In Iro Hero you play as Iro in the year 2036, and you happen to be a rebel. Originally the Nyagu, an alien species, arrived bestowing the ability of conjuring electricity to each and every human. Unfortunately another alien species saw an opportunity to enslave the human race and use the human generated electricity for their own purposes. People end up at battery farms producing power for their alien masters. This led to the death of Iro’s mom and Iro wants revenge.
Iro Hero is a classic vertical shoot-em-up which uses a colour changing polarity mechanic. Your ship is able to change colour to red or blue. To destroy red enemies you need to be blue to shoot out them with blue ammo, however their red bullets will hurt you. If you switch to red then you can absorb their ammo which fills up a super weapon which can be unleashed. If you come across a blue enemy then you need to be red to blow them up or turn blue to absorb their shots. It adds a fair bit of strategy to Iro Hero, which is a very hard game to get through. There are 9 stages with 10 bosses to beat. There are 10 different enemies across the different stages, so you will spend much of your time concentrating on colour changing at the right times.
There are many reasons for Iro Hero being challenging game to play. Your ship can only shoot forward unless you find a power up. Your enemies can shoot at you from different directions, whilst some enemies hone onto you just to crash into you. You have three lives, each life can take three hits, however if a ship crashes into you then that’s one full life taken away from you. Iro Hero can become an chaotic experience, you will die many times because of the many enemies and obstacles put in your way. When both colour enemies are on the screen you will need to be at you best to progress. There are barrier that can be used to aid you by deflecting shots at different angles, but you’ll also need to navigate yourself around these barriers otherwise you’ll lose a life. There are no checkpoints as such in a level, so if you die you will need to restart the level from the beginning which is especially frustrating.
The game takes place in the centre of the screen, the sides are filled with various hints and information, sometimes Iro will appear and start talking, as it’s purely dialogue it becomes a little distracting because you’re in the middle of a fire fight. Graphically, Iro Hero is a call back to the retro age, the background scenery is really detailed and well presented whilst all the explosions on-screen add to the experience. The bosses are quite varied and will certainly challenge you, so you better be ready to replay some levels more than once. Arguably the colour changing ship you pilot is the least detailed looking sprite on screen. If multiplayer was present then Iro Hero would have been a better experience and the additional mode would have added to it’s longevity.
Iro Hero is a decent shooter with classic shoot-em-up genre mechanics; the colour changing element makes it a very challenging and at times somewhat frustrating experience. With a bit more refinement Iro Hero could have been a really good game but in it’s current state, shoot-em-up enthusiasts will probably be the only gamers wanting to take on this challenge.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Iro Hero Review
Gameplay - 6/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 6/10
Iro Hero is a decent shooter with classic shoot-em-up genre mechanics.