TDU2 then, is like Poundland compared to Need for Speedís Waitrose.
peej about Test Drive Unlimited 2
I like a good scrapper and though I'm drawn to games like Tekken and Virtua Fighter firstly and foremostly, rather than the button-combo madness of Street Fighter IV I'm also drawn to anything that offers a new wrinkle on the genre. So when turn-based fantasy fighting game The Witcher: Versus wibbled its way through my iPod Touch's wireless port, I was itching to see how developers One2Tribe had turned one of the PC's cult classics into something akin to a side-on fighting game.
Of course, to describe The Witcher: Versus as a turn-based fighter is only tackling one aspect of the game, and if you've ever played any of the iPhone's collection of microtransaction-driven strategy games (like iMobsters) you'll start to build a better picture of what The Witcher is all about.
Kicking the game off, you need to set up an account and choose which character you'll use during the game. Registration requires you to have your device online, and you'll need a suitable unique username, a password and a legit email address to get connected.
Once this fairly painless process is over and done with, the game leads you through a series of tutorials that show you around The Witcher's extensive menu system.
Opting for a female enchantress as my player character (well, why the hell not) I found the tutorials pretty informative and though the menu system is a bit daunting at first, you'll soon get the hang of where everything is.
You're thrown in at the deep end with your first fight against a virtual opponent (aptly named Kick Me). Don't panic at this stage though, as you'd have to be the world's worst gamer to lose your first scrap.
Each round of turns is split into offensive and defensive patterns. Players are allocated a set of action slots in each pattern, to which you can assign accrued spells, offensive moves or defensive spells and counters. Obviously your character's strengths and weaknesses depend on what class you choose at the start of the game so an enchantress has a far better chance of levelling up magic and spells rather than straightforward combat skills.
Once you've populated your offensive and defensive slots, it's time to fight. A lushly decorated representation of your character and the combat area is drawn, and the game rattles through your chosen actions until either you or your opponent is declared the winner (the person with the most hit points at the end of the combat round is the victor).
Depth and longevity comes in the form of the game's plethora of levelling options, character accessories and inventory items, and of course the inevitable microtransaction-based items that can give you a distinct advantage if you fancy shelling out for items from The Witcher's in-game store (developers take note of your spelling btw! Store menu options are misspelt!)
The Witcher: Versus has one more string to its bow. As the game is based on a PC browser game, it's neat to find that both PC Browser and iPhone versions can interact with each other, so when you pick your opponents from the pool of players populating your chosen server, you can face off against other iPhone owners or people sitting in front of their PC. It's a shame more titles don't have this sort of cross-platform compatibility (or even an extension to cover other mobile formats too, I mean you'd love the option to kick an Android owner's arse, right?).
Ultimately, how much time and effort (and cash) you devote to the game will dictate how powerful your character becomes. Though it's not strictly as rich or diverse as an online RPG, The Witcher: Versus can become addictive when you dip into it for a quick 5 minute bout and end up sucked into a loop of seeing how many wins you can accrue before your character succumbs to a more powerful opponent.
I must admit that I still find the more direct approach to the fighting genre more appealing, as often bouts in The Witcher can take a fair amount of time to set up - but the server infrastructure seems to be in place and with the game costing a measly 59p on the app store you can get a fair amount of gameplay out of it before you start getting tempted by those micropayments.
If you fancy a break from the norm, definitely try it out particularly if you've played and enjoyed the browser version.