Tag Archives: Modern Combat: Sandstorm

Our 2009 Games of the Year Revealed: Gaming Overload!

Wow.  What a year it’s been for the app store.  This was the first full calendar year that the store has been open for business, and we’ve been treated to a countless amount of games.  Now, all of us have attempted to give a summary of some of our favourite games from the year.  We’re about to list a lot of great games, so sit back and see if you’ve missed any gems from last year or disagree with any of our choices.

Matt: Overall, 2009 was a great year for iPhone gaming. My personal favorite release of the year was the re-imagined classic Space Invaders Infinity Gene, easily the iPhone’s best shoot’em-up. The stages, visual presentation, sound and gameplay combined to make this a game I found impossible to put down. The inclusion of music stages, generated from songs in your music library, make this a game with an infinite amount of new challenges, and the recent update made things even better. Space Invaders Infinity Gene is the best example I can think of of a major game publisher simultaneously revitalizing a classic franchise while doing right on the iPhone platform. Kudos to Taito for a job well done.

For me, the year held a number of other highlights. Meteor Blitz is the best dual-stick shooter I’ve ever played, with sumptuous visuals and perfect controls. Flatspace delivered the most open-ended space role-playing experience on the platform; how you outfit your ship plays a huge role in how you play the game, and you’re welcome to play in any way you like, as law-enforcement or pirate, trader or bounty-hunter, good guy or bad guy. Chronicles of Inotia: Wanderer of Luone and Dungeon Hunter offered up the platform’s best fantasy RPGs, while Rogue Planet delivered an SRPG to rival those on major consoles. Robocalypse, ported to the iPhone from the Nintendo DS, was the year’s best RTS, and IUGO’s Star Hogs was an artillery game not to be missed. GeoDefense and GeoDefense Swarm were the year’s best tower defense games. Chillingo‘s Defender Chronicles effectively tipped the tower defense genre on its side, imbuing it with RPG qualities along the way and cementing it as one of the deepest and most rewarding alternative takes on tower defense yet seen. In addition, the developer has set a new paradigm for the support of existing properties with constant and hearty updates in content. Knights Onrush is the App Store’s best castle-defense game, even beating out Gameloft‘s take on the genre. But it’s Gameloft’s NOVA that takes the crown for the year’s best FPS, highly polished with a robust single player campaign and an excellent multiplayer mode. My favorite retro fixes were the addictive Hook Champ and the lite roguelike The Isle of 8-bit Treasures. For casual games, KarmaStar was a favorite for cramming incredible depth into bite-sized portions, and Canabalt for incredible atmosphere and short, but addictive gameplay sessions. My list is long, but the last games I absolutely must mention are Rolando 2 and I Dig It 2, incredible sequels to their equally incredible predecessors. Damn, what a year!

Daniel: My game of the year would have to go to NOVA from Gameloft. Call me a first-person shooter junkie, but Gameloft did an amazing job with both the campaign and online multiplayer. There have been tons of other games that have come quite close to taking home the award though, from ngmoco’s Rolando 2 to Illusion Labs’ Sway. Com2uS also came out of the box after releasing Homerun Battle 3D along with Inotia  2: Wanderer of Luone, both of which were definite must have titles for me. Chillingo‘s Ravensword was yet another title that I was overly impressed with, along with their fun Speed Forge Extreme.

The list goes on and on, including Firemint‘s Real Racing and Flight Control, Illusion Labs’ Labyrinth 2 and Touchgrind, Gameloft’s Modern Combat: Sandstorm and Gangstar, Godzilab’s iBlast Moki, and much, much more. 2009 was a year quite improved from the initial release of firmware 2.0, and I’ll be surprised if developers keep up the same pace. I’m sure there are games that were forgotten, but either way, let’s say hello to 2010.

Nick: Going back a full year and trying to figure out the best games launched on the app store is definitely a tough task.  Choosing a single game of the year though is easy.  The game I have in mind had an impressive graphical upgrade from its predecessor, and the gameplay’s tweaked difficulty and rolling variations kept me fully interested throughout.  Yes, the game I’m thinking of is Ngmoco and Hand Circus’ Rolando 2.  After replaying levels just to grab all the items I missed on the first time through, I realized the game was something special because replaying is something I rarely do.  I initially opened this site to try and cover games that push forward the idea that the iPhone is a legimitate gaming platform, and Rolando 2 fits the bill perfectly. In trying to list other favourites from the year, I’m sure I’m going to forget many great games.  Here’s a quick attempt at other standout titles I really enjoyed: Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, Sway, Let’s Golf, Peggle, geoDefense, 2XL ATV Offroad, and Hook Champ.

Chris: 2009 was certainly a banner year for the iPhone and its gamers. In 2008 we witnessed the birth of the app store. In 2009 we witnessed it grow into something akin to a child: both awkward and wonderful; sometimes gawky, sometimes menacing, but always full of promise. This year we’ve seen everything from the great Halo clone N.O.V.A. to truly unique puzzlers like Labyrinth 2 and Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. But for every geoDefense we also had an onslaught of forgettable tower defense games that simply were a recycled waste of time. The still incomplete Minigore gave us a good laugh while Samurai: Way of the Warrior showed us that 3-D wasn’t always needed. At the beginning of the year, who would’ve thought a simple running game like Backbreaker Football could bring so much more life to football than the iconic Madden? That’s what makes the iPhone as a gaming device so special: it surprises us. This little machine somehow manages to bring a decoupage of gaming experiences that no other device seems to match. Gamers everywhere have to agree there’s nothing quite like Zen Bound for the console. As for the best of 2009, that’s tough. The Wing Commander-esque Galaxy on Fire comes close, but ultimately I’m a sucker for the well-rendered RPG; Ravensword: The Fallen King is certainly not without its flaws, but it is the first iPhone game I found truly amazing… utterly escapist. What can we anticipate in 2010 now that the iPhone’s proverbial childhood is over? The fast track into adulthood. With Apple’s newfound success in the gaming world comes a new set responsibilities… and new competition. Also, we all have bigger expectations for this little device than we did a year ago. Things could get really interesting. So, here’s to a new and even better year of gaming in 2010. Good luck, Apple, and keep on gaming!

Jeff: What if iTunes didn’t exist? What if there wasn’t an App Store? What if the technological marvel known as the iDevice was never conceived? Each and every one of us would have missed out on something amazing and revolutionary.  It’s a worldwide store where you can buy all of the newest music of any nationality from anywhere in the world, and purchase multiple games that fit in your pocket starting as low as 99 cents and (almost) not going anywhere above 10 dollars. This universal store has brought many people happiness, and the offerings that you can choose from are astounding. Music will always be changing, and so will the future of gaming. However, I’ve never thought that gaming could change so suddenly or quickly. Five months ago, I would never have thought of the iPhone or iPod Touch as something I would play games on, much less play games on for hours on end. This year, and more specifically, these past few months, have changed the iPhone and iPod Touch into my main gaming platform. And why? Because iDevice games are the only ones that get updated, changed, and churned out so quickly, yet still maintaining the polish and quality we expect from all games.

Now that the iPhone and iPod Touch have been established as possible gaming devices, what are the best games for this “platform?” Or, what is the number one game that all iDevice owners should have? It’s a hard choice, but I have to go with N.O.V.A.. This game has the best graphics, best controls, and debatably due to multiplayer, the best replay value of any game on the App Store. It has all of Gameloft’s quality and polish, and it isn’t a game you just finish and forget; it’s an experience that you remember and keep coming back to, time and time again. On the other hand, there are many great offerings for the iDevice, including Jet Car Stunts, Asphalt 5, Need for Speed, FIFA, Inotia 2: A Wanderer of Luone and many more titles that deserve mentioning. Of course, if I mentioned all of them, the list would be too long since there are just so many different options. All in all, 2009 has been an awesome year both for myself personally and the App Store, and I can’t wait to see what new events and things are in store for me this year. Onwards, and let’s all have a great 2010!

Ryan: The app store has come a very long way in such a short time. I remember when I was impressed by the simplest of games on a mobile device like an iPod. The app store has become a whole new market now with ‘real’ games becoming more polished and fun. One signing example of this is Nova. Nova is a first-person shooter developed by Gameloft that somewhat resembles Halo (ring any bells?) Nova is the most complete, comprehensive game on the app store to date. Not only does it have an engaging single player mode, but it comes with surprisingly fun online multiplayer mode as well. It is no surprise to me that Gameloft is the company behind Nova. After all, they have proven to be strong players in the app store market and have developed a number of hits. Each game they release seems to push the envelope (and my expectations) just a little further. I now expect an iPod/iPhone game to deliver much more than I did even a few months ago. I am excited to see what the app store holds for 2010. I think Nova will be hard to top, but based on what I have seen so far, it is complely plausible.

And that wraps up the gaming year of 2009.  I’m sure 2010 will be bringing us even more impressive games from all the developers on the app store who will continue to push the limits of the platform.  We’ll see you the same time next year for another wrap up!

Modern Combat Sandstorm Multiplayer Out, Somewhat Spotty

UPDATE: It seems as if the multiplayer does not work on jailbroken phones and iPods.

The multiplayer update for Modern Combat Sandstorm has finally been released, and after over a month of waiting, iPhone users can finally experience the full Call of Duty experience on their iPhones.  Of course, knowing Gameloft, this is an absolute surprise.  But then again, knowing Gameloft, their multiplayer games haven’t been all that great.

The online multiplayer design is great though, and it pits you into 4 different maps along with 4 different classes to choose from including Close Range, Long Range, and Assault.  They are all new maps not found in the campaign mode, and the game modes consist of Team Deathmatch and Solo Deathmatch.  That’s not all though.  They’ve added local WiFi multiplayer against your friends, in your own home, and all that great stuff.

Some people, including me, have been experiencing many connection problems (iPhone 3GS), and according to some people, it is best to turn off your 3G connection when playing the game.  It may work for some, but for now, that seems to be the only solution for those experiencing connection problems.

It’s somewhat disappointing, personally, to have to wait for such a long time only to realize the multiplayer doesn’t work very well, and we hope Gameloft will improve the servers and maybe even submit another update to patch up the connection problems.

Modern Combat Sandstorm is available for $6.99 with a free version available.  If you haven’t updated it yet, I’ll just say that the icon is officially ugly.  Even without the multiplayer, we gave this game a Must Have as one of the best first-person shooters (and one of the only) on the iDevices.  Check out out review here for more details.

mcmultiplayer_2

Multiplayer Update Submitted for Modern Combat: Sandstorm!

Modern Combat: Sandstorm was revolutionary game by Gameloft that changed the standard of App Store games and took iDevice FPS graphics to a new level. However, most people that played the game agreed that a multiplayer update was in order, and true to their wishes Gameloft confirmed that this update was in the works. Though there was much skepticism, I am now announcing that this update has been submitted!

The update contains the long awaited online (and local) multiplayer via wi-fi and bluetooth, Gameloft LIVE support, and best of all, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes. Not only will you be able to frag each other in a free-for-all, but you will also be able to frag others with a friend! The update’s current status is “Waiting For Review,” and I’m hoping that changes soon. Once the update hits, Modern Combat: Sandstorm’s gameplay and replayability will be taken to a new level, and gamers will be flocking to play another great multiplayer game.

MCS1

MCS2

Modern Combat: Sandstorm Review: The First Great iPhone FPS

This is one of those titles that had me excited for quite a while.  I am a HUGE Call of Duty fan (psn: B33R_3Y35), and being able to play a half-decent FPS on my iPod sounded so cool.  I wasn’t sure how the controls would work in practice, and I didn’t know if the iPod could handle halfway decent AI.  As it turns out, Gameloft hit the nail on the head with Modern Combat: Sandstorm.  It is more than I dared hope for, and I hope any first person shooter fan at least give this game a try.  If you aren’t willing to buy it now, at least try it on a friend’s iPod or iPhone.  If you can’t, then just buy it and thank me later.  That being said, I have thoroughly enjoyed playing this game!

Likes

Variety of Weapons: There are a number of weapons to keep you occupied throughout the game.  The weapons are also introduced at a rate that keeps you interested.  You aren’t just handed all of the weapons at once or in the first couple of levels like some other games.  To be specific, Modern Combat: Sandstorm features 2 assault rifles, sniper rifle, RPG, shotgun, submachine gun, light machine gun, heavy machine gun mounted on a moving 4X4, explosive grenades, flashbang grenades, radiation detector.

Enemy AI: One detail that I noticed right off the bat was the fact that enemies don’t just appear out of thin air.  You can actually watch them run into a room or from behind cover.  It is a very nice touch for such a graphically intense game, and I really enjoyed the fluid feel of the action throughout the game.

Overall Feel: Modern Combat: Sandstorm is just plain FUN.  The game feels like a FPS shooter should, and that is a remarkable accomplishment for this platform.  No one else has created a truly enjoyable first person shooter.  In fact, we rated Doom Resurrection as Worth a Look for that very reason.  It just wan’t that fun.  Modern Combat: Sandstorm is an enjoyable experience to say the least.  Well worth the money!

Controls: The controls in Brothers in Arms kept me from really enjoying the game, but Gameloft really nailed the controls in Modern Combat: Sandstorm.  If you can’t find a control scheme that works for you between the three choices, I don’t know what to tell you.  The controls were just fantastic.  I wish you could up the sensitivity a little more, but other than that, they are perfect!

Dislikes

Checkpoints Are Not Saved: For a mobile game, this seems like an oversight.  If you exit the game, you lose your place in that level.  Each level takes between 10 and 20 minutes to finish, so I find it disappointing that I have to be willing to dedicate that much time in order to keep my progress.  I hope this is fixed in an update!

Linear Gameplay: I like that some FPS let you roam freely or choose a course to take.  Modern Combat: Sandstorm is more linear and usually tells you where to go next.  The firefights are not as linear, but I would like to be able to sneak around more and find different ways of completing a level.  That would add to the replayability for me.

I found Modern Combat: Sandstorm to be the first solid FPS for the iPhone/iPod Touch.  It is well worth the money invested, and I think it is impressive graphically.  The storyline may be pretty basic, but it keeps you entertained throughout the game.  If you love shooting virtual soldiers/terrorists, then this should be an instant buy for you.  This joins our exclusive must have rank along with a few other great titles.

musthave

Modern Combat: Sandstorm was developed by Gameloft, and I played through version 1.o on my 2nd Generations iPod.  The price is $6.99.

moderncombat2

moderncombat3

moderncombat4

Modern Combat: Sandstorm Arrives by Surprise!

Modern Combat: Sandstorm hit the app store recently by surprise.  We were expecting a delay based on a twitter feed from Gameloft, but it appears that the wait is over!  We are very excited to play through this new title by Gameloft and will have a full review up shortly.  For those that don’t know, Modern Combat: Sandstorm is a First-Person Shooter that resembles Call of Duty (but on a mobile device).  We expect great things from this title, and highly recommend that you come back to read the review!

Here is a brief description for you in the meantime: Modern Combat: Sandstorm, Gameloft’s new action-thriller will plunge you into the heart of modern war. Assigned to Mission Sandstorm, your duty is to locate and annihilate a new terrorist cell setting up shop and recruiting foreign insurgents in a remote desert hot spot. This jarring first person shooter will equip you with the most sophisticated and powerful modern day weapons.

There are ten missions that are included in the game as well as 2 assault rifles, sniper rifle, RPG, shotgun, submachine gun, light machine gun, heavy machine gun mounted on a moving 4X4, explosive grenades, flashbang grenades, radiation detector.  In addition to all of that, there is also a leveling system.  Needless to say, a lot of content is included in this game!

Modern Combat: Sandstorm was developed by Gameloft and is currently avaliable for $6.99.  For the quality and polish we have come to expect from Gameloft, that is a great price!

moderncombatnews2