Game Review: IRON MAN for the Wii (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Tuesday, May 20, 2008

From the final moments after the credits in the film Iron Man, director Jon Favreau lit a fire under all of us. That fire being a burning desire for more Iron Man. So where does one turn? In the current Marvel Universe Iron Man is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, in the film Tony Stark has just become Iron Man. That might be a bit of a jump for the new fans. There are three Iron Man fixes I recommend until 2010 (the release year of the next Iron Man movie). The first two are classic Iron Man comics collected in beautiful hard cover editions, Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle and Iron Man vs. Doctor Doom: Doomquest. The first is great story that may or may not be the foundation for the Iron Man sequel. The other is just a great adventure story. The third and obvious choice is Iron Man for the Wii by SEGA.

This is a movie tie-in video game. This will turn many gamers off immediately. Those whose tastes run more towards Grand Theft Auto and Halo will be disappointed. But, if superhero games or movie games are more your thing than Iron Man is the game for you. 

The game follows the film fairly well with only a few distractions and bosses that help you to build up your skills and weaponry. Opening with the lumbering and crude Iron Man-Mark 1 armor, the Wii controllers give the feeling of having heavy arms clad with weapons and a powerful punch. Yes, the Wii controls suit Iron Man perfectly. With Black Sabbath’s song getting the adrenaline going the first level plays out beautifully.

 

Scene from Iron Man by SEGA for the Nintendo Wii

As the game progresses the short diversions of training and missions give you a better sense and control of the armor. One cannot help but be reminded of the last few Superman games though. Here you have unlimited power and armies of weakling villains to fight. Yet, with all the rockets, Gatling guns and repulsors you actually look forward to punching the occasional terrorist who just happens to get too close.

By far the best part of Iron Man is the flying. Never before has there been better control of a character in flight. Superman flutters, hovers and bolts like a bullet but it never feels real. Spider-Man (who doesn’t really fly, I know) swings from building to building and often over shoots his targets. Iron Man gives you the feeling of complete control. Acceleration, deceleration all and the basic maneuvers come with a great ease, giving you the feeling of being the Iron Avenger. The Iron Man-Mark 2 flight test modes alone are worth playing over and over again. 

 

Scene from Iron Man by SEGA for the Nintendo Wii

The game falters on three levels. The time levels, at first, are a challenge. However, after two quick rounds it is easy to anticipate where and when your next time challenge will occur. The second is that several of the bigger bosses are monstrous vehicles with numerous tasks to accomplish in order to defeat them. It is a challenge but when it takes you fifteen minutes to accomplish one task and then you die or fail at another starting all over again at square one is more annoying than fun. The third and final was the graphics. This could have been the disk itself but there were often small digital lines on the screen. Now the Wii isn’t known for its graphics so this might have been a visual compensation for flying as fast as the game would allow. In the long run it didn’t ruin the overall playing experience.

With a Teen Rating, Iron Man for the Wii is really a game for the younger kids. Some of the dialogue in the game (there was a SOB in there) surprised even me but it fit in well with the movie and the overall movie game tie-in experience. If you are a serious gamer Iron Man isn’t for you. If you have a great love of the character and wish to fly through the air battling enemies as Tony Stark than it is time for you to suit up.

 
Check out the Iron Man the Game official website.



Mania Grade: B+
Game: Iron Man
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Genre: Third Person
Players: 1
Online: No
Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA
Suggested Retail: $49.99
Graphics: B-
Sound: A
Gameplay: B-
Replay: B
Fun Factor: A