an already premium game leaves a bad taste.

Unlocking new fighters is almost impossible unless you want to devote hours of grinding to get enough coins. It's obvious that the costs have been set to tempt you to spend real-world money.

Mo money, mo problems

To unlock everything the game has to offer, the current asking price is a whopping £20.99 - and that's with the current 60 percent off promotion. It's not a game-breaking issue, because it's still perfectly possible to enjoy Lightning Fighter 2 without purchasing all of the other ships, but you feel like you're missing out unless you reach for your wallet.

Given the similar nature of the gameplay, it's possible that you may be better off trying the original Lightning Fighter before spending cash on this - the in-app purchasing system is markedly less irksome.

Lightning Fighter 2

Gorgeous to look at and fun to play, Lightning Fighter 2's biggest weakness is the greediness of the developer