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