Iridion 3D

Game Boy Advance

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8.5

Sound: 8.5

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4

While the GBA is relatively new, most people are aware that the console is simply a smaller, slightly more powerful version of the Super Nintendo. Numerous ports have already made it to store shelves, some with slight upgrades. There are a few games out there that prove the GBA has a lot more going for it than the 16-bit legend. Iridion 3-D pushes the envelope with some of the most stunning images ever put onto a portable screen, it's just a shame that gameplay never reaches these heights.

Aliens are invading earth... again. As usual, you're the last person who can save the world from imminent destruction with your super-powered ship. Iridion takes it's gameplay from such classics as Gyruss, Tempest, and Sewer Shark (maybe Sewer Shark isn't a classic, but the gameplay is similar).  Viewing the action from behind your jet/plane-spaceship thingy, you'll blast of helpless enemies as they fly right into your line of fire, seemingly with no regard for their own lives. The difference here is that when they actually shoot at you, the combination of the GBA's screen and lackluster controls make it tough, if not impossible, to avoid their fire. The collision detection is also suspect, making most people wonder what hit them. The extreme difficulty level makes this one nearly unplayable.

The designers have pushed this console to it's limits with this one. Pre-rendered videos are the backgrounds for the stages, much like Sewer Shark, just without the bad acting to go along with it. These look fantastic, even if they simply repeat every 4 seconds. Even the title screen looks great. Enemy ships can be hard to make out on some of the stages due to the color schemes, but if your flying in the sky, you'll be able to see some of the finer details. Things do get a wee bit pixilated up close, but this has to expected.

The sound is done by the same guys who made Tony Hawk on GBA sound like it's console counterparts. The music puts out an incredible amount of bass and the explosions are excellent. The repeated shots that are fired from your ship can get irritating, but the rest of the soundtrack usually overshadows these sounds. Make sure to pick up a decent pair of headphones for this one.

Iridion has everything going for it. Awe-inspiring graphics, killer sounds, and the clichéd plotline, but the key factors are done poorly. Your ship handles like a rock, the controls seem off, and the GBA's screen just isn't up to par for a game like this. The sequel would make things better again, all thanks to a change in viewpoint and better overall programming.


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Last updated: Sunday, September 25, 2005 11:54 AM