MechAssault: Phantom War

Mech Assault: Phantom War is the second Nintendo DS title with roots connected to camp Microsoft. If you can remember, just recently, DS owners were blessed with an original rendition of Microsoft's epic - Age of Empires. Empires worked well, because it didn't carelessly attempt to slap the game's tried and true PC formula onto a handheld platform. Wisely, Age of Empires DS was designed from the beginning with the DS in mind. In a similar scenario, developer, Backbone Entertainment, again hopes to cash in with their upcoming title, Mech Assault: Phantom War. What can DS owners expect from a series that originally broke ground on the Xbox, and literally helped usher in Microsoft's Xbox Live service?

It's common knowledge that the most integral part of a successful Mech game is intuitive control. If a developer can successfully recreate the feeling of sitting in the cockpit of behemoth-sized Mech, then they've already won half the battle. Keeping in mind that the stylus has already proved to be a competent method for controlling up-tempo action (see Metroid Prime Hunters if you need the proof), we're confident that the developers of Mech Assault can do likewise.

Similar to the style of Metroid Prime Hunters, all of the action is located on the DS's top screen. The touch screen is used to display maps, select game options, and of course control the third-person action. But that's not all, the touch screen can also be used to switch weapons, hijack enemies, and bail out of sticky situations by ejecting from your mech.

Sadly, it doesn't appear that Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will be utilized for online play, but there are still plenty of single-player missions and ad-hoc multiplayer modes to satisfy anyone's appetite for destruction. With a couple dozen campaign missions strewn over four huge planets, and over 20 different types of vehicles to pilot, there's bound to be something for everyone. Each vehicle will feature fully upgradeable weapons and armor, so fans of prior games in the series won't feel slighted by the small-scaled action. Of course as mentioned, multiplayer combat enables you and up to three additional DS owners to go head-to-head in a variety of different gameplay modes.

Mech Assault: Phantom War will obviously be a downgrade in a few departments when compared to previous games in the series, but publisher Majesco, is sure that there's an audience out there that desires their mech games shaken, not stirred. From the way things look now, there's enough exclusive content and original features included to warrant a serious look from fans of the BattleTech/MechWarrior series. Rest assured, we've got this title firmly locked on our radar, so stay tuned for additional updates.