Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

Iron Soldier (Jaguar) artwork

Iron Soldier (Jaguar) review

"Iron Soldier is considered to be one of the better games to appear on Atari's ill-fated Jaguar console. However that really isn't saying much. Although the console was touted as 64 bit, you wouldn't think it to look at the graphics in Iron Soldier, but more on that later. "

Iron Soldier is considered to be one of the better games to appear on Atari's ill-fated Jaguar console. However that really isn't saying much. Although the console was touted as 64 bit, you wouldn't think it to look at the graphics in Iron Soldier, but more on that later.

The actual game is a kind of mech/strategy game. You are part of a resistance movement dedicated to bringing down and evil corporation who manufacture weapons, including giant walking robot suits called Iron Soldiers. Your resistance cell have managed to capture a prototype of this weapon and your task is to complete sixteen missions of escalating difficulty resulting in a final assault on the headquarters of said evil corporation.

Your Iron Soldier is a fearsome piece of kit, weapons can ne mounted on both shoulders, both hips and both hands. You start off with basic guns and hand weapons and as you progress find more powerful rail cannons, rocket cannons and the like. by carefully outfitting your mech, you can take on anything at close, medium and long range.

You also have some choice in the order of the missions you do. They are available in blocks of four. Do the four in any order, and the next four open up and so on until the last four which must be done in order. This doesn't affect things that much except you may find a weapon in one mission that will make another mission you were having difficulty with much easier.

So once you've accepted the missions and tooled up you Iron Soldier is off to start the mission and its here things start to fall apart. Basically all the missions are variations of smash everything in sight. Supply crates, new weapons and other items can only be picked up from the wreckage of destroyed buildings. So you work your way around the level having to methodically smash everything in sight. Most mission objectives also involve smashing something to, wether its an enemy lab or an enemy base or the enemy headquarters. Only a couple of missions fall outside this pattern, asking you to defend rebel bases. Even those require you to smash all the enemies that are thrown at you.

All this smashing is pretty good fun for the first few missions. But it soon gets monotonous. Also by the end of the game you are so out-numbered by enemy units that while you smash buildings looking for repair crates, you get surrounded and shot to peices, time after time. Very annoying.

The controls are also very unwieldy. The Jaguar joypad resembles a brick with buttons on it. An overlay card shows you which buttons fire each weapon and this is very user friendly, but the steering and looking controls are HORRIBLE. The mech will start moving and keep going until you press a button to make it stop. This is very counter-intuitive and at the same time another button must be pressed to activate the look mode, so the directional d-pad is being asked to move you around and look around depending on the last button you pressed - either A or B. In the heat of battle this makes targeting hard and precision movement even harder.

That said once you get the hang of it you can become quite formidable. Assign some kickass weapons to your mech and you can have a whale of a time unleashing hot leaden death on the tanks, helicopters and enemy mechs that come after you. The sheer volume of enemies also means you do have to plan later missions quite carefully. But it does involve alot of replaying as you memorise which buildings contain the vital health and ammo you need to get you through.

It's hard to judge the quality of the graphics fairly. I haven't played enough Jaguar games to compare it to. They are very bland to look at. Stark polygon blocks make up buildings and other scenery. Grass is coloured one shade of bright green, buildings like grey bricks. Tanks, helicopters etc look like lego models.

There are no textures, the whole thing looks like a 3D wireframe level plan, with just the first layer added. However things move nice and smoothly and a lot goes on the screen at once without slowdown interfering, it just looks very stark. Not how I imagined a 64 bit game would look at all. But maybe my expectations were too high. As you would expect from a cart based machine the sound in the game is pretty poor as well. No music to speak of and the sounds of destruction are pretty underwhelming as well.

Its an odd game to judge really. The concept is a good one and although repetition spoiled some of the middle section of the game it does draw you in as you mech gets more and more weapons to choose from and more and more strategies to try. If you own a Jaguar this is one of the better games I've played on it, even though it is a joke compared to mech games on the PC and later consoles. So I think the best I can give it is a totally average 5/10.

falsehead's avatar
Community review by falsehead (March 08, 2004)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by falsehead [+]
American Idol (PlayStation 2) artwork
American Idol (PlayStation 2)

What's that awful noise? A horrendous, mangled shrieking. A wailing and groaning punctuated by explosions of mocking laughter. Is some horrible torture taking place? No, unfortunately that's the sound of me playing the Pop Idol game very, very badly and being soundly ridiculed by a roomful of teenagers. Damn.
Herdy Gerdy (PlayStation 2) artwork
Herdy Gerdy (PlayStation 2)

Every now and then a game comes along that is so original that it defies easy categorisation. Herdy Gerdy, developed by Tomb Raider creators Core Design, is one such game. You have to make controlled jumps like a platform game; likewise you need to collect items to progress to the next areas, again like a platform game...
Pocket Fighter (PlayStation) artwork
Pocket Fighter (PlayStation)

WARNING: This game is completely barking mad!


If you enjoyed this Iron Soldier review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998 - 2024 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Iron Soldier is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Iron Soldier, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.