keskiviikko 31. heinäkuuta 2013

REVIEW - Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal | GB | 1996

GENRE(S): Action
RELEASED: October 9, 1996 (SAT)
DEVELOPER(S): Realtime Associates
PUBLISHER(S): Acclaim Entertainment

Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, was created by Stan Lee and made his first Marvel Comics appearance in the Tales of Suspense series in March 1963. Iron Man differed a great deal from all other comic book superheroes, as he was a billionaire playboy who never cared much for the world until he was captured in a war zone and forced to design weapons for Chinese terrorists. He secretly built a huge suit of impenetrable armour to escape his captors and finished the design back home, becoming the colossal problem solver Iron Man - whose identity eventually became well known to the public. Iron Man was never nearly as popular as Marvel's stalwarts Spider-Man and X-Men, perhaps due to the fact that he was created at a time of conflict, inspired by that conflict. X-O Manowar is somewhat of a curiosity from the Marvel archives, created by Jim Shooter, Bob Layton and Jon Hartz and debuted in early 1992. Aric Dacia was an ancient warrior who was captured by aliens back at his time. He stole and used the high-tech X-O Manowar armour to escape the spaceship and travel back to Earth, but having travelled at lightspeed, he found himself trapped in modern times. In 1996, Iron Man and X-O Manowar joined forces in their first - and X-O's only - starring roles in a video game. It was called Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal. The game was first released on Sega Saturn, and then ported to several different consoles, including Sega and Nintendo's handhelds. I'm willing to bet Stan Lee wept.

An iron-clad abomination

Tony Stark and Aric Dacia team up as Iron Man and X-O Manowar to stop a team of terrorists - led by General Krytos - from obtaining and assembling the lost pieces of the Cosmic Cube. The terrorists have in turn teamed up with the aliens from whom Aric stole the X-O Manowar armour.

Yep, it looks abysmal.
I first heard of this game back in 1997, and it was also the first time I heard of the Marvel superhero named Iron Man; apparently, he was never too known or popular back here before the first movie came along to educate as late as 2008, and what a wonderful movie that turned out to be. This game, Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal had the coolest title in the world. Of course I immediately thought of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" and the band Manowar, and that's what the developers were probably going for, adding the title Heavy Metal to it for good measure. It stuck on me for years, but I never played the game - the review was about the PC version, and I didn't have a PC at the time, nor did I have any of the consoles it was out on. My friends did, but they didn't quite share my enthusiasm with the mere title of the game, and they had equally faint idea about Iron Man as I did. The point here was that I loved the title of the game, and it had a Marvel superhero for a lead character - it didn't matter when they said the game was horrible. I wish it had mattered, so I would've been able to duck this Game Boy port, which is frankly one of the most horrible games I've ever played.

Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal - I've just got to repeat that, over and over again, to somehow lighten up this review - is once again one of those games that does absolutely everything wrong. It looks like ass, it sounds like asser (is that a word?), and it plays out like a limp dick. From what I've heard, the console and PC versions really aren't any better in quality, but I refuse to believe that they would look or sound this ugly, or that at least some of the problems wouldn't be harvested by the introduction of a proper control layout. Both characters have about ten moves or special abilities each; that might sound cool, but just take a moment and you'll realize that managing these moves with a digital pad and two action buttons is fucking hard. Unnecessarily hard, and not comfortable for one passing second. Also, what I don't understand is why B is assigned to throw objects by itself, but to manage a simple punch, you need to press B and A simultaneously, and at a precision that is well beyond extreme. Also, to do a roundhouse kick, which is the easier melee option, you need to press Up on the digital pad instead of a logical option like B or A.

That was Iron Man in the last
one, this is X-O Manowar. But,
I'm sure you spotted the
difference. :P
The enemies take a million hits from anything from your melee attacks to your heavy artillery - both do the exact same amount of damage - before going down, and after one hit, they flash for something like three years, preventing you from following up on a successful hit and very often getting the jump on you. Each step you take in this game is a fucking nightmare, seriously. After just a few levels, I've had enough - this game goes on for far, far, far, far, far too long for its own good. Or the good of any unfortunate schmuck's sanity.

I wish I had something more substantial to say, but Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal - yup, still love that title - isn't a very substantial game in itself. I knew I wasn't in for a great experience, but I can't believe I waited for years to get served this bowl of urine. It's one of the very few games with Iron Man in the helm, and I'm seriously expecting SOME fashion of attempt from the next, last Iron Man game I have in store.

+ The title

- Everything else... everything.

< 1.4 >

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