Best iPhone Exclusives
Sorry, DS and PSP users, but you can't play these triple A games on your favorite handhelds.
When Apple launched its App Store in 2008, we knew a few publishers would throw it a proverbial bone. Sega stepped right up with Super Monkey Ball, while Electronic Arts released versions of Tetris and Scrabble. At the time, it all seemed experimental, similar to Eidos' port of Tomb Raider for the now defunct N-Gage. Little did we know that millions of customers would flock to the online shop, making it one of the most underrated destinations for gaming. Gameloft delivered plenty of addictive experiences, Electronic Arts expanded its catalogue and even id Software jumped on board. In just a few months, several publishers made the iPhone a legit platform.
Meanwhile, DS and PSP missed out on some exciting exclusives, games that will probably never appear on either device. With that, join us for a look at the iPhone titles that have nearly made us kick Nintendo and Sony's handhelds to the curb.
If you were to tell us that the iPhone (and not Xbox 360/PS3 or even DS) would receive a watered down port of DOOM 3, we'd probably pat you on the head and walk away. We, however, would be the fools, because DOOM Resurrection was in fact released on the iPhone in all its monster blasting glory. An on-rails shooter, the game takes you through a Martian space station overrun with demons. As an unnamed space marine, you'll slaughter them with a machine gun, plasma rifle, shotgun and the almighty BFG-9000. Sure, you don't actually move the character and the game only takes a few hours to beat, but it's a lot of fun and looks incredible for a mobile adventure. It also makes three quarters of the PSP lineup look like garbage.
Rolando/Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid
LocoRoco was cool until Rolando came along. Ngmoco somehow avoided a legal dustup and created a game inspired by Sony's happy blobs, except iPhone users control them by physically tilting the device, instead of pressing lame shoulder buttons. The result is one of the most charming and enjoyable games on the iPhone, including the improved sequel that (like its predecessor) receives free downloadable updates faster than we can keep up. Free updates? Perhaps Sony and Nintendo should try that sometime.
Playing the original Wolfenstein on the iPhone felt like more of a novelty than a privilege, and something we couldn't rub in DS owners' faces. Then Wolfenstein RPG came along, providing us the necessary ammunition in the debate over which system was better. Built from the ground up on the iPhone, this turn-based and graphically superior take on the classic FPS has 16 weapons (like spiked brass knuckles), plenty of secret items, 32 different enemies and the ability to listen to our iPhone play lists while killing Nazis. On top of that, it only costs a buck.
Next to vampires, zombies are all the rage, and few games capture the intensity of blasting through hordes of the undead better than this one. Zombieville USA's designers cast you as some redneck charged with mowing down waves of flesh eating monsters. You'll raid homes for cash/weapons, then upgrade to a plethora of new and deadly toys, including a submachine gun and rocket launcher. It's super addictive, has cool 2-D artwork and plenty of gore. Even better, it costs $1.99.
Gran Turismo on PSP wasn't worth the three-year wait. On top of that, we'd much rather play Real Racing on the iPhone. It doesn't have as many cars (48), but Firemint's gorgeous driving game sports impressive visuals, a massive career mode, in car cockpit views and the best feature of all, tilt steering, thanks to the iPhone's accelerometer. Save yourself $39.99 and go with this $4.99 app.
Super KO Boxing 2
To DS owners waiting for Punch-Out!!, keep waiting. Nintendo has yet to announce plans to bring Little Mac to its handheld, and at this point, we're fine playing Super KO Boxing 2. Sporting slick 2-D visuals, an eclectic mix of fighters and responsive controls, this arcade boxing game can hold its own against the best brawlers, even Punch-Out!! on the Wii.
Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies
Activision's decision to bring Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies to iPhone had us both worried and excited. The bonus multiplayer mode rocked on the console versions, but we questioned whether the developers had the necessary skills, financial backing and even the heart to faithfully bring the monster mash to Apple's phone. Thankfully, there was no reason to worry, because the game's almost as good as its counterpart. You only get one map (Nacht der Untoten) for $9.99, but the app's so damn good that it doesn't matter. We had no trouble moving around, and connecting to three other players (online) took a few minutes. From there, we frantically manned the windows, scored headshots and protected each other from becoming a zombie snack. Can't do that on DS and PSP.