Iron Combat: War in the Air is a new game on the 3DS eshop, published by Teyon. When I first watched the trailer for this game I thought it might be a little bit like Starfox 64 with a twist, but I was a bit off. When the game begins you are told the story of a human who has volunteered to become a weapon of war (sort of a mecha android thing) to try and salvage what is left of Earth and defeat the Evil Corporation that wants to enslave mankind! By transforming between your hi-tech mecha form and your super fast aircraft form, you must defeat the enemies and restore peace to the world. But is Iron Combat: War in the Air as cool as it sounds?
This game gets right to the point, after a brief few paragraphs of storyline you begin the first level. It would have drawn me in a bit more if there were maybe some cut scenes or dialogue but I guess that wasn’t something the developers felt was necessary. The first level is pretty much a tutorial. Showing you the basic controls and also introducing you to Selene, a voice that comes over your radio and tells you your objective at that time. She will also advise you when enemies are close. Selene would be a bit more helpful if I didn’t have to read everything she was saying, seeing as she speaks in Japanese so I have to continuously look away from the gameplay to read the English subtitles.
Since you are a futuristic weapon of war you have a few awesome abilities that normal humans only wish they could master. While moving around each level you can press the L button to switch between your fighter aircraft form and your hi-tech mecha form. While in fighter jet form you can go at high speeds and shoot at your enemies. Its pretty fun and your foes usually start out on the other side of the map so this makes it much easier to speed in and get in a surprise attack. When you want to get up close and personal that’s when you switch to your mecha form. You look more like a human in this form and its easier to hit your enemies because you can lock on to the target. The touch screen is used as a radar so you can see which direction enemy jets are coming from and how close they are to you, this is also where you will read any directions you receive from Selene.
The difficulty level of Iron Combat is not messing around, from the beginning I had trouble with surviving and making it through to the next mission. As you progress it gets even harder. So just know, you’re going to have to have some patience and take a deep breath when you find it impossible to proceed. I like a challenge but I found it just a bit too much in my opinion, but some of you might actually enjoy it. Getting through those tough levels does have its advantages. After each achievement you receive some credits which you can use to upgrade your character and become even more powerful. So it definitely has some replay value, especially if you want to earn a high rank in every mission.
The graphics could have been better in almost every sense but, I’m a bit picky when it comes to visuals. I felt everything could have been a bit smoother but it wasn’t “horribly bad” just a bit lackluster. Every level is sort of a toned down version of what it could have been. As you’re flying around you’ll notice scenery and various obstacles below but you cant actually fly through any of them or hit anything. The skylines and bright colors are really cool looking but it lacks detail overall. The music is very fitting for the gameplay and atmosphere, fast paced with sort of a techno feel, that’s one part of the game I really liked.
Even though its very challenging and I find the graphics bland, Iron Combat: War in the Air is actually a pretty fun game. I don’t think its something you should play if you’re not in the mood for some fast paced combat but it will test your skills and make you want to come back for more, if anything just to prove you are good enough to overcome its difficulty. I know the eShop is sparse on awesome games of this genre so a lot of you will be pretty happy with it. For $6.99 (which I think is fair), its a download that you’ll want to be sure you will enjoy before purchasing. So if you’re a fan of futuristic air combat and you’ve been itching for something new, challenge yourself and pickup Iron Combat: War in the Air. Or wait for the new Starfox game… whenever that happens.
PN Review: Iron Combat: War in the Air
Iron Combat: War in the Air is definitely going to take some getting used to in order for you to fully enjoy everything it has to offer. With a high difficulty level and challenging missions you may get frustrated with it from time to time but when you finally reach your goal its that much more rewarding. Aside from that and the average looking graphics its a pretty fun experience. I recommend this only if you’re a fan of shooting/action games so take heed if you’re one of the many “relaxed gamers” out there.