The week of Hate is in full swing, thus it’s high time to turn some much needed attention to the iPhone. “Top X iPhone games” articles are a hit everywhere, but no one seems to notice they say the same thing over and over again, or are patently wrong. Why? Because Apple fanboys link them around, post them on Facebook, and Digg them into the stratosphere. It’s doubtful most of them actually read said articles, but just like any fanboy, they love to see their platform validated and are more than willing to spread bullshit hype purely out of solidarity.
Above: This “killer app” could’ve saved the Sega Saturn
It’s not your fault you don’t know good games, Apple Nuts. How could you? You’ve never really had any before. And now that you do, you cling to every cruddy morsel like some neglected child living under the stairs who gets a single Oreo on his birthday. The truth is that no console would’ve made it in this business on the strength of Doodle Jump alone. And the primary reason you’re confused about the iPhone phenomenon is:
THE IPHONE IS A DISTRIBUTION REVOLUTION, NOT A GAME REVOLUTION
The iPhone is improving games in the exact same way the invention of television improved films: Not at all. What Apple’s done is eliminated pricy publishers and shipping materials from the equation, allowing developers to make up to 2/3rds of all the revenues, and in the process made (bad) games more visible to housewives, Mac nerds, and other people who’ve never set foot inside a GameStop.
Above: Doesn’t get credit for the taste of the milk
Good for you, you’ve introduced games to the gaming ignorant at carnival sideshow prices? Pat your marketing team on the back and quit pretending that people who read gaming websites give a shit about a new way to play Monopoly.
IPHONE GAMES ARE LARGELY PORTS
POP QUIZ: Name 5 iPhone game you’ve played for longer than an hour. Feel free and use the games we mentioned above, provided you’ve played them longer than it takes to toast a Pop-Tart… Ah. Now we love Tetris, Final Fantasy, Bejeweled, Rock Band, and GTA: CW, but let’s not pretend they weren’t better the first, second and third times we played them on superior platforms.
Above: Thanks iPhone, for making one of the most playable games in the universe virtually unplayable
And it’s a good thing (for Apple exclusively) that the iPhone doesn’t allow Flash. Otherwise people would realize that you can play 90% of the App Store, free of charge, right in your internet browser. Sure, there’s something to be said for games finding a new audience, but please, say it away from gamers.
LET’S NOT PRETEND THE CONTROLS DON’T SUCK, K?
Here’s something irksome. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was one of our favorite PSP and DS games of the year. Yet, it’s heralded as the greatest iPhone game of all time! Okay, fine. But you gotta wonder how they got through the game without driving or shooting properly… although, that sure as hell would account for why it went on sale at 1/3rd of the price.
Above: Can’t wait for Gears of War on iPad!
Part of the reasons buttons work is the tactile response. Ask anybody playing Street Fighter IV (on a console!) why they feel the need to drop $200 on an arcade stick… It's because that seemingly thin variable of feedback and precision is the difference between a real player and a casual loser.
TOUCH CONTROLS SUCK
Now we know why the stylus works so well; it’s not attached to four fingers and a sweaty, screen obscuring palm. Unless you’re in love with the idea of paying a premium on Tower Defense games or balloon popping sims, why bother? Plants vs Zombies is fantastic, but if we wanted to play a stripped-down version that results in a crime scene’s worth of greasy fingerprints, we’d have downloaded the demo for free and played it with a messy three-year-old.
TILT CONTROLS SUCK
Anybody out there getting a lot of use out of Nintendo’s racing wheel? Now imagine you had to strap your TV to the moronic peripheral. Makes you wish for a Dramamine power up. There’s just something incredibly disorienting about having to rotate the very thing you need to focus on… sort of like a controller with a button on the back you can only hit with your nose. So, while the accelerometer may work decently in some games, the only way you’ll consider it a preferable, or even suitable, control scheme is if your first console was a cell phone.