To step back for a moment, it’s amazing what a tiny handheld device like the iPhone can do. Playing Hyrbid 2: Saga of Nostalgia really reminded me of this. Sure it offers some typically old school gameplay and its graphics wouldn’t upset a ‘proper’ console but for a handheld, it’s still extraordinary.
Hybrid 2: Saga of Nostalgia reminded me a lot of the Streets of Rage series. I loved Streets of Rage. I still play the second instalment every once in a while. I love RPGs too so the combination of RPG elements and hack ‘n’ slash gameplay that Hybrid 2 offers is right up my street.
The story is admittedly a bit of a mess. It’s ridiculously convoluted and all to do with time travel and parallel dimensions but you’re probably best off just ignoring it. The dialogue suffers similar problems and feels as if it drags on and on. I’m a fan of long cutscenes in games but only if the story is compelling. This isn’t the case with Hybrid 2.
Ignoring the story though, it’s a fun romp through mystical lands. You spend much of your time running between anime style 2d scenes. It’s all rather attractive to look at which is handy as this is all the game has to offer really. Animation is fast and ably handed with no sign of any slowdown on my iPhone 4.
As you’d expect from a hack ‘n’ slasher, there’s a hell of a lot of, well, hack ‘n’ slashing. It’s fun to do with a virtual D-pad offering a few different combo moves. Annoyingly at times attacks didn’t seem to register though, which became particularly irritating when facing numerous foes at once.
The RPG elements are there in the form of a basic levelling up system and offering numerous quests. Hybrid 2 offers over 180 possible quests as well as 23 different skills to learn. There are also many, many different weapons and pieces of armour that can be collected giving Hybrid 2 a Torchlight / Diablo type of feel to proceedings. It does feel a little repetitive at times as you find yourself repeatedly collecting quests, killing a certain foe then returning to a villager to turn it in. Then again this is the spirit of so many games and it’s still enjoyable to do.
Hybrid 2: Saga of Nostalgia fits the iPhone format well. It’s not a game that you’ll spend hours upon hours playing solidly. Its story isn’t interesting enough for that, you’d just find yourself deconstructing elements and noticing its flaws. Instead, this is a game that you drop in and out of when you want to play something satisfying. Instant gratification is the name of the game here even if it does say Hybrid 2 on the App Store. I found myself often playing Hybrid 2 when I had a spare 10 minutes rather than playing a more casual game. It was good to feel that I could achieve so much in that short time.
Hybrid 2: Saga of Nostalgia might not always be the most exciting game in the world, and it could do with some more accurate controls, but other than that it’s well worth a look if you fancy some old school hack ‘n’ slash action.
MLG Rating: 7/10
Platform: iPhone Release Date: 09/09/2010
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Hybrid 2: Saga Of Nostalgia for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of five days on an iPhone 4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.