|System: DS, X360, Wii, PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Artificial Mind and Movement||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
In order to deal with the increasing amount of foes, the game employs a system similar to that used in RPGs, where you use points you've earned to upgrade various aspects of Tony Stark's character. For example, you can upgrade his armor, allowing him to endure more enemy fire, or his guns, allowing him to fire faster and unload more powerful shots. It's pretty basic and doesn't allow for much customization, as you're going to have to upgrade everything as often as you can if you want to stay alive during the later levels. Had there been more variety with level design, this mechanic could have actually been quite interesting. During my time with this game, I kept imagining opportunities to upgrade specific aspects of Iron Man that would affect the way you played the game. Sadly, as the game is essentially the same from start to finish, upgrading armor and weapons tends to be enough to take care of business.
There are some other quirks along the way with Iron Man DS that also take away from the overall game experience. For example, the camera is a problem, as it will constantly get in the way and make this game tough to play. It gets far too close to your character and, as a result, it's hard to see enemies that are far away and firing at you. Because you don't know where they are, you've got to fly around aimlessly until you find them. Sadly, there's a good chance you'll be killed while doing this. The game also lacks a map, despite the fact that it does have radar. However, the radar by itself is pretty incomplete, and it makes no sense why the developers chose to omit a map. When you've got missions directing you from point A to point B, it sure would be nice to know exactly where you are.
Iron Man DS is not a very good game, but that's not to say that it couldn't have been. The quality of the in-game cutscenes and the occasional voiceovers show the amount of time and effort the development team put into this game. The framerate is smooth and the game's explosions and other combat effects look nice. But, it's just a pity that the developers couldn't have devoted similar attention to making the game a bit more interesting and fun, rather than monotonous and boring.
Finally, there's the fact that Iron Man can easily be beaten in less than five hours. I blew through my first time in just a little over three, and there's very little reason why you'd want to play through this adventure again. There are some bonus combat levels, but the game is so boring anyway that these will likely be completely ignored by anyone who bothered to reach the end of this game. If you're a huge fan of Iron Man, this version of the game might be worth a rental. But, if you're just looking for a solid action title on the DS, this is not the game for you.
CCC Freelance Writer