Iron Combat: War in the Air (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 03.05.2015

Review for Iron Combat: War in the Air on Nintendo 3DS

Iron Combat: War in the Air is published by Teylon, a company that has a decent library of 3DS eShop titles, and developed by Amzy. Its premise is very similar to Liberation Maiden, a great mech suit game that came to the 3DS near the beginning of its lifespan, and in execution it's like Strike Suit Zero with the ability for switching in and out of combat and traverse modes. Being a fair bit pricier than most eShop games, does it live up to its price?

Iron Combat's story is a little bit barebones, mostly presented through Star Wars-like scrolling text at the start with no voices or other sounds. It goes somewhat like this: The world has been at war after the removal of all borders and laws, and two corporations get into a conflict while trying to split the world into countries again. The main character volunteers for weaponisation, the fusion of weapons with humans, to become the last hope for her corporation. Sadly, this is about as in-depth as the story goes, as the game has no cut-scenes. There is a reasonably lengthy amount of text for each mission, but it rarely expands on the situation in the story.

The game is split into two modes. Free mode missions can be repeated in order to achieve higher ranks, and Mission mode consists of 16 missions, some of which have multiple paths, resulting in 20 missions overall. The first mission acts as a tutorial of sorts to begin with, before leaving players to work out how to fight by actually just fighting. It's also where Selen makes her introduction; she is the sort of 'wingman' to the main character, providing lessons, backstory and encouragement. Selen is voiced in Japanese, with her dialogue roughly translated on the top screen. In a game that is fast paced and requires concentration, an English dub would have been better because reading the subtitles quite often leads to getting hit. Also, unfortunately, Selen is the only character with a personality in the whole title.

Screenshot for Iron Combat: War in the Air on Nintendo 3DS

The first mission is where Iron Comabt reveals its main mechanic. Using the left shoulder button the main character can be switched between two different modes. The first is a jet mode where altitude can be adjusted and where flight speed is much higher than in the other mode. It is also used to manoeuvre between groups of enemies. The second is the mecha mode, where it is much easier to fight and move around. During this mode, it is possible to dash and use attacks that are otherwise unavailable to jet mode.

One point of note in the gameplay is that the difficulty is high; it's extremely easy to die, especially when learning to dodge, yet it never feels unfair as the enemy lock-on system is pretty accurate. The game marks where missiles and enemies are on the radar, but, unfortunately, during battle it is almost impossible to watch the bottom screen at all. The main character is upgradeable in almost every respect, from statistics to different attack modules. This gives the game much needed replay ability as it takes high ranks in missions to afford even the cheapest upgrade.

One major downside is the lack of varied terrain and obstacles. Each level is set in a small area with a good sense of space; however, even though the maps have different visuals, they almost never have any terrain to crash through. The other downside is that the menus and other interfaces are bland; they get the point across, but they don't help provide a cohesive experience.

Screenshot for Iron Combat: War in the Air on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

For the fun gameplay alone, Iron Combat: War in the Air comes highly recommended. The learning curve is not too steep and it's a joy to play. However, it's not without a few flaws, so it is unlikely to appeal to everybody.

Developer

Amzy

Publisher

Teyon

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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