Possessed of fun... and by some technical gremlins.Edit
Man, remember Avenging Spirit, that cool game where you possessed bad guys as a ghost and turned them against each other? Oh, you don't remember Avenging Spirit, you say. Actually, that's totally understandable, as this Japanese arcade from the nineties never really made a big time trek around the world. ButDotEmu has ported it to the iDevices with the hope Avenging Spirit turns into one of those cult games that finds a niche audience.
How niche? Not only does the gamer need to be a fan of Clinton-era Japanese arcade exports, but they also have to be forgiving of some really frustrating technical and design issues. Yeah, that niche. Avenging Spirit in itself is not a bad game. It certain has both quirk and charm. Across six stages, you jump from body to body as a ghost, temporarily turning an enemy against his or her allies. Every enemy has a unique weapon, from a chain to giant snowballs. The enemies range from macho dudes with big guns to leather mamas with mean kicks. There are even vampires that flash open their trench coats to release bats as well as reveal their underpants. Because every enemy is not created equal, there is an element of strategy at play. The snowball-rolling grandma may be able to clobber normal dudes, but against an airborne boss, she's almost useless.
I'd have a much easier time recommending this purposeful insanity to you if Avenging Spirit didn't have some strange snafus. First of all, don't even bother downloading if you have an iPhone 3G or less. Avenging Spirit – a port of an old arcade game – will only run on a 3GS or above. Huh? I played on an iPhone 4 and I suffered from a lot of slowdown, especially when running the emulation in windowed mode. If it ran better full-screen, then why didn't I just use that? Because not only does it fuzz out the graphics, but the on-screen virtual controls are huge and obstruct the action. I don't understand why Avenging Spirit is kind of a mess, considering DotEmu did a nice job porting over Golvellius, a Master System-era adventure game.
Avenging Spirit is silly as all get-out, but technical issues get in the way of the fun. In windowed mode, which has the better controls and looks sharper, the slowdown is a mess. In full-screen, the game looks bad and the controls block the action. I hope Avenging Spirit gets a fix that cleans up these problems, because there is a charming game here. It’s just currently possessed by some bad porting.