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Game Preview: Iron Phoenix

GameCore is a weekly column by CBSNews.com's William Vitka that focuses on gamers and gaming.



When fighting one person at a time isn't good enough for you, look to Sammy Studios' new Iron Phoenix for the exquisite capability to bludgeon over a dozen people at once.

Why fight one gamer when you can beat the Mimsy Flimsdale out of 15 on Xbox Live?

In the game, up to 16 players can strut the battlefield at once, creating an amazing Kung-Fu berserker ballet of beatings and acrobatic feats.

Ignore for a moment that Iron Phoenix lets you live out 'Chop Saki' cinema fantasies; becoming a high-speed whirling dervish of bladed mayhem, running up walls and bringing down an unforgiving thunder to all opponents, defying all known logic and shunning physics – and realize that this adds an entirely new element to the melee fighter genre. Heck, this is a new genre of melee combat.

If Iron Phoenix is successful, one on one fighting will seem boring compared to the insane, but gleeful, cacophony of having 16 people trying to beat the stuffing out of each other in extremely entertaining ways.

Gamers might end up throwing their other fighting games away after Iron Phoenix.

I should add that between Iron Phoenix and Darkwatch, Sammy Studios is poised to set a few gaming standards and twist genres around like nobody's business.

Iron Phoenix combines team-oriented strategy with weapons-based melee combat, offering new multiplayer modes and tactics traditionally found in online shooters, more than ten playable characters, and a huge variety of weapon-based combos and attacks. Iron Phoenix follows the fate of nine weapons forged from the shards of a massive meteor.

The struggle to wield the power of these weapons gave rise to centuries of war and bloodshed that served only to increase their potency. Now a new legend arises, one promising absolute power to the warrior who controls all nine Iron Phoenix weapons – the calling for a new generation of fighters to come battle for the right to rule as a warrior king. Face your fears and take on the greatest fighters in an epic battle to the death. Only one will survive to unite the weapons of the Iron Phoenix.

Iron Phoenix offers a new fighting game experience, with 16-player Kung-Fu fighting, beautiful open arenas and outdoor environments, and a premise straight out of a classic martial arts epic.

Iron Phoenix is scheduled to hit store shelves in late March, 2005.

Features

  • Engage in 16-player online melee combat with players from around the world via Xbox Live
  • Access Xbox Live 3.0 features for voice chat, voice messaging, forming clans, and organizing and hosting team tournaments
  • Nine unique weapons, each possessing a wide array of combos and special attacks
  • Enjoy unparalleled fighting variety, with moves and attacks unique to each weapon, mystical energies that let players run on walls and leap huge distances, team-based combo chains, long range attacks and an assortment of environmental weapons
  • More than 10 playable characters, with movements motion-captured from world-class martial artists displaying authentic Kung-Fu and film-inspired wire-fu fighting styles
  • Team-based melee combat offering a new fighting game experience, with play modes and multiplayer games traditionally found in online shooters
  • Massive environments, with beautiful wide-open combat arenas, giant caverns and entire villages serving as your battleground

    By William Vitka

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