IGN Preview of Iron Man 2
I've been writing a lot about Iron Man 2 lately. This morning, I saw all the versions of the game, so I've been generating Tony Stark-themed previews like a madman. However, in between writing about the PlayStation 3's armor customization and the PSP's Resistance: Retribution-like control scheme, a thought kept popping up in my head: I really dug the Nintendo DS version of Iron Man 2.
Now, hold your horses, everyone. This isn't me declaring that this was a groundbreaking demo, but for the 10 minutes I got to play, I found the game to be pretty, straightforward and fun.
Similar to a Bionic Commando Rearmed or Shadow Complex, Iron Man 2 is a 2D sidescroller with 3D parts. You'll play as Iron Man or War Machine and move your hero from one side of the screen to the other. You'll fire your replusor rays, melee goons, and generally make your way from Point A to Point B.
Just like all the other versions of Iron Man 2, this game isn't being shoehorned into the movie's plot. This tale takes place in the movie universe, but it's not rehashing the big screen version. Instead, it's an original story penned by Invincible Iron Man scribe Matt Fraction. There are no voices to speak of, but cutscenes are animated on the top screen while dialogue pops up on the bottom.
Gameplay breaks down in three unique ways. When you're playing an Iron Man level, the D-Pad moves Mr. Stark and the face buttons pull off punches, blasts and jumps. Jump twice, and you're able to fly around the level. This is the side-scrolling you'd expect, it's colorful, and I found it to be a lot of fun.
When you're playing a War Machine level, the D-Pad moves Mr. Rhodes and the touch screen commands all of his attacks. That bottom screen looks like a radar with a blip in the center for War Machine and red blips for enemies. As you touch an enemy on the bottom screen, Rhodes' lights them up with machine gun fire on the top screen. While I was playing as War Machine, I just walked around blasting the hell out of everything that got in my way. It was fun, but I never was really concerned about getting attacked. It'll be interesting to see if that's the case with the final game or you actually have to be defensive at some point.
Whether you're War Machine or Iron Man, you're going to experience flying sections. These play out like an awesome arcade game or a round of R-Type. Your hero is on the left side of the screen and constantly moving towards the right side. You need to shoot all of the baddies coming your way and avoid obstacles you can't break. It's cute and classic.
There are missions, training, and Tony Stark's garage lab to run wild in, and all of that adds up to an intriguing little game for me. I dug the simple visuals and action and am looking forward to this version of Iron Man 2. It also doesn't hurt that this is the only version of the title that will let Iron Man and War Machine fight if you play the story a certain way. See, you get to make choices in the game as to whether your mission will be to defend or destroy something, and apparently, these lead to different conclusions.
Sounds interesting. I hope May 4, 2010 gets here quickly.
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