All About Draconarius
Instead of trying to start this off with some sort of witty remark, I am going to cut straight to the chase: Iron Man 3 is not just the worst entry in the Iron Man series. It is not just the worst entry in the Marvel universe to date. It is not just a terrible superhero film. It is a film that takes the careful, measured world, character and theme development from Iron Man 1, Iron Man 2, and the Avengers, and ruthlessly destroys them. It is to the Iron Man series was Assault Horizon was to Ace Combat: an unmitigated series-ruining disaster.
The entire film is out of character compared to not just the other Iron Man films, but the entire Marvel film series. The other films treated their characters and stories with respect, trusting that they were strong enough to maintain serious drama and believing that there was no need for constant tongue-in-cheek humour to keep the audience interested. There were jokes and funny moments, for sure, but they were done with style and subtlety, never in a self-depreciating manner. Iron Man 3 does no such thing. Assuming that the film is completely unable to produce real drama, the movie attempts to force tongue-in-cheek humour whenever it can. The result can only be described as an incompetent self-parody.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the horrific treatment afforded the Mandarin. Before I elaborate, let me first say that I am not an avid Iron Man, or even Marvel fan. I had never even heard of Iron Man before the first movie pulled its sleeper hit routine in 2008. Since then, though, Ive learned enough to know that the Mandarin is the arch villain. When he shows up, things get deadly serious. And yes, his presence in the film is horrifying, but only in that its hard to imagine how anyone though that such a farcical treatment of the character would be a good move. Certainly no one would ever have the gall to try a stunt like this with the Joker or Lex Luthor. It is depressing to see it done here, and it betrays a level of disrespect that borders on contempt.
In fact, that is the essence of the films problem: a lack of respect for the previous films, for the audience, and for the source material. It treats the whole series, the comics it is lifted from, and the fans that adore both as one big joke. Even the way the film ends is a powerful slap in the face to plot points and themes that have taken years to set up and explore. If this is a sign of things to come during Disney/Marvel's Phase 2, then we are in for a very rough ride indeed.
TL;DR Version (Thank you, Team Four Star. )
Okay, I will admit that I was maybe a little too angry... outraged... disgusted... what is the right word here? Anyway, I was probably running on a very high level of dissapointment when I made my initial comments and review about Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Now that I've had a day or two to let my thoughts on the game settle down, and given the game a chance to redeem itself, I have to say that I stand by everything I said about it. Dull, lifeless, tedious, I could go on forever with the adjectives. I don't know if anyone is ever going to read this or if you will even care about some random Game Spot user's opinion, but please do yourself a favour and stay well clear of this game.
That being said, I will admit that when played on-line, the game is a fair bit of fun. This is almost entirely thanks to your human opponents and the fact that they, unlike the AI, actually fight back. However, it still comes down to the same formula as the campaign: get in close, activate DFM and then fire when instructed. Is it a fun enough way to kill time? Yes. Is it worth paying full price for an otherwise terrible flight sim? Absolutely not.
Okay, so I've spent my first night racking up some time on Forza 4. The game had a lot to live up to, given how great Forza 3 was, and although Forza 4 is a solid racing game it so far hasn't reached the same league as Forza 3. Part of the problem is that the game feels more like Forza 3.5 than a proper sequel. That's not as bad as you might think; the solid game play from Forza 3 is still intact and the smoother graphics have enhanced the experience.
+ Game looks incredibly good.
+ Excellent physics engine and game play from Forza 3 is still intact.
+ New Driving Feats encourage you to race well, rewarding you for perfect passes/corners.
+ Can save vinyl groups, whether created or bought, from Forza 3.
+ Bowling with cars is wacky good fun.
+ New 1-on-1 mountain duels are big improvements over the Forza 3 mountain events.
+ Getting a choice of cars with each driver level up fixes what was probably my biggest gripe with Forza 3, namely that everyone's garage wound up looking more or less identical throughout the career.
- AI is weak. Haven't felt really in danger of losing a race yet (playing with ADVANCED but with Traction Control turned back on and Rewind turned off).
- Can't recover complete car designs, so that work of art you spent hours working on will need to be either recreated or left as a Forza 3 exclusive.
- New affinity system is overpowered. It isn't long at all until you're getting free upgrades for all your cars, reducing the joy of creating a heavily upgraded, tuned to perfection monster.
I have yet to get really into the game yet, though, and at least some of these kinks could iron themselves out. The game is actually making me want to see it through, unlike a certain flight sim I could mention. I also haven't tried out Autovista mode in any kind of depth, and I haven't even touched the paint editor. I'm more looking forward to the latter one, if only so I can recreate the Shana Skyline from Forza 3 I love so much. I will clock some more time before writing my full review.
My Recent Reviews
Jun 11, 2013 2:29 pm GMTDraconarius began Following Final Fantasy XV
Jun 11, 2013 2:27 pm GMTDraconarius began Following Total War: Rome II
Jun 11, 2013 2:27 pm GMTDraconarius began Following inFamous: Second Son
Jun 11, 2013 2:27 pm GMTDraconarius began Following Destiny
Jun 11, 2013 2:26 pm GMTDraconarius added Star Trek The Video Game to their owned game list
Jun 11, 2013 2:26 pm GMTDraconarius added Halo 4 to their owned game list
May 8, 2013 1:00 am GMTDraconarius gave Fire Emblem: Awakening a score of 9.0
Apr 25, 2013 1:38 am GMTDraconarius posted a new blog entry entitled Film Review: IRON MAN 3