Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus
- Android - £1.00 - Special offer until Feb 14th (compatible with HTC Desire HD, Samsung Galaxy S)
- Previously released on iPhone and iPad - £3.99 each.
- Free iPhone trial version also available.
You can have all the features you damned well like, but the fundamental problem with first person shooters on smartphones is the complete absence of genuine control over what you're actually doing.
Gameloft's latest in a long line of mobile FPS attempts manfully attempts to improve matters with gyroscopic camera controls (not on the iPad, mind you). It's certainly a major improvement over the godawful virtual twin stick system employed previously, but you're still left fumbling around like a loser for much of the time.
The level design tries to accommodate this obvious issue, with unambitious AI, predictable waves of enemies and narrow corridor-based linearity. The biggest challenge is actually forcing yourself to get through levels devoid of any inspiration.
It would be utterly remiss of me not to mention the creditable online options. Indeed, more generous critics than I would call them groundbreaking for a mobile title, with online, local wi-fi and even Bluetooth allowing you to go up against nine other players across four familiar modes (comprised of Capture The Flag, Defuse The Bomb and, of course deathmatch and team deathmatch, known as Battle here).
Whether you'll be enticed by all that depends on your tolerance for shonky control systems; personally, I still fail to see the point when it still feels so horribly unsatisfying on every level.
Devil May Cry 4 refrain
- iPhone - £0.59 (limited time offer)
Refrain from what, one might ask? Refrain from getting excited about the first new DMC title in three years? Refrain from trying to port over a game that can't possibly work within the obviously limitations of touch screen controls?
I'll, erm, resist the obvious temptation to linger what Capcom was thinking, except to say that whatever it was, it doesn't work.
Despite being surprisingly faithful to the game's signature audio-visual template, the whole thing unravels the moment you actually enter any of the dreary missions.
The explorational element is reduced to little more than following a linear path, and the combat is largely reduced to an unsatisfyingly overpowered button mash that requires all the skill of semi-rapid digit movement.
For the most part, enemies appear for purely decorative purposes, and line up waiting to be eviscerated by your endlessly effective throw attack. You can swish your sword or fire your gun, but you're merely prolonging the agony for yourself.
Eventually you'll reach one of the familiar bosses from DMC 4, smash them around a bit, and repeat the boring routine. If you're lucky, the game will throw in a smidgen of puzzly entertainment, but mostly this wallows in tiresome mediocrity. No wonder the price has been slashed a matter of days after release.
Inevitably, my advice is to refrain from purchasing this. Capcom fans deserve so much better than this.