Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Temple Run 2: Better or Worse Than the Original?



Temple Run has been one of the most popular games on the market. Now Imangi Studios has come out with a long-awaited sequel, cleverly named... Temple Run 2. But the less than innovative title doesn't mean that the game isn't. But the question is, does Temple Run 2 offer anything superior or different from its predecessor. Well, let's take a look.




What is Temple Run?

Temple Run (The Original)

If you are unaware of what this game is, your either new to the smart device scene...or you live a hole. When it first came out in August of 2011, it became an instant hit thereafter. In the next year Temple Run fever took over. In essence, it is quite a simple game, but that's what makes it so fun as anyone can play it without much prior experience.

You are a temple explorer that has just escaped with a priceless idol, but little did you know that these black imp-like temple guardians would be on your tail. As you try to escape the temple area you are met with an interminable labyrinth of stone boardwalks that are filled with ducking, jumping, turning, and swerving.

The controls are also very simple. Swipe up to jump. Swipe down to duck. Swipe left/right to turn. And tilt to swerve. Simple enough. But it gets harder as you try to complete the various challenges and collect coins in order to unlock the next power-up or character.

This game became something everyone played whether or not it was the right time to do so and is multi-platform as well. It may have slowly died out but only to be refreshed with a sequel that doesn't disappoint in most areas.

It is undeniable that Temple Run 2 is a step above the prequel, but how so?

Graphics

Like pretty much everything nowadays it is impossible to create a successful electronic feature without an appearance that is appealing to the user's eye. Imangi clearly recognizes this and updates their graphics not only to make the experience of playing this now classic game more engaging but fresh as well.

Some of the updates include a higher resolution for a cleaner look. Also, the added water and sun is inviting and adds a crisp finish. One of the subtle details is that the path you travel on now is not plain and linear but rather has hills and curves to it as well. Its these subtle changes that make the larger difference.


It is evident that although Imangi keeps the same winning theme they developed in the original, Temple Run 2 doesn't fail at bringing freshness to the table. 

The only downfall to powerful graphics can be the lag it takes to accommodate for it. If you have an older device or are running multiple applications at once, you may notice some lag, but it is a small price to play for excellent visual quality!

Gameplay

It's nice to know Temple Run 2 has maintained the same simplicity they found success in, but added in touches that innovated an already popular game. Some of this includes new in game features.

As far as power-ups go, you still have the familiar boost, magnet, shield (equivalent to invisibility), coins, and more that you are used to. What is different about the power-ups is that the coin bar to the top right that gives you point boosts is replaced with a coin bar that supplies you with the power-up of your choice (that you must unlock) once it fills up.

 An additional feature is the Gem which introduces an interesting yet powerful game mechanic. Using a Gem can revitalize you if you are to die. This may seem overpowered but the cost of Gems doubles after each use per game and are as hard to come by as they sound!



One major flaw to the predecessor was the monotonous running turning and ducking on linear platforms that took place. The landscape had nothing interesting to offer. Well, Temple Run 2 didn't only revolutionize this in their graphics, but in their gameplay as well. This is evident in their new two features: sliding zip line rope and the mine cart rail.



The zip line is always found at the beginning of the run and yields coins upon tilting. The mine cart is more interesting as it is found every few thousand meters and isn't meant for the light-hearted. It has a lot of sharp turning, abrupt ducking, and tilting that can cost your life and a few coins. But the best part about this is the breath of fresh air it offers from the classic running. Also, I'm sure the explorer is given a minute or two to catch his breath!

Leveling Up & Other Features

A key part of the original Temple Run was the multiplier. Anyone that aspired to achieve the high score among their friends had to do the challenges to increase it and their overall score outcome. The multiplier simply defines the increments in which your score goes up by. Like the original, this is still increased by completing challenges.

But what Temple Run 2 improves upon is something that pretty much all games define as a necessity today: levels. Completing challenges will not only give you a higher multiplier, but it will also give you XP towards your next level. At the end of each level you are awarded a certain prize whether it be a heap of coins or Gems. Pretty Nice. But beyond that, leveling up also unlocks access to new power-ups and their upgrades. 


This brings us to the next big thing in Temple Run 2, the store. Once you've stacked up a bunch of those coins you can buy a few things. One of the welcome returns is the new characters you can unlock. But when you unlock new characters you also unlock the ability to add a power-up to the coin bar during gameplay. And there is always the ability to heighten your powerups by upgrading them although this can run you a lot of coins to get the top upgrade. 

Synopsis

In all, it is evident that Temple Run 2 has improved upon its prequel in pretty much every area (besides lag) and deserves the limelight it received in the past. Not only has it improved, but it has also innovated an already popular game. It's glad to know Imangi hasn't fallen short yet. Neither has the explorer whose probably running on a screen somewhere right now!

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