|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Koei||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Koei||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 28, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Accessing the interface is relatively easy. Move the cursor around and make your selections. Windows will open up with each selection to reveal more choices and options for a particular category. There are many levels and layers to consider for any specific command.
You can start to feel the anxiety when faced with making decisions that youre not sure about. Not to worry, youre going to get clobbered for a while, so take your lumps and learn what you did wrong after the fact, which is really the only way to learn. The CPU will review your performance and give you some pointers for next time, and not all of it is easy to swallow. My failures were due to poor military planning. For whatever reason, you cant just go in to battle and hope to outnumber the enemy. Trained units, in particular formations, in addition to great leaders will always triumph over a swarm of hacks. Who knew?
An active phase puts a real-time spin on the gameplay. You make your selections during your turn and the game will shift into the planning mode where the battle is temporarily suspended. Once your commands are made, then the game shifts to the active phase. Here you can watch your orders play out on the battlefield. During the active phase, the enemy doesnt have to wait its turn to launch attacks or send for more units. The action plays out at a decent speed, allowing you to keep an eye on the events. You can zoom in and out of the battlefield and you can even speed things up by compressing time if things get a little boring. The two-player mode is guaranteed to spice things up, as long as youve got an evenly matched opponent. The A.I. does a great job, but sometimes its just too cut and dried, whereas humans make human mistakes. Remember that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Iron Triangle isnt much of a looker, but the interface is where the action is. Its easy to read and easy to access. The action scenes wouldnt pass muster on a PSOne platformer, but they do the job here. Its actually thrilling to watch all your planning come to life, even if you take a bad beating. The music is really enjoyable during the combat sequences. The sound effects are average and theres no voice work to speak of. Production values are secondary to the virtually flawless gameplay mechanics.
While The Iron Triangle may not seem like its for everyone, with a little bit of patience and trial and error, even an action hero could rule the world.
CCC Senior Writer