Developer: WireMuch
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Some days it hardly pays to be a marital arts hero. No sooner is the girl rescued than the evil kung-fu gang of the day retaliates. There is no rest: there is only revenge.

Iron Dragon II – Revenge is the follow-up to Iron Dragon – Clash Against the Tiny Ninja Thief Force. Like its predecessor, Iron Dragon II is a side-scrolling brawler that pays homage to 8-bit arcade classics like Double Dragon and Final Fight. Sadly, Iron Dragon II‘s dull, repetitive gameplay doesn’t come close to touching the standards set by its esteemed inspiration.

irondragon_04Players move slowly from left to right in Iron Dragon II, and beat up the waves of henchmen that get in their way. Punching is the main order of the day, though players can also execute jump-kicks and acquire special moves as they complete levels. Some moves include a Hadouken-esque beam weapon, a temporary strength buff, and the ability to slowly recover lost hit points over time.

Iron Dragon II‘s controls are finicky, which is problematic in a beat-em-up. The on-screen buttons are in fixed positions and are non-adjustable, which means players can expect their thumbs to slip off the controls during intense battles. Even more troublesome is the shoddy hit detection. Players need to hit bad guys in very small and specific hit boxes, so a lot of punches just go straight through the target.

irondragon_01But it’s not as if Iron Dragon II has a lot to offer, anyway. Repetition abounds. Level after level offers up the same enemies and the same bosses. Even backgrounds repeat at a rate that would make a Flintstones animator blush. How many side-to-side convenience stores can a single block possibly need? Some stages are downright nonsensical, like a brawl through the vacuum of space. The player and the baddies walk on the void, and dumpsters containing items are present too, as they are in every other level. Sure. Why not?

It’s difficult to pull off a fighting/brawling game on mobile systems, because the genre has very specific needs – not the least of which is perfect controls. Iron Dragon II – Revenge lacks decent controls, and it also fails to serve up interesting content. Best let it fly away.

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