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Review: Iron Man - Nintendo DS

by Steven Williamson on 7 May 2008, 11:00

Tags: Iron Man, Sega (TYO:6460), PC, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP, DS, PS3, Wii, Action/Adventure

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Fat sausage-fingers will get you nowhere

Essentially, Iron Man is a multi-directional shooter. The action plays out on the upper of the two screens while the bottom screen is used to drag your stylus or finger across to control the direction of your weapon fire. The d-pad is used to move your avatar around the screen and the A, B, X, Y buttons are used to access a range of super powers. In addition, the L or R buttons are used as after burners to propel you at high speeds through the skies.

Throughout the game, objectives pop-up on screen commanding you to kill terrorists, take out weapons caches, destroy communications, gun towers and other enemy structures while the bottom screen displays arrows that handily point you in the direction of your next objective.

As so often is the case with movie tie-ins, there are some signs that this version may have been hastily thrown together so that it would be ready in time to release in conjunction with the movie. It’s just not as polished as it should be with *colourless and repetitive locations, lack of enemy variety – you spend far too much time fighting against helicopters, tanks and gun turrets – and worse still, control issues that could have been fixed prior to release.

If you’ve got chunky fingers, then you’ll no doubt want to use the stylus to control the action on the lower screen as the slightest of movement with your finger results in the path of fire pointing in the wrong direction. With the stylus it is much better, but even then there's issues. My biggest bugbear is that targeting can be inaccurate. During one objective I had to take down three or four radar towers, but despite shooting directly at them, they didn't register the damage. Instead, I had to aim slightly to the left in order to bring them crashing down, or should I say disappear in a puff of smoke (the visual effects leave a lot to be desired). For the most part, this isn’t an issue, but it still stood out enough in the game to irritate me.

There are times where you can use the lower screen or the buttons to activate one of your special powers, of which some of them, like the Unibeam, are effective and fun to use. However, trying to lock the homing missiles onto a specific target proves to be more of a headache because it will often lock onto the incorrect target and it's sometimes difficult to shift over to the correct one. These inconsistencies reek of a game that wasn't quite refined and polished up before release.

Iron Man is fast-paced, fairly entertaining in short bursts, certainly challenging and the weapons on offer, specifically the flame-thrower and homing missiles, can be as fun to use.

Despite the negatives, you will get some enjoyment out of it, though expect that pleasure to be short-lived. After the first half an hour, I'd seen everything that the game had to offer and I wasn't overly impressed. As the legendary Paul Daniels would say, 'You'll like it, but not a lot'.

* The picture you see above is concept art. There were no official screenshots we could use (No prizes for guessing why).

You have super-hero powers. I always wanted super powers.
Fast-paced fun in short bursts

Boring locations, visually dull
Control/targeting system could be better.

Some nice ideas, implemented poorly. Iron Man feels like it wasn't quite finished in time for the movie's release.

HEXUS Awards

Iron Man - Nintendo DS (5/10)

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