Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Ironsword", NES, 1989.

There was no way around it, really. Sooner or later, we had to run up against Fabio.
Become the ultimate warrior
in the ultimate war.

IRONSWORD
WIZARDS & WARRIORS II

The evil Wizard Malkil is back. And his fury rages out of control in the form of four sinister elementals: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. As Kuros, the knight warrior, you track them in their dark domains -- pursued by armies of vile creatures. To emerge victorious, assemble the shattered IronSword. And face what no warrior has ever faced before!

Excuse me? The Ultimate Warrior? Pardon me, but this gentleman would like to have a word with you.
Ah, but that's a story for another time.

The heartthrob does appear to be wearing a championship title belt of some kind, but his overall presentation is confusing given the head-to-toe armouring of the game's protagonist Kuros. No worries! It presents a kind of epic sword-and-sorcery RPG feeling even if the game only delivers zany fantasy platforming.

The ad copy is serviceable: it presents the overall plot (evil foozle, elemental enemies, build super-weapon) without expressing much about how the game is actually played. Fortunately, since it is made by Rare, you don't have to worry about how fun it's going to be -- Taboo aside, they tend to be pretty good on that point, a slippery distinction that empowered them to go from A-list Nintendo developers to A-list Xbox developers without being struck down by their own hubris. Here Rare is being published by Acclaim, and today we still have Rare (now helmed, bizarrely, by Simon "the Sorcerer" Woodroffe of AdventureSoft if memory serves correct) -- but where is Acclaim? Perhaps victims of attrition in the ultimate war.