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Platform

GameBoy Advance

 

Genre

Action / Shooter

 

Publisher

Majesco

 

Developer

Shinen

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

June 2003

 

 

- Some classic-style action
- Stats on the web
- Catchy tunes
- Lots of different enemies to blast

 

 

- Passwords were lame 10 years ago and they’re still lame
- Really easy to figure out bosses

 

 

Classic Review: Truxton (Genesis)

Review: F-Zero - Maximum Velocity (GBA)

Review: Top Gun - Firestorm (GBA)

 

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Iridion II

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

iridion 2 gameboy advance review         iridion 2 gameboy advance review

 

Although it sounds like it belongs on the Periodic Table of Elements, Iridion II (I2) is actually a nifty, quasi-3D, scrolling shooter – but with an unwelcome throwback to simpler times.

That throwback comes in the form of passwords given at the close of each level. Instead of the game automatically “saving” your progress, I2 gives you a password that you have to enter before you can pick up where you left off. This was a feature annoying 10-years ago and it’s even more frustrating and aggravating now. It can’t have escaped anyone’s attention that the GBA is a mobile platform, which means to me “catching me without a pen to write down the password.” This forces you to borrow a pen and scribble it on the handiest part of your body (hopefully, your

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own) or try to remember it long enough to write it down. At first, I enjoyed the hit of nostalgia entering passwords – but that quickly died. Everything else I2 does it enjoyable if somewhat standard.

After the insufferable Story mode, with its passwords, the Arcade mode is a welcome feature (even if you have to enter a password since they’re only

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available after completing the levels in Story). Finishing a level in the Arcade mode gives you a code that can be entered at the I2 website (www.iridion2.com) allowing for online rankings. This is also applicable to Challenge mode where you face off against waves of Boss ships. This is a cool feature and one that I hope catches on because there’s nothing like having bragging rights.

But on the Boss battles, they provide a solid challenge if only by the shear number of on-screen bullets. It takes 3 or 4 seconds to recognize the attack pattern and exploit it. It doesn’t make the battles a cakewalk but it does draw them out for longer than expected, especially if your smart bomb inventory is zero.

 

iridion 2 gameboy advance review         iridion 2 gameboy advance review

 

Weapons can make or break a space shooter. I have good memories of the classic Truxton even though it only had three weapon types. I2 sports five different upgradeable weapons but only three seem to be of any use. But unlike Truxton, you can switch weapons on the fly to suit the situation. The weapons themselves range from the Swarm Gun to the Seeking Laser to the Radial Gun. You can also charge up your ship to unleash a powerful bolt of energy. The charged bolt does not take on different characteristics for each weapon type, which is too bad because I can see how each would be super-charged.

The levels, or in this case, planets, are mostly straightforward with only a few surprises to keep you on your toes. However, the roster of enemy units is extensive and they each have their own attack routines.

Surprisingly, I2’s music is quite good. You wouldn’t pump it through your stereo – although with the GBA Player connected to the GameCube you can – but it’s good. The big and bright visual side of things is good, too. It’s impressive the amount of onscreen action that can unfold without slowdown. The backgrounds have a 3D feel to them and enemies get bigger as they approach (and your craft gets smaller when you zip to the top of the screen) but there’s no vertical axis to worry about as the world slowly cruises by.

As far as games go, I2 places above “time wasters” on a ranking continuum. It offers some decent old-school action and the web stats but the old-school passwords kick it in the teeth.

- Omni
(July 27, 2003)

 

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