> The Daisenryaku series was licensed by SystemSoft
play on all major Sega consoles, starting in 1989 with Super
Daisenryaku for the Mega Drive.
(known as World Advanced Daisenryaku: Koutetsu no Senpuu
in Japan) is an addition to the long running Sega series of war/strategy
games, Advanced Daisenryaku. Thanks to the localization and
tweaking efforts of Working Designs, this is the first iteration
to be released in America. It's a hexagon map, turn-based affair that's
reminiscent of a board game. Another way to describe it is 'advanced world
> This game is right up my alley; I love strategy, tactics, war, history,
and simulation. One can learn a little about World War II, while passing
many hours fighting for the Allies or Axis. To some degree, the player
can change history in Iron Storm by changing the user's country
and winning certain battles. I'm not an expert on this series (since it's
the first one I've fully enjoyed), but it's pretty obvious that this game
was the first in integrate real-time 3D rendered battles. It simply wasn't
possible on Mega Drive. Among war games I've played, this
one surely has top notch depth, and a reasonable learning curve.
> It's a fairly difficult game to fully comprehend if one is interested
in playing the import version. I don't recommend it without the ability
to read Japanese. So the importability is very low: 25%.
> I'd say the graphic representation of the maps, military units, and charts
is just right. Let's not lose sight of the fact, this is essentially a
board game. The feature that shines, though, is when one watches the animated
battle scenes. Wow! The 3D rendered battles were way cool in 1996. Thankfully,
one can opt out of viewing these, as it would take an eternity to watch
an entire war's worth for animations. Another feature that's notable is
the 3D rendered view of individual units, which are x/y axis rotatable,
while accessing their info page. Overall, nicely done -- it will impress!
> Each mission has specific losing, succeeding and complete winning parameters.
For the most part, the player simply moves units, goes into battle, and
takes over cities and ports. Tactical maps can be accessed, as well as
complete unit statistics. Hint: always know the attack and move distance
of the enemy.
> The player has complete control over an army of land, sea, and air units.
A turn essentially consists of strategically manipulating units: (optionally)
selecting armament, moving and battling, then removing and allocating/buying
new ones. Iron Storm also has great gameplay options: like
a weather toggle (can't bomb when it's cloudy); sight distance toggle (see
everything or limit to unit sight distance); supply toggle (automatically
or manually re-supply units - costs money), and animation toggle (view
3D battle animations). Lastly, the obligatory save feature is welcomed,
since a mission can take in excess of 12 hours to complete.
> When it comes to tactics and strategy, Iron Storm reigns
supreme. When moving units, the player must consider weather, fuel, unit
strength (1-10), terrain, relative position, plus unit experience and training.
It sounds more complicated than it is. All this information and complete
stat sheets are at the player's fingertips, and are cleanly displayed for
ease of use. A large portion of winning fights can be boiled down to the
unit's training and experience stats. To gain the highest ranked training
and experience, the unit must consistently win without losing too much
strength. Healing a unit will water down its train/exp stats. Once the
unit gets to a certain point, in can be upgraded (Campaign Mode only).
Altogether: expertly devised battle system.
> Since Iron Storm is somewhat of a war simulation, I had
low expectations for the music. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the
themes (which are selectable) in this game. They all seem to capture the
spirit of the country they're asociated with. I like the German and American
themes the best. Nicely done.
> The sound effects are good; they include explosions, battleship guns
firing, soldiers marching, liberated city cheers, various propeller engine
sounds, tank tracks, and ships gliding across water. The one odd aspect
is the fact that jet and rocket powered aircraft use a propeller effect.
Doh! Anyway, a job well done.
> There's many hours of concentrated thought, planning, and execution to
enjoy. Iron Storm has two modes: Standard and Campaign. There's
no difficulty setting (which is fine), and the computer doesn't appear
to "cheat". The player's CPU controlled allies, on the other hand, do sometimes
seem to be really dumb. The good news is, one can take control of allied
forces, as well as the enemy (in Standard Mode only). As time goes on,
naturally, the equipment available gets more high tech and lethal.
> The Standard Mode presents an array of missions to choose from, which
take place throughout WWII (and a little beyond). Each mission is independant
with differing countries and parameters, and can be repeated as one would
like. Units gain experince and training, but do not carry over between
missions in this mode. This is great if one just wants to play a simple
scenario. If D-Day is enticing, then just play that mission -- and so on.
> The Campaign Mode is a set of related missions, depending on which of
three countries one decides to control: America, Germany, or Japan. Victory
in each mission brings the player closer to winning the war. This time,
units carry over training and experience between missions, and can thus
be allocated at no cost (as long as they're not defeated in battle). The
player can simulate an entire WWII career in this mode. The best war game
I've fully experienced so far.
> Iron Storm made one of my gaming dreams come true in 1996:
to play a strategic war simulation on a console that has depth, while maintaining
accessibility. I just spent the last week playing the heck out of this
game (again), and it's surely timeless fun. That's really all you need
to know. If one doesn't appreciate war, strategy, and turn-based combat,
then go play [insert generic FPS game] and get out of my face. At any rate,
it's time to "Commence Operations".
9.1 | Graphics: 8.5 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 8.5 | Fun: 10