Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm
Gameloft's Ghost Recon is cool, but it's held back by shady controls.
Gameloft has proven to me that there's no other company on the planet better at developing 3D titles on cell phones, and Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm is a perfect example of why. The game features a marvelous 3D engine that runs as smooth as butter on bread and the action is fast-paced and furious, but despite this game's brilliance its held back by the shoddy controls that, while it isn't Gameloft's fault per se, make this title an exercise in frustration.
The moment I loaded up Ghost Recon I knew that I was in for one hell of a time. The well composed and dramatic music blares from the speakers and the menu screens are very similar to the console titles. There are mission briefings, tutorials, maps, and even a screen where you can equip your soldier with several different types of machine guns and other toys, and the actual load times between screens is practically nonexistent. But what truly floored me are the actual graphics and gameplay. Everything is just a hair below PSOne quality, but damn! This is one great looking videogame. The 3D engine is remarkably glitch free and the game doesn't slow down. Of course, there are never 45 enemies on screen at once, but there are some pretty intense moments where guys are running across a field popping off rounds while some others are concealed behind cover and looking to snipe me in the face. But what the developers have done is simplified the targeting system so it's easier kill someone, which is perfect given the platform.
There are several missions in the game, all of which feature different objectives. And the difficulty ramps up, so at first I was popping one or two guys in the head, but by the second mission I was getting hit on all sides. But unfortunately, that's part of the problem with Ghost Recon. Despite the fact (oh it's a fact) that this is a wonderfully impressive cell phone game and it's fun in small doses, it's held back from greatness by its wonky control scheme. You maneuver your character using the 2, 4, 8, and 6 keys and you look around with the directional arrows, and while this is all right for when I'm hunting one terrorist at a time, it's a huge pain in the butt when four are trying to kill me. It's just way too hard to aim under fire, and this always leads to absorbing some sort of damage. I'm not blaming Gameloft for this since cell phones don't come with dual analog sticks, but the configuration is the only thing holding Jungle Storm back from a 4/5 score and that really sucks.
If you're willing to put up with the bothersome keypad and crave head shots, blood, and a challenge, I encourage you to give Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm a shot. BUT...keep in mind that you need a really kick ass phone in order to actually run it.
What's Hot: A fabulous game engine and lots of action.
What's Not: Using the key pad to maneuver