The secret second shooter.
[Editor's Note: This review previously stated the Reflex Edition was a Wii port of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, when it is in fact a port of the first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Changes have been made to reflect this. Sorry for the confusion.]
So maybe I'm just a freak, but I must make an admission here: This is my first Call of Duty game. I've seen the trailers, I've seen the screenshots, but this review has been my first time hands-on with the franchise. My cousin's husband brought over Modern Warfare 2 for 360, and after playing a good hour-plus, I was ready to run out and buy myself a copy (note to self: beg for money). But instead, I plugged myself into my Wii with the Reflex Edition, a Wii port of the original Modern Warfare, all hyped from the kick-ass bullet brawls we had.
[image1]What's amazing is that it really is the same game as Modern Warfare on the 360, just in a visually scaled-down form. From the guns to the grounds and grunts, everything is here... in seven-years-old fashion; it seriously looks like an Xbox or Gamecube title. Even so, when I first fired the game up, I was taken aback by how pretty the opening was, and I was immediately drawn in. Some character models are blocky in the joints, but... it's the Wii. I can (almost) forgive a few choppy visuals at this point.
Single-player is exactly the same as its 360 counterpart, but with one major difference: the controls. You'll either tolerate them or hate them, depending on your ability to keep your arm pointed at the screen for a certain length of time. Unless you have a way to rest yourself in a position, it's going to be one of those games that'll give you Wii Arm*. (Copyright pending. Wii Arm: noun. the pain in one's arm after long sessions playing a waggling or pointing game; will also cause humiliation when you tell someone why your arm is sore.)
As your gun wanders around so does the screen, and in tight situations, that little bit of wandering can easily be the difference between life and death. In very tight quarters the controls get even more sketchy, with your finger on the trigger and your thumb trying desperately to reach the D-pad to stab the guy that's continuously stabbing you.
[image2](By the way, the box says it works well with the Wii Zapper... but don't believe it. With the depth of control needed in a game like this, only being able to easily reach three buttons – crouch, zoom, and fire – you'll be stretchin' out your grip trying to reach and do anything else. The Zapper is fine when you only need to shoot, but swapping guns or knifing someone on the fly is a pain in the patoot.)
Surprisingly, one thing that this really does right is the multiplayer. I was shocked at how easy it was to just jump into a game, play a few rounds, pop a few heads, and hop back off. It only took a minute to find a game, and in seconds, I was firing at some poor shmuck. And it didn't feel hindered in the least... no lag in connection, no lag in controls, and no downgrade in the appearance that I could notice. So, wait, online firefights running smoothly and easily on the system known better as an online hinderance than anything else? Kudos, Infinity Ward, on getting this right!
And really, this is Call of Duty: MW once more, and except for some sketchy controls, you really can't go too far wrong. If you need to shoot somebody, and for some reason have that urge while only having access to a Wii (a problem which should probably be looked into further), this will scratch that itch. Even if this isn't a port of the most recent main entry in the series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, this Reflex Edition sets the bar for the genre on the little iConsole that could, and it will give nearly everyone a reason to take out their Wii Sports/Wii Resort discs! (Finally!)