by Keaton Arksey
reviewed on WII
Like the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, most missions have the option of being played through with Iron Man or War Machine. War Machine is a bit slower and has a few power weapons that Iron Man doesn’t, like a Missile Pad and Chain Gun. Iron Man is faster and packs lighter weaponry. A few missions force you to play as one or the other but for the majority of the game you can choose whoever you want. An interesting difference between the two is that it is nearly impossible for Iron Man to die. Both characters have shields that, once depleted, will lead to mission failure. However if you are playing as Iron Man you can simply play a simple Pipe Dream-like game and instantly revive Iron Man with full health. Oddly enough, War Machine has no way to revive. Not that you will need to revive very often: the game isn’t all that difficult to begin with. You can upgrade both suits of armor with new weapons and better defensive capabilities. Your upgrade points don’t transfer between the two characters, so unless you are going to use one main character, it would be best to play both evenly and share the wealth.
Graphics wise Iron Man 2 is a mixed bag. Character models for Iron Man and War Machine are well done, as are most of the other mechanized enemies. The models for Pepper Potts and Natasha Romanova (or Black Widow) are pretty atrocious though. The environments are pretty bland with most of the missions taking place in industrial areas. The textures aren’t that great either, since most things just look off-white or brown. A visual juggernaut this is not. And in what might be the laziest move in the game, most cut scenes are just pictures of the characters from the movie that speak in front of a background. There are some real cut scenes, but really, this is 2010. We’ve seen Wii games with very capable cut-scenes and the Iron Man 2 developers go half-assed, putting some pictures of talking heads?
If you enjoy hard rock or metal, you might get a kick out of Iron Man 2’s soundtrack which is almost exclusively comprised out of guitar sounds. Sega’s been keen to point out that popular metal band Lamb of God would be contributing to the game and they milk that contribution in every way possible. Unfortunately Robert Downey Jr. did not provide his voice for the game but the voices of co-stars Don Cheadle (War Machine) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) are featured. While they only do voice work for parts of the game, the stand-ins do an admirable job. The only real distracting performance is Natasha Romanova’s, who just sounds bored and uninterested.
Not ‘da’ man
As mentioned before, the game isn’t that difficult. To compound that problem, it only lasts about four hours. Sure, you can go back and collect all the tech trophies and bonus objectives to upgrade your suit but there isn’t really any reason to play it again. There’s no co-op, even though there are two playable characters. A missed opportunity in my book. There are some unlockable suits, like the Mark II through VI, and a couple of older models from the comics, but they’re purely cosmetic.
Iron Man 2 for the Wii isn’t a –bad- game. It does several things rather well, like the voice acting and controls. Even the gameplay for the first two hours is fun. Yet the lazy cut scenes, bland environments, lack of difficulty and unresponsive menu system keep it from being a –good- game.
Good use of the Wii controls
Bland graphics, boring gameplay.