Fantasy Defense 2 review: A reminder that Plants vs. Zombies isn’t the only awesome game of its genre
Genre-mashing is a good thing when done right and a horrible mess when done wrong. That’s what I had in mind the first few moments that I was playing this game.
Fantasy Defense 2 is a tower defense game recently released by NHN Entertainment for Android and iOS devices and is a rather interesting cross between Final Fantasy Tactics and Plants vs. Zombies. You take command of different heroes and characters in order to defend your land and prevent the resurrection of the devil.
Gameplay: The house is a sanctum, and the plants are strategically-placed warriors
Fantasy Defense 2 is quite easy to understand. The idea is to kill all monsters in order to prevent them from destroying a giant crystal called the Sanctum. Your job is to strategically place various units in different locations to withstand the wave of monsters that come to destroy your Sanctum. Once the Sanctum’s HP drops to zero, the mission is failed and you will be unable to move to the next stage. This sounds easy to pull off at first, until you get to the part with droves of monsters sprinting towards your Sanctum. Also, unlike Plants vs. Zombies, each stage has a different layout. Monsters come in from one direction and trek a path towards your Sanctum, which also changes location depending on the stage.
There are different kinds of units in the game. The basic job classes for regular units are the Soldier, Archer, and Mage. These regular units can either level up or get promoted to the next job class. Each basic class branches out to two higher classes, which branch out to two more. Aside from regular units, you also have special hero units. There are four hero units in the game, the Defender, the Witch, the Assassin and the Summoner. Initially, you are only given the Defender and it’s up to you if you would like to purchase and unlock the rest.These heroes have various specialties and can be enhanced with items and equipment.
Regular units are placed, leveled up, and promoted at the cost of souls, which you get every time you kill monsters. Placement of hero units, their leveling up, and skill usage costs mana, which can be acquired by farming large crystals.
The changing layouts and farming crystals add a little bit of variation to each stage. It requires you to try out different kinds of set ups and combinations of units. The waves of monsters also come in various combinations so you have to be wary of which units you place where. There are monsters that are fast, physically resistant, magically resistant, and flying, so make sure you have a little bit of everything in the right places or monsters will get through and damage your Sanctum.
Audio and Visuals: Colors! Lots and lots of colors!
Fantasy Defense 2 makes use of a colorful 2D environment and cute anime sprites. I like how everything is vibrant and colorful without being an eyesore. The interface is easy to understand and you can generally tell game elements apart from each other. From the skills to the buttons and the character sprites, everything is distinguishable via a certain color combination or design.
The windows in the game could use a little work, as some of them may be too plain while others have text spill out of the window. It’s really a negligible problem, though, and doesn’t necessarily ruin gameplay. I also like that the buttons are large. This is great for people with large fingers so they don’t accidentally end up tapping on the wrong button.
While I believe they did a good job with the lively background music, I really don’t like the sound effects for attacks and skills. The repetitive, plain, and low quality sound effects can get annoying, especially if you are a person who is particular about audio.
So does this mean that if you enjoyed Plants vs Zombies, you’ll also enjoy Fantasy Defense 2? The answer is possibly, but not necessarily. I say this because although they are of the same tower defense genre, Fantasy Defense 2 does not necessarily follow in the footsteps of the popular undead game. The presentation of leveling and evolving classes brings an interesting RPG touch to the usual tower defense tropes. The whole idea of the game is quite simple, really, but each stage is a different experience and will require you to come up with something a little different from what you previously tried. I like how the game stayed true to the genre without having to dwell on most of the concepts of its famous predecessor.