review
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POSTED 7/5/11


STEEL DIVER

Nintendo
3DS

I picked you up on my TV screen...

The year’s 19XX... Actually, it’s around 1976. The story goes that when pervy Sex Pistols Svengali Malcolm McLaren ordered one Mr J Rotten to pen a song called ‘Submission’ about S&M for their debut and only studio album – the one referencing bunkum - Johnny couldn’t help himself. He wrote of an undersea mission in a submergible craft... erm, with some debaserish bits.

Love him. What’s that got to do with this 3DS game? Absolutely nothin’ (say it again y’all), well save that it’s actually about a submarine mission, rather than whips, chains and ball gags. Come on, this is Nintendo!

Steel Diver’s basically three games in one, taking advantage of the magical 3D vision thing that’s the crux of the 3DS’ existence, and also using its motion sensing capability. Ah, but is it top shelf, or seedy brown-baggery?

Erm, neither actually, it’s just quite solid. Side-scrolling shoot-’em-up ‘Missions’ is where we had the most fun, traversing increasingly twitch-inducing underwater caverns in what reminded us somewhat of old school arcader Scramble, but slowed down with added inertia and infinitely less fuel dumps (‘cos there ain’t any at all). ‘Periscope Strike’ is fairly straightforward; spot something enemy-like and try torpedoing it – taking into account such Newtonian-chubbying factors as physics, physics and more physics. Then there’s ‘Steel Commander’, which is a turgid turn-based stragety thing full of hexagons and yawniness – kind of like board game Battleship, but shit.

What’s off-putting is that everything’s controlled by the stylus on the redheaded stepchild screen, rather than giving any more direct, tactile control. Surely a paddy option wasn’t a big ask?

The first two game types are entertaining, but more short, sharp shock than anything enduring like, say, Never Mind the Bollocks. Hahaha, we could have gone with “lacks depth” but we’re better than... bugger!

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.