AGH Jaguar CD Review: IRON SOLDIER 2
When Iron Soldier was first released on Atari's 64-bit platform,
gamers were wowed by the myriad of missions and the wide-open
3-D world. It was especially groundbreaking in a time when
Playstation, Saturn and Nintendo 64 were still on the drawing
boards. While the gameplay in its sequel is more evolutionary
rather than revolutionary, Iron Soldier 2 is a no-brainer
purchase for owners of Jaguar CD systems and should satisfy
even those who are not fans of the genre.
As with the first Iron Soldier the game is broken into four groups
of missions. This time, however, there are twenty missions rather
than sixteen since each group contains five missions instead of the
original's four. In addition, the same formula of weapons selection
and control options are available. The game ends when your mech
sustains too much damage, but thankfully powerups and repair objects
can be found during each mission. And you'll need it too, because
IS2 is markedly more difficult than its predecessor. In fact,
even those who managed to conquer the original will initially
find it to be rough even in easy mode.
The missions themselves are mostly seek and destroy operations,
but occassionally there are escort missions where Iron Soldier must
protect a convoy or a vehicle from enemies ranging from helicopters,
tanks and enemy mechs. Those who are familiar with the original
Iron Soldier will almost immediately be comfortable with the controls.
The B button fires the currently selected weapon, A controls velocity
and turning of the mech while C calls for a complete halt. It is
possible (and necessary for success) to turn your mech's torso to
shoot at targets to the left and right while still walking in the
The graphics are hardly up to the levels set by the standard-bearers
such as Battlemorph or Zero 5, but they are nonetheless pleasing and
get the job done. While the debris from explosions is still just a
bunch of cubes you will find subtle texture maps on the buildings,
helicopters and other vehicles. But more importantly, the frame rate
remains as silky smooth as the original. The music has taken a big
jump, thanks to the liberties made possible from CD storage space.
The techno tunes are of the run-of-the-mill variety, only this time
it's encoded in redbook audio format. Sound effects are still sparse,
and a little more variety could have been a welcome addition given
the extra storage made available by being on CD format.
All in all, Iron Soldier 2 is solid and fun, and the missions are
as challenging and complex as ever. While it doesn't break any
new ground, perhaps that's a good thing given the substandard
quality found in a great majority of offerings on the Jaguar CD
(can you say Blue Lightning? I thought you could).
Iron Soldier II
Atari Jaguar CD