marital arts-style fighting, magic and online multi-player
modes is the hallmark of Iron Phoenix. You're definitely
going to need to have Xbox Live or you won't be able
to experience the majority of the gameplay features.
ancient China a meteor fell to Earth amidst a dazzling
display of fireworks. A blacksmith came upon a large
deposit of iron which he fashioned into nine enchanted
weapons including various swords, hammers, spears
and staffs. These weapons empower the user with magical
attributes making him or her a virtually invincible
warrior with new moves and special attacks.
Phoenix is pure action from start to finish. There
is no story mode to bog things down. The single-player
mode replicates the online fighting by substituting
the CPU for real players. It also contains a tutorial
mode. There are lots of button commands, especially
for the more advanced moves. It's easy to just overlook
these moves and try to button mash your way to victory
but to do justice to the game you should use the single-player
mode as your training ground and become one with the
you enter into the online Deathmatch mode you'll notice
that the majority of players are all grouped in the
middle, swinging away like a bunch of girls in a catfight.
These are players that obviously didn't learn the
finer points of the control system. Trust me there
is more to this game than what you might see at first
glance. If you avoid the big melee in the center you
will encounter one-on-one battles which can be a lot
more satisfying and challenging. The only problem
is that you have to watch out for kill steals. Some
players will watch you fight and then move in to take
on the weakened character with a few blows or some
Chi magic. It may seem unfair but there's nothing
stopping you from doing it if you want to.
can protect themselves against kill steals by entering
into a Bloodlock agreement which throws a protective
shield around the two fighters. The only problem is
that the Bloodlock slowly drains your life and the
fighters are committed to battling it out to the death.
number of characters are available for play and although
they each have slightly different abilities in terms
of agility, attack and defense, they all become super-charged
with similar strength and moves. The character you
choose is not as important as the weapon that you
choose. Most players will likely find one or two weapons
that they fancy and will use them for most of the
game. While it's totally permissible to button mash
you way through the game you will get more out of
it if you learn the advanced moves.
moves include walking, dash, wall runs, jumps, air
attacks and Chi moves which include a from of telekinesis
in which you can pick up objects such as crates and
hurl them with mind power. There are plenty of opportunities
to put moves such as the wall run and a cloud tread
to good use. The wall run lets you interact with the
environment especially the levels that feature the
Great Wall of China. The cloud tread gives your jump
an extra boost so you can reach greater heights.
modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, VIP, Challenge
Ring and Giant Kill. Team Deathmatch requires team
cooperation and strategy. It's possible to wipe out
the entire opposing team by pulling off one massive
team strike. It's not easy especially if you've got
guys on your side that aren't team players. Send them
into the Deathmatch mode then and let them fight it
out for themselves. VIP modes selects a leader for
a Team Deathmatch game who has the ability to bring
dead players back into the match. Either team has
to kill the leader to win the match. The Challenge
Ring mode is a head-to-head battle and you can even
watch fights taking place in the spectator mode, which
is quite boring actually.
you might suspect there is some slowdown online as
well as some lag. It does interfere with the gameplay
since timing is everything. It's disheartening to
see your opponent disappear only to warp within melee
range of your melon whilst wielding a deadly war hammer.
levels are huge and loaded with background details
and animations such as forests and flowing lava. The
colors are vibrant and textures are sharp and nicely
detailed. The character models actually help to convey
a sense of personality that would have otherwise been
relegated to the story mode which is non existent.
sounding guitar rock blends Eastern-sounding scales
with adrenaline-fueled riffs to highlight the union
of mysticism and mayhem. Amongst the clanging of blades
you'll also hear the screams and cries of the less
fortunate. It's almost heartwarming.
will take some time to reach a level of Zen with the
control system. It takes plenty of mindfulness to
reach a state of mindlessness. Once the controls become
second nature Iron Phoenix comes to life. It's worth
the effort if you're going to take this online. I
wouldn't advise even renting this game if you're just
interested in the single-player game since it's nothing
more than a practice mode.