Iro Hero is a new shoot’ em up care of devs Artax Games and Eastasiasoft. The year is 2306. You play as Iro who pilots a tiny ship throughout a vertical scrolling shooter. Human lifestyles have some what changed in the future. They are now solely used as energy producing cells and are treated like cattle, locked away producing electricity in farms. Iro (that’s you), has the ability to change all this with some quick time moves and some smart decision making.
Iro Hero’s main draw is the colour polarity system. Here you can select different firepower that determines which enemies you want to eradicate. Want to take down a wave of advancing red enemies? Then select the blue option. Intermingled with the swarm of red aliens you’ll find some blue aliens hiding, so it’s a case of quickly opting for the red option. You can also absorb the bullets of the same colour as your ship which is a handy get out clause. These mechanics definitely work well and they certainly keep you on your toes. Unforunately however there is no save or checkpoint system in place. Once you’re dead it’s over and because of this, repetition hits home very quickly. I know it’s a video game taking us back to the 80’s but starting from the very beginning is a hard pill to swallow.
The shooter comes with a far bit of banter via text that’s placed either side of the screen. Reading such dialogue is a tricky affair as it’s an unwise move taking your eye off the action mid screen. The lack of audio makes for quick side glances if you’re wanting to follow what’s said. At least with no voiceovers the cracking soundtrack has nothing obstructing it. Iro Hero’s music is first class.
Iro Hero’s is staged across 9 levels with 10 different bosses. As well as the colour-coded hazards you’ll have reflective surfaces and colour areas to overcome which all makes this shmup a very challenging one. While it may not be the most exciting experience we’ve had, Iro Hero is an OK budget blaster. Don’t expect a bullet hell shmup as it’s not that puppy, here action rolls at a slow-ish steady pace, including the speed of your ship.
If you’re a lover of shmups then there is a lot to like in Iro Hero. For the more casual shoot’em up fan though it may be less appealing. This superhero could have been made with stronger stuff.
Lizard Rating: 6/10