Nintendo DS gets Modern Warfare: Handcramps
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 gets its handheld game on, but is it a shell of its big brother?
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Come on, admit you're curious. Want to know how it is?
First of all, this is obviously not a port of the MW2 game. It's not even close, and it doesn't try to be, either. Its name, Modern Warfare Mobilized, suggests it's a spinoff, and the storyline parallels different events and a different single-player campaign.
Now, the good news: this isn't a simple licensing rip-off. Under the hood of MW Mobilized is a real 3D FPS, which should be familiar to anyone who's played the previous
Enemies emerge two or three at a time, and their death cries and animations bring to mind Doom more than Call of Duty, but the storyline is cinematically told and decent fun with headphones. Unfortunately, however, FPS control for the DS is a jury-rigged nightmare. Using an all-too-familiar control scheme adopted by
Multiplayer, both locally and even online over Wi-Fi, matches six players up in a few scenarios. We didn't play these modes as much because it was tough to find anyone playing, and local play requires each DS user to have a copy of Modern Warfare Mobilized. Needless to say, fellow colleagues hadn't even heard of the DS game, much less owned a copy. This problem doesn't occur when playing MW2 on Xbox Live, needless to say.
But having multiplayer at all--with maps and different game modes as well, no less--is a huge coup for the DS. Not releasing this game for the PSP is somewhat of a surprise--Modern Combat Mobilized is a DS exclusive--especially since the PSP crowd seem like a better fit for this type of game. Still, the DS' larger market share speaks for itself, and it's debatable whether the PSP, or any other handheld, is any better for FPS controls.
While the DS' chief advantage over the iPhone is its set of physical buttons, those buttons fail utterly for FPS titles. It's a shame, because the Nintendo DS's biggest limitation isn't its graphics, but its lack of analog. The PSP isn't much better with only one analog stick and a four-way D-pad. If anything, Modern Warfare Mobilized made us realize how much we're looking forward to truly next-gen handhelds that are better capable to tackle online shooters. Sony and Nintendo (and Apple), we await that day eagerly.
Modern Warfare: Mobilized is available now for $29.99.