Rookie developer Shin'en pops up out of nowhere with the slickest-looking GBA game to date. Can you say "Star Fox-killer"?
We knew that GBA could do some basic 3D stuff, but goodness! Iridion already looks as good or better than any 3D game from the SNES era, and it's set to arrive in time for the US launch! Developer Shin'en originally developed this game for GB Color (as a Gradius-style side-scrolling shooter), but has since moved it to GBA and shifted the perspective to behind the craft. The action promises to be furious and extremely fast, with a solid fluidity of 60 frames per second. The gameplay is a mixture of Star Fox and Galaxy Force, with "on rails" stages and boss battles in 360-degree arenas. There are eight levels, and the varied environments shown in screenshots aren't just for looks either. The game's project manager, Manfred Lizner, says the field of movement will differ between a tunnel stage and say, a sky stage. Iridion has five different weapons at your disposal, each with three different power levels. It'll be interesting to see what kind of weapons Shin'en cooks up for this unorthodox perspective. You'll need all that firepower too, because it looks like the game will be throwing a lot of enemies at you simultaneously. All this is set to a bonzer soundtrack running on the developer's own proprietary GAX sound engine, which they developed after being disappointed with all the shoddy sound in GBC games. After being without a publisher for some time, Majesco finally picked up this beauty and has it set as a US launch title, tentatively. Even at this relatively early stage, Iridion is one of the most promising GBA titles announced, and if it holds up the promises that Shin'en and Majesco are making, it may very well go down as one of the best shooters ever.