Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Iron Man 2 on PS3 Impression

Iron Man 2 on PS3
Movies based on comic books. Bad history but good recently. Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman have all made the leap from great comic books to good if not great movies for fans. Iron Man 2 is the sequel to the tier-2 of these recent good movies. The first Iron Man surprised many and was a good movie with cool special effects. The sequel takes it down a notch but still offers up plenty of comic fan goodness. The pre-requisite video game is an improvement over the first Iron Man title from Sega but still comes up a bit short. What is it about video games based on movies based on comics that makes a title like Iron Man 2 on PlayStation 3 suffer? Let’s take a look and then ponder why.

Gameplay – Fly around, run around, attack from close (bad) and attack from far (decent). Customize your suit, new weapons and load outs. Sounds like a rock solid formula built around the Iron Man universe but sadly controls lag, do not give the responsiveness gamers should expect, should get. Iron Man could have used the Zone of Enders formula, or even Dynasty Warriors Gundam to mimic one robot/mech/armor taking on waves of cookie cutter bots but for some reason it does not. The cut scenes, the movie, show what Iron Man and War Machine can do so why not in the game? All this said it’s an improvement from the first game, so by Iron Man 3 Sega should have this one nailed down.

Graphics – PlayStation 2 delicious. Yup, with all the graphical power we have Iron Man 2 offers up good looking armor but robotic looking characters, bad animations and just blandness. There is no wow factor in the look and feel of Iron Man 2, it gets the job done but when has anyone bought a game because it gets the job done?

Sound – Background metal is not bad at all for fans of the genre and moves with the action. Sounds are decent from weapons to explosions but it’s the voice acting which needs mention. Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their roles and do so in fine manner but the rest of the cast utilizes sound alike which doesn’t capture the wit of Downey or anyone else. One liner, jokes, banter feels off and very forced, a shame since the movies actors did so well with their parts.

Design – Bland at times, pulled from the movie at others. The story design is the biggest flaw as it contradicts the movie on a few occasions. The armor design is set while the creation, look and feel of Ultimo and Crimson Dynamo is pretty decent, something fans will enjoy. Levels, objectives are not well designed; it’s just not a lot of fun.

Miscellaneous – Holes in the story. How does Tony’s house get fixed so fast and what about Ultimo and Crimson Dynamo? Their creation is a bit off in the overall movie universe as is Tony’s interaction with S.H.I.E.L.D.

Overall, Iron Man 2 was a good theatrical sequel. Iron Man 2 the video game was better than the original, an upgrade in every area from the first Iron Man game but when gamers can point to a last generation title like Zone of Enders, to show better mech/armor combat, one has to wonder why with all the background and tech can’t publishers improve upon the formulas of old. Hey, we don’t see Tony Stark using his original armor do we? Iron Man 2 is great for fans of the comic and much better than most licensed gaming titles but still falls short of how good the Spider-Man video games were.

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