Featured Columns

April 8, 2010

The Comics Console: Iron Man/ X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal

First up, a new Transformers: War for Cybertron trailer hit yesterday, showing off multiplayer gameplay and the different types of creatable and customizable characters. See it here. War for Cybertron drops July 22, 2010.

Iron Man/ X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal

Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Realtime
Platforms: Playstation, Sega Saturn
Rated: Teen
Release Date: October 31, 1996

These days you would have to search far and wide for someone who hasn’t at least heard of Iron Man, but I’m guessing there is a pretty large amount of people who have never heard of X-O Manowar.

First published by Valiant Comics in 1991, Aric Dacia was a 5th century warrior who had some major beef against the Romans. After being taken prisoner aboard an alien spaceship for many years, Dacia was guided to the alien’s most powerful weapon, the X-O Manowar armor, where he jacked that junk and used it against their alien asses.

Later, he would have his highest profile gig teaming up with Tony Stark in side scrolling mediocrity on the PSOne and Sega Saturn. A group of evil-doers have teamed up to hunt for the remaining shards of the Cosmic Cube. Eventually we learn that the alien creators of the X-O Manowar armor are looking to reclaim what’s theirs.

Iron Man/X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal is not only a long title, it’s a 3-D side scrolling shooter that is best left forgotten. You’ll start out as Iron Man, blasting through gun turrets and weird alien henchmen. Health and weapon power-ups, allowing you to fire wider shots, are spread throughout. You also have a limited boost that allows you to hover to elevated areas to grab power-ups or fire at enemies. Sadly, you never get the feeling that you’re the badass walking tank that both characters are portrayed as, but their “nuke everything” specials are pretty cool.

The prerendered designs are more fitting for Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis rather than the PlayStation or Sega Saturn. The levels are pretty much the same throughout the whole game. You tread back and forth destroying bad guys, culminating in a fairly challenging boss battle. Cut scenes are nothing special, just text boxes, with not much in the way of voice overs.

The sound design is one of the game’s strongest attributes. The “Heavy Metal” portion of the game’s title speaks of more than just the characters’ choice of wardrobe. Generic, but moody heavy metal tracks pound from the speakers as you’re gunning your way through each stage.

Ultimately, Iron Man/X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal adds nothing new to the genre, and it won’t pull anyone away from better games like Contra or Final Fight, but if you’re a hardcore fan of either Iron Man or X-O Manowar, it might be an okay way to kill an afternoon. 3/5

Checkout The Comics Console next week when we play Justice League Heroes: The Flash!

Andrew Hurst



  1. […] or X-O Manowar? […]

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  3. This game brings back some memories man! lol I never beat it because it got stepped on during a party 🙁

  4. Billy

    Good stuff AW.

  5. Hey, good music in a video game is nothing to scoff at. The soundtrack of that Batman game for the NES is at the top of my list.

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