Archive for June 21, 2010

Iron Man 2: The Videogame (DS) Review

Ah, games of films. They’re always around when you need them and nine times out of ten they’re a big load of bum droppings. Mercifully, Iron Man 2: The Videogame (subtitle added in case you thought the film had accidentally been released on DS) continues this gloriously crap tradition.

In the film, Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark teams up with James ‘War Machine’ Rhodes to overcome the combined might of Ivan ‘Whiplash’ Vanko and power-mad weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer. In the game, Iron Man and War Machine split up to take on lots and lots of identical robots to stop ULTIMO, an evil supercomputer. So about as close to the film as gargling camel sweat is to making music (and about as enjoyable an experience.)

There is a story in here somewhere but, to be honest it’s so awful your brain will escape from your ears to avoid taking it in. Just enjoy the heavily-pixellated mug of Samuel L Jackson and try not to read the terrible dialogue.

Playing the game is like slamming your hands in a car door, only not as rewarding. As Iron Man, you fly left-to-right, destroying grey robots via the button controls. As War Machine, you fly left-to-right on the same levels, destroying the same grey robots but with touch screen controls instead. Die and you’ll play a touch screen game of dot-matching to carry on, something that’s irritating as hell when you’re playing as Iron Man.

There are plenty of secrets lurking in the levels (good luck navigating their appalling design, though), such as the completely useless comic book covers, unnoticeable suit damage upgrades and bonus outfits from the characters’ long history. None of them make slightest bit of difference to the game at all and the visuals are so ugly that it’s hard to tell any of the suits apart.

Also, as a reward for defeating certain numbers of enemies, you unlock combat simulation challenges where you, um, get to destroy more of the same enemies. Thanks?

Completing the levels gives you points to spend on moderately useful attack upgrades. While the features for Iron Man are complete rubbish, War Machine’s upgrades actually make a difference to the gameplay. In fact, there’s so much more thought gone into War Machine than Iron Man that the game should be called ‘big grey robot smackdown’.

All in all, Iron Man 2: The Videogame is pure bollocks. Playing as War Machine is the closest thing you’ll find here to something resembling mildly interesting. The rest of the game is a fun-sucking, soul-destroying harpy of a game. Go and watch animals get hit by cars instead – it’s just as depressing and much cheaper.