IronSword: Wizards & Warriors 2 Review
by Daryn


The sequel to the NES classic, Wizards and Warriors is IronSword. I've never played the original W&W, but I just hope this game was a step back, and not an improvement. I think the first thing that should've tipped me off that this was going to be a bad game, was that Fabio is on the cover. If that isn't enough to make you run away screaming, trying to get as far from this game as you possibly can, I don't know what is.

You play as Kuros, a bouncing Knight who has no idea how to fight, and who drinks way too much coffee, as you can tell by his buggy eyes. I actually think he is Bugs Bunny in armor, (we never really see his face, do we?) Anyway, Kuros/Bugs is out to stop the evil wizard Malkil from using the four elementals to take over the world. (Okay, at least there's no princesses needing rescue this time.) So what does Kuros do? He has to find the Ironsword, because only that weapon can defeat Malkil. Unfortunately, Kuros couldn't find his way out of a paper bag, even if you gave him a map, so he spends most of his time bouncing around clouds and mountains, getting hit by flying objects, and falling flat on his back, because he has no goddamm clue what he's doing!! You start the game with a small dagger. A very small dagger. Now if you don't believe me when I say Kuros has no clue how to fight, try swinging the dagger. If it isn't enough that he swings it in a strange circular motion, as though he's churning imaginary butter, he has to use TWO HANDS to do it!! TWO HANDS to swing a little puny dagger!! And this is the guy they give the mission of finding and wielding the IronSword, to?

The play control, as well as the gameplay, is absolutely deplorable. If you can figure out how to get Kuros to actually do what you want him to do, then please, by all means, tell me your secret. As far as I can tell, there is no way to avoid taking damage while fighting an enemy with the sword or dagger. The only way is to use magic, which is easy to run out of. Even so, you're still likely to get hit by unavoidable flying objects while standing there shooting your magic spells.

The graphics and music, unfortunately, are the best part of this game. The Icefire Mountain theme is really good, but chances are, you'll give up long before you get there. I think the best thing is watching Kuros die, though. Maybe that's why the programmers made it so easy for him to die. You can't help but to love watching him go into deathroes, then as he lays flat, his foot dangles over the ledge he's on. Man, no matter how many times I see that, I never get tired of it! It's almost as good as watching the janitors get slimed in Ghostbusters 2. The animal kings look pretty cool, although you wouldn't think that with Malkil threatening to destroy the world with the power of the elements, they would care too much if you find their stupid golden egg or golden tankard, or whatever. But I guess the programmers felt this game needed other challenges, besides figuring out the damn play control.

My breakdown of this game:
Story: 0 - Whenever a hero goes to save the world from certain doom, have you ever heard the saying, "He's either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid"? This is the one case where I think the latter is the answer. Kuros obviously, cannot fight, and has no idea what he's doing. And from the looks of those stupid, googly eyes, I get the impression that the people of Sindarin just stuck the village idiot into a suit of armor and sent him on his merry way.
Graphics: 4 - They're big and colorful, and the enemies look cool, especially the bosses. It's just that I've never seen a world that looks so...flat, before. All the backgrounds look like paper cut-outs.
Sound: 5 - I liked the music. Icefire mountain is the best. Too bad you probably won't stay in the game long enough to really enjoy it.
Play Control: 0 - If you disagree with this, you either haven't played this game, or you're very drunk, or you figured out the super-secret code that actually makes Kuros useful.
Hero Rating: 0 - A knight that needs to use two hands to swing a dagger gets no credit in my book. The only way I could respect Kuros is if he puts on a skirt or tutu.
Overall Score: 2 - 1 point for Icefire Mountain's music, 1 point for Kuros's funny deathroes.