Review by XGlite015

Reviewed: 12/12/05

Just another rushed cellphone game!

Cellphone gaming is making a big impact in the video game industry with new cellphones models that have powerful processors providing excellent graphics and the popularity of Java 2 Micro Edition. It started out with independent developers and low profile companies but now even the big leagues like Electronics Arts and Hudson are jumping on-board the cellphone gaming arena. Black Ops is an action/strategy game from Anino Mobile, a subsidiary of Anino Entertainment, the filipino game development firm who bought us the first filipino-developed game Anito: Defend a Land Enraged. The game is a turn-based action/strategy game similar to many turn-based RPGS like Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics or chess. This is my first mobile game review so my format for the categories is a 1-5 rating with 5 being Excellent, 4 very good, 3 average, 2 poor, 1 total crap. Now onto the review:

GRAPHICS(2 out of 5): The graphics are 2D top down view and very plain, bland in exact terms and the background is repetitive and boring. There is no variety in the game's background, it is an urban setting and you will keep seeing the same thing over and over again. I don't know why the developers did not bother making different environments like a jungle or desert settings since warfare can also take place in those kind of environments. The enemies only have one skin so all of them look alike. The graphics are a big letdown because most of today's cellphone games are in 3D and presented well.

MUSIC AND SOUND(2 out of 5): The game doesn't have any background music just sound effects and it's not even good. The gunfire doesn't sound like gunfire but rather like cans getting hit by a rock. There are no sound bites for any of the characters and enemies so getting hit and killed is just silence.

CONTROLS - Are easy to learn and master. It's very simple with the usual 2,4,6,8 used as directional movement and 5 as the firing/command key.

GAME-PLAY(2 out of 5) - The game is easy to pick up and play and could've been fun if it weren't for bad graphics and sound and stupid enemy A.I. because the enemies sometimes just stand there and get hit without even thinking of a strategy to counter my moves. The game is also slow-paced and due to repetitiveness, boring most of the time. It has some RPG elements like building up your characters skills and buying guns but it has subtle effect in the game. And the game is short with only 6 missions and nothing to unlock. There is no variety to the missions, most of the time all you do is kill all enemies and that's it! no infiltrations missions, defend base or escort missions. No variety = Bad gameplay

REPLAY VALUE(0 out of 5) - After finishing the game there is nothing more to do since there are no secrets or new missions to unlock. After finishing the game you might just want to delete the game from your cellphone.

THE VERDICT:
I think the game is rushed. The gameplay isn't bad but the graphics, sound, and longevity of the game is. After finishing the game there's nothing else to do but delete it. I don't even know why this kind of games make it to the market when there are far superior games out there. If you want a strategy game for your cellphone get Age of Empires II or other offerings out there. Most cellphone games have impressive 3D graphics and this game doesn't and that is bad especially for independent or low profile game developers because if they can't offer innovations or originality with their games they will lose to the competition against the big leagues. Graphics is not really important but good gameplay is and it is defined by many components especially variety. If this is game is an example of what they can do then it won't be too long until they succumb to the established franchise and new offerings of the veteran game developers. This is just another rushed game to make quick cash and believe me I've played cellphone games with crappier graphics but more fun than this.

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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