Gameloft Triple Threat: Brothers in Arms, Ferrari GT Evolution, Hero of Sparta

UPDATE: Ferrari GT Evolution is on sale for $5.99 so be sure to get it if you haven’t done so already!

Unless you’re new to the iPhone gaming thing or you’ve been living under a rock the past year, chances are you’ve heard of Gameloft and their console-quality-like games that they distribute. If you haven’t downloaded anything from them yet, here are three games you should pick up or at least consider. I say “consider” because each game comes with a $9.99 price tag; however, once you experience any of these titles, you’ll see that these games are worth the price of admission.

Brothers in Arms: Hour of Heroes is one of those games that you just can’t believe is on the iPhone. From the opening video to the gameplay itself, Brothers in Arms (BIA) is an excellent iPhone achievement!

BIA has you taking the role as Thompson; a young soldier dedicated to protecting our country while trying to get the job done pronto in order to get home before his wife starts fraternizing with the other hard-bodied soldiers that haven’t been deployed yet. As you embark upon your heroic journey, BIA does an excellent job of setting the “war” tone with its menus, sounds, and visuals. There’s also a good amount of options in order to tweak controls, sound levels, and motion sensors to make the game playable the way that best suits you.

It’s best to start the game with the ol’ tutorial round, just to get squared away with the control schemes that are available. Now, this is the area that may be keeping BIA from that fifth orange star in the ratings: controls. When you first jump into the actual gameplay, you may struggle at first with control/character movement and orientation. What’s difficult for a lot of people is the ability to adapt to new ways (ie. from physical controls to touch controls). However, Gameloft offers a solution to this by incorporating several control schematics. My best advice is to play through the tutorial round testing each control option and finding one that best suits your gaming style. Once you actually find your niche, the game is a GO soldier!

One of the biggest driving factors in this game is the graphics. The environments that you encounter are nothing short of stunning! The gameplay really gives you a sense of war-like combat; add to that impressive sound effects overlaying a dramatic and patriotic soundtrack and you have a winner! I mean, you can really get into this game (especially with good quality headphones), and I’m talking roll-around-the-house-and-hide-behind-furniture army style antics here. It’s a blast!

Does the game hold some longevity? I guess it depends on whether or not you like to replay missions or if you retry it on the difficult setting (that is, if you’re a wuss like me that starts every game on “normal”). BIA gives you 3 campaigns: Normandy, Tunis, and Ardennes, all of which have various missions to complete before moving on to the next. I think a big selling point in replay value for a game like this is the chance you get to fire high-powered weapons and the joy of smashing non-assimilating enemy lives with an army tank.

If you are looking for an army-styled combat game to kill some time and some Nazis, then look no further; Brothers in Arms has just what you need.

Ferrari GT: Evolution is the type of game that makes me despise my pathetic existence. The game itself is extremely beautiful and a blast to play, but it constantly reminds me that I’m probably not going to own one of these heavenly creations anytime soon ( I blame the recession, not my lack of work skills). Nonetheless, if it’s a high-speed racer you’re looking for, Ferrari GT: Evolution has you covered.

Ferrari GT exceeds Gameloft’s previous racing title, Urban Asphalt, in every way. The graphics, sounds, gameplay, sense of speed … EVERYTHING has been improved like 200% from the previous title.

Getting started, you are given an F430 to race around in: now, if that doesn’t tell you what kind of game you’re playing when you start out with a car that exceeds 195 MPH, then I just don’t know what to tell you! As you launch your “career” of racing expensive Ferrari’s around with reckless abandon, you are given various tasks to help you earn Credits so you can buy more expensive Ferrari’s. What really REALLY tells you the type of game you are playing are the missions. For instance, my favorite task was driving around town at top speeds, picking up hovering roses for a friend that was late for an engagement and hadn’t bought a gift … I guess when you’re rich, you gotta find some way to kill time! Nonetheless, all the shallow endevours that you are given outside of just a “normal” race help make Ferrari GT that much more enjoyable to play as you compete against rivals and help out friends. There’s even a multi-player racing mode to show off your mad skills to your friends.

When I first started racing in this game, I made the idiotic comment, “Where’s the NoS?” FRIGGIN’ IDIOT! These are Ferrari’s! Who needs NoS!?!? And for that matter, who needs tuner upgrades? Yep, Ferrari GT eliminates the tuner section to this racing series. Personally, I like not having to tune my car; I’d rather just buy a speed demon and race. If I want to tune a car to go faster, I’ll go tune my own car in real life. When it comes to gaming, I just want to race. Some die-hard racers may not like this, but if you think about it, how much special tuning does a Ferrari really need anyway? Hell, in this game, you’re rich; go buy a faster Ferrari!

Gameplay is very satisfying, especially drifting! Much like Gameloft did in Urban Asphalt with the controls, you have several steering options to choose from to suit your racing needs. You can use an on-screen steering wheel, use screen taps, or use the accelerometer to guide your beast. What’s good in Ferrari is that you can actually fine tune the sensitivity of steering. On top of that, you are able to utilize (or not utilize) adaptive steering, auto accelerate, electronic stability program, anti-lock braking system, traction control, and ceramic brakes. Very nice!

Now, the debate has been, “Ferrari GT or Fastlane Street Racing?” And really, when you look at each racing game for what it is, you really have two different type of racers; Ferrari GT more arcade style racing, Fastlane more a “realistic” racer as they call it. In my opinion … well let me put it this way: Ferrari and Fastlane sit side-by-side on my screen, and I always opt for Ferrari over Fastlane nine times out of ten. To me, it’s a more enjoyable racer overall, and it’s one I’m sure you will enjoy if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so already.

Holy Zeus Greek God of Thunder this game is … EPIC! Talk about a game you can really sink your teeth into! Hero of Sparta delivers on gameplay, visuals, sounds … the whole package! You take the role of King Argos, a Spartan on a mission to … well, pass some time, cause let’s face it, with so much manhood and strength like Argos, he’s already nailed all the babes in every town and probably owns a sizable amount of land that he acquired from killing hoards of men. I mean, what’s left but to defy the gods themselves, collect some ancient and legendary weapons and tools, and help some half-naked floating chick with evil looking glowing eyes that, dare-I-say, reminds you of your mother-in-law (and just when you thought she was hot too).

Seriously though, get this game! If you need an adventure that will captivate your senses while making you cry, “Holy crap this is so cool,” then Hero of Sparta is just what the gods ordered. Unlike BIA and Ferrari, Hero of Sparta (HOS) doesn’t give you much customizing freedom, but you really don’t need it. I couldn’t imagine a better way to control the character and fight with him than with the nicely implemented joypad and buttons. Gameplay is smooth like butter! Since there is no need for any accelerometer movement, this is one of those games you can cuddle up in bed with (if that’s what you do with games; personally, I’m a man’s man, playing HOS while eating a turkey leg off the grill). The learning curve of the game controls is relatively short too; so you will find yourself immersed more in the story than getting accustomed to the gameplay.

So what is the gameplay like? Visually stunning! The graphics of the characters and items hit the bar, but what really stands out is the intense and captivating beauty of the mythical worlds that you encounter! The camera zooms in and out depending on whether you are in battle or running across a bridge. Most of the time, this is done well in order to show the visual surroundings. The only thing that can be a trifle difficult is being zoomed out too far when you are engaged in a hoard of monsters. However, this game being a button-masher and all, you probably will get through just fine hacking and slashing your way to victory!

Speaking of controls, you are given two buttons to use: attack and block. If you read the help section (which I’m guessing hardly no one does), you will actually discover fighting combos to help you bash in enemy skulls on your journey. After figuring this out like 3 rounds in, I was more aptly prepared to go monster smashing with some cinematic flair. I didn’t find myself using the block button too often; only when I needed it with combos or to unleash my weapon’s special move. The saying goes, “the best defense is a strong offense.”

Hero of Sparta is sure to give you some good hours of button mashing, monster slashing excitement on top of a visual thrill ride. In terms of replay value … again, that’s up to you if you are the type to take the journey to the next difficulty level. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy this one!

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