Originally posted May 9th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Title: Iron Combat: War in the Air
System: 3DS (eShop)
Release date: 3/19/2015
The main game/story
In a world where society was overthrown, you take control of a living fighting machine, as you fly around in order to stop a mysterious group determined to take over the ruined world, and to discover the secrets behind their motives… A pretty simple story for the most part, though there are some interesting plot details here and there.
They look OK for the most part. Considering the price of this game, the 3D polygons do their job of showing the player the characters and the terrain, despite the fact that the terrain can look bland and foggy in one stage, only to be much easier on the eyes in the next.
Music and Sound:
Lots of Techno music for the most part, and while some of it sounds nice (The Title theme being the best example), other songs are more forgettable. This game does have Japanese voice acting, and while it’s a shame there isn’t a dubbed option, you can still understand what is being said due to subtitles, and the audio quality of these voice samples are decent at best, so it isn’t a bad thing that they decided to add a little bit of personality in this part of the game.
In the similar vein as games such as After Burner II and G-LOC, you evade obstacles while shooting down enemy targets, using the fun ability to shift between a one on one combat mode, which is slow but easy to control, and a fighting mode, which can be sped up using the boost button and careful aiming, but is harder to control. During the first mission, it’ll guide you through the steps on how to dodge enemies, how to use both of your forms, and so on, but immediately afterwards you’ll notice the biggest issue with the game: The difficulty.
You see, while you do get used to the controls after a while, it still doesn’t help when in the next mission a ton of enemies come after you, some of which can either destroy you very quickly or take forever to be defeated. This leads to lots of unnecessary frustration and it’s the main reason I’ve been conflicted on how to explain this game.
On one hand, it can be fun and controls very well, with some achievements thrown in for good measure, but on the other hand the upgrades are strongly encouraged by the game to the point that later levels become a nightmare if you don’t have them, requiring you to replay the older levels to get the hang of things before giving it another shot.
It’s very frustrating, as when compared to similar games on the eShop like 3D After Burner II, it’s very unfair and requires you to be on your toes at all times. Nevertheless, it’s still satisfying when you finally complete that level that has been frustrating you for weeks.
Despite the fun control system, neat upgrades and the achievements you can collect (Even if some of them are very simple), Iron Combat is a confusing game. One moment you’ll be having lots of intense, action packed fun while the next you’ll be bombarded by enemies without much warning! While the satisfaction of finally completing these difficult levels is great, I still wished there was a bit more leniency in terms of the difficulty, as when you look past the difficulty, it’s a very fun game! But in its current state, I give Iron Combat a 5 out of 10, only recommending it to expert players who want a challenge, as the satisfaction that this game will give you when you finally complete a tricky level will be great! However, I recommend everyone else to either wait for a price drop or skip this game entirely, as it’s not an easy game by any means.
Thanks to Teyon games for the review code.