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Iron Man X-O Manowar In Heavy Metal – PlayStation

Iron Man X-O Manowar In Heavy Metal – PlayStation

iron man x-o manowar in heavy metalPlatform: PlayStation (PS1)

Developer: Realtime Associates

Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment

Release Date (NA): 1996

Genre: Run & Gun, Beat ‘em Up, Action

Nerd Rating: 5 out of 10

Reviewed by NerdBerry

This is one of the many games I friggin’ LOVED when I was younger. It was a pretty badass game. This is, of course, before Robert Downy Jr. made Iron Man a household name. And X-O Manowar was never, and still isn’t, a household name. I mean, I was never really into comic books, so X-O Manowar was sort of a mystery to me. But that never stopped me from playing the game! I’m not sure where I got this game, as I’ve never owned the case and I know I didn’t buy it. I wonder who I stole it from?

iron man x-o manowar in heavy metal

Game Boy Release

Iron Man X-O Manowar In Heavy Metal (we’ll call it IMXO for short) suffers from the longest gaming name ever! Released by the ever-average Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., IMXO was never really marketed very well, but even if it were, I don’t know if people would have bought it. It’s mostly a mystery to people and I don’t know many people who have ever heard of it. It saw a release on the SUPER SUCCESSFUL SEGA SATURN as well. It also saw releases on the portable gaming systems: Game Boy and Game Gear. For this review, we’ll be talking about the PlayStation game.

iron man x-o manowar in heavy metal

Going down? Just like this game.

When the main screen kicks on, you’ll be graced with some gnarly heavy metal! Head bangin’ is expected and widely encouraged. There is a 1-player mode and 2-player mode. The objectives between the 2-modes are the same. They are laid out before each major level, which is fine for keeping the game a little more interesting. The objectives in 2-player mode are the same as the 1-player mode. Being an identical style except with 1 less person helping you along the way, 2-player mode might seem a little easier on paper. If both video-gamers are evenly matched in their video gaming abilities, then a 2-player mode will certainly be more beneficial. But if 1 of the 2 of you is considerably weaker (such as my girlfriend, who I constantly force to play games with me even when she doesn’t want to), then you’ll find yourself struggling to advance with any ease or speed.

One of the most annoying things about IMXO is the required use of “boost” that allows you to “fly” and hover for an extended period of time until your boost meter runs empty. I believe the concept was a good one, and pretty necessary because both Iron Man and X-O Manowar in their respective comics are able to fly whenever wherever with ease. So being limited with a boost meter is an epic fail on the developer’s part. There are particular areas in every level where you will have to use your boost extensively. It becomes very infuriating to literally stand there waiting for your boost meter to fill up just so you can fly to the platform above you. The waiting period gave me enough time to think about how much I just did not like this game anymore.

Iron Man has thrusters that come out of his feet when he is flying. X-O Manowar doesn’t have anything. He just… floats. Not only is the flying a tedious compulsory act – on average – no less than 12 times per level, but you fly painfully slow! It’s like watching a fully-inflated beach ball try to sink to the bottom of the pool. IS IT GOING TO EVER GET THERE?! IT’S SO CLOSE! NO WAIT! IT’S STILL FLOATING! This is just embarrassing, especially considering how integral the flying aspect is in IMXO. I know I’m going on and on about “hovering” or flying, but Realtime Associates really made this a big part of the game and they dropped the ball big time.

iron man x-o manowar in heavy metal

Hover me timbers.

Anyway, I digress. Aside from being equipped (ill-equipped) with flying capabilities, Iron Man and X-O Manowar are outfitted with an infinite number of single-shot palm-blasters (they shoot from your hand) and a serious power-beam (shoots from your chest plate) that is just as tall as the characters and shoots all the way across the screen killing mostly anything in its path! There is practically no difference between the 2 characters and they are virtually transposable. You are originally equipped with single-shot blasters but power-ups can be picked up along the way that will enhance your single-shot blasters to double-shot blasters (I need a double-shot of iron man x-o manowar in heavy metalFighting Cock Bourbon after playing this game). Power-ups are also available for your power-beam shot that can either refill it or give you one more for your arsenal. Double-tapping in either direction will give you the ability to run (very useful only for getting places faster because you get so damn bored you can’t wait to finish the level). And when you fire your palm-blasters, you can only shoot left, right, diagonal left, or diagonal right. You can’t shoot straight up. This is 1996 folks! This is the super powerful Playstation! This ain’t no Sega Master System! C’mon now.

It’s Not All Bad

IMXO is luckily graced with masterfully composed heavy metal music throughout the game (instrumentals only). It does a truly wonderful job of adding that level of darkness that pairs well with the color scheme. The music is appropriate (not just because of the game title) as you walk around fighting mutant-grenade-tossing-lightning-shooting humanoid thingamajiggers in this large industrial factory compound. The graphics are done QUITE WELL, and is one of the few things that keep IMXO from falling flat on its face.

The detail in animation is exceptional for 1996, and although it is a sprite based 2D action side scrolling platformer, there are many elements of 3D, such as walking behind/through buildings, items in the foreground with Iron Man and X-O Manowar in the mid-ground, gun turrets shooting directly into the screen, or bad-guys in the background throwing radioactive cans into the foreground. It’s a nice touch overall.

iron man x-o manowar in heavy metal

Boom. Roasted.

The music, sound effects, graphics, and animation all combine to give IMXO a fighting chance against some questionable control elements (very sluggish controls) and against a really long, difficult, monotonous, and confusing video game. This game can seem endless sometimes, but there is no save feature. Why?! Good thing they include a LONG password system comprising of 28 characters (numbers and letters). The password is awarded at the end of each zone, giving players the ability to turn off the Playstation and come back to it later.

Overall, Iron Man X-O Manowar In Heavy Metal isn’t terrible nor is it a gem of a game. In 1997, IGN gave this game a lowly score of 3 out of 10 and GameSpot noted that “every aspect of IMXO is a letdown — the graphics, sound, and gameplay,” but I believe it deserves a little more credit than that. Even in 2013. As I noted before, there are strong graphical elements (which is easier to notice in retrospect when the expectations aren’t as high) and the music and sound effects are far above average. If you’re able to play this game with someone who is great at platforming, run & gun, and beat ‘em ups, then you’ll hopefully have a good time. Just ignore the confusing and sluggish controls, terrible computer A.I., poor flying capabilities, and stupid-long game title. And be aware of extreme boredom. There are many elements of this game that feel a lot like trying to push a huge turd (think 5 inch girth) through a tiny butthole… it’s just excruciatingly painful.

Nerd Rating: 5 out of 10

Reviewed by NerdBerry

iron man x-o manowar in heavy metal

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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