Iron Combat: War In the Air (3DS eShop) Review
Music isn’t so bad
Japanese only voices can appeal to hardcore players
Frustratingly difficult – cheap hits
Upgrades take way too long to unlock
Difficult to learn controls
Making It Harder Than It Needs To Be –
With a nonsensical story, a unnecessarily high difficulty level, and unbalanced unlockables, Iron Combat is a needless air mech combat sim that frustrates instead of entertains.
The story is either poorly translated, poorly written, or both because it is difficult to follow. Luckily, it doesn’t really matter or get in the way of gameplay as each mission involves doing the same thing over and over. You play as this anime girl who has two types of control – plane mode and mech mode. When in plane mode, movement speed is quick but hard to control whereas mech mode is much more combat focused. From a third person perspective, the goal is to shoot down anything that moves, somewhat similar to Star Fox’s All-Range Mode or even Zone of the Enders.
The first problem is the high difficulty. When the game first loads, level one is basically a “figure it out for yourself” tutorial. Unfortunately, the lack of a proper tutorial leaves the player confused since there are many rules and control options to learn. Even if you struggle your way through the opening stage, stage 2 will make you rethink your sanity. I was finally able to beat this second stage after a dozen attempts. Instead of being genuinely difficult, Iron Combat is plagued with frustrating design choices like being forced into an auto lock-on without the ability to Switch targets, getting shot from off screen, and not being able to upgrade any abilities. There are dozens of upgrades to obtain but the player will probably never unlock a single one because of the high cost. Only after the player manages to get several stages deep into the quest can any upgrade be purchased. The difficulty is drastically unbalanced as the pace of growing stronger is like playing through an RPG with your starting wooden equipment through to the final dungeon.
If I didn’t have to review this title, I would have rage quit back on level 2 and never played it again. But if dedicated players feel inclined, there is an option to go back and replay any stage from the main menu to better scores. The menu interface has a clean presentation and is easily navigated but the same can’t be said for the rest visuals. Outside of flying around empty environments, there really isn’t much to look at other than a flat low res texture that blankets and ground and sky.
As a $7 eShop download, there are much better ways to spend your cash. With boring, repetitive gameplay that is overly difficult, there really isn’t any need to experience this flight sim outside of how to make an unbalanced game.
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com