Latest Game and Movie Reviews (Live Update)

* Game Ratings (/10), Movie Ratings (/5)

DS Tokyo Beat Down 7.1
Xbox 360 Fracture 8.0
MOVIE The Unborn 0
PC Left 4 Dead 8.7
Xbox 360 Mirror's Edge 8.5
MOVIE Dead Space Downfall 3.5
MOVIE The Day the Earth Stood Still 0.5
PSP Super Stardust Portable 9.7  CHOICE PICK
PSP Need for Speed Undercover 2.8
Browse more game reviews | Browse more movie reviews | Subscribe to articles


Friday, May 09, 2008

Game Review: Iron Man

Decent package of Iron.

Typically, I would have given movie tie-ins a miss. But after watching the debut of Iron Man on the big screens, and being so captivated by it, I decided to tweak my modus operandi and give the video game counterpart of the film a try. Well, I simply can’t get enough of Iron Man, can I? A movie tie-in Iron Man for the DS still is, so I wasn’t expecting too much from it – just enough to ‘complement’ the film scenes from Iron Man that just wouldn’t stop flashing in my mind. After seeing the credits roll and toying around with the game a little more, I am convinced that Iron Man for the DS does pack in ample decent enjoyment to justify your bucks.

For those of you who haven’t caught the film yet, don’t expect to be enlightened by the game. While the game does use still shots from the film, it must be noted that for most parts, the game’s storyline doesn’t revolve around that of the movie. And for those of you who have caught the movie, be delighted to know that Robert Downey Jr. has returned to voice this game – there is some marvellous voice acting to be had here. The game should also be applauded for its matching soundtrack, which does well to keep up with the tempo of the action. The visuals are nothing to shout about, but are acceptable for DS standards.

Take away all those fancy embroideries, however, and you have the no-frills shoot-everything-that-you-see gameplay, which is surprisingly very challenging. The game employs a very action-packed design, throwing a huge arsenal of modern weaponries at you from tanks, helicopters, anti-aircraft guns to even imitations of Iron Man! That being said, it wouldn’t be fun if you couldn’t deploy at equally impressive range of weapons to blast those craps into smithereens. Fortunately, the game offers you just that, but you would have to contend with only a weak repulsor at the start of the game. As you destroy enemies, you would be able to collect extra points, which you can utilise to upgrade your suit’s capabilities – more health, more lethal homing missiles, and faster flight speed among others. It is a wonderful design choice, but even that couldn’t hide the fact that Iron Man, at its core, is a game that is considerably shallow. Mission objectives are the trite destroy-this, destroy-that types and there isn’t much done to inject variety into the game. While the game does introduce on-foot missions to break up the flight action, the former is worse off than the later, employing the some of the WEIRDEST design choices. Whose idea was it to suggest that Iron Man's walking/running pace should match that of a turtle's when he is shooting at enemies? And whose idea was it to suggest that Iron Man not have any melee attack capabilities on land? With the pace of a turtle when shooting (remember: no melee attack!), Iron Man becomes canon fodder for the enemies – this flaw in design certainly makes the game feel cheap. But overall, while lacking depth, the gameplay offers some really decent action.

Controls are intuitive, making use of both buttons and touch-screen inputs. You zip Iron Man around the screen using the d-pad or A, B, X, Y buttons and fire your replusors in any direction desired by moving your stylus (a word of advice: if you have big hands, you are better off using your fingers lest you want the top screen blocked) around the touch screen. Homing missile and Unibeam attacks can also be accessed from the touch screen.

Final comments
Iron Man the game isn’t as good as the movie, but neither is it bad. Overlook its shallow gameplay and you will enjoy this game. There is good voice acting and matching music. The game is challenging and you get a huge variety of weapons to toy with, and that is not forgetting the intuitive controls.

What have it going against this game are its weird design choices in on-foot missions, which disallows normal walking pace when shooting. The lack of a melee attack option on land also hurts. A typical play-through will last you 2.5 hours, but you would be able to unlock a new game mode ‘One Man Army’ after completing all the missions. One Man Army is essentially survival rounds in different venues found in the missions where you have to survive a certain number of waves of attacks to emerge victorious. It is short, yes, but would you like to engage in the same shallow gameplay for another 2.5 hours? And wait, there is not a single checkpoint in a mission! Wha!? That is a sin.


The Good:
- Great voice acting
- Matching soundtrack
- Challenging
- Huge variety of enemies and missions
- Ability to upgrade suit
- Intuitive controls

The Bad:
- Shallow gameplay
- Weird design choices: Walking pace is equivalent to turtle’s when shooting and no melee attack option on land
- Short at 2.5 hours
- Wha!? Not a single checkpoint in a mission!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Powerplay Megabytes | Achievement Unlocked! | SUPER Rant | Game Reviews | Time Capsule | Movie Reviews | Previews | Hardware Guides | Features and News