Unfortunately, while the graphics and the sound are both top-notch in Iridion 3D
, the gameplay is subpar at best and downright frustrating at worst. With a confusing 3D view, a severe lack of interesting weapons, and annoying controls, you'll find yourself longing for the better-balanced shooters of yore before you get very far into Iridion 3D
The object of the game is identical to the object of every shooter you've ever played--destroy everything that moves, pick up power-ups, defeat bosses, save the universe. Whatever. The game makes uses of a 'flying into the screen' view which is reminiscent of Space Harrier. Things come out of the far-away centre and fly towards you; sometimes you have to dodge it, sometimes you need to shoot it.
There's a little bit more to the game, but that's almost everything there is to know. You have an energy meter that gets depleted as you get hit; different attacks do differing amounts of damage. You can regain energy by picking up power-ups inside the levels. You can also upgrade your weapons, although you probably won't even notice this happening until you've played the game a few times.
The levels themselves are generally straightforward affairs. You may have to dodge an occasional pillar of fire or zoom down a tunnel, but for the most part you have a big 'box' you can fly to the edges of [a la StarFox] and you wail on the trigger button, hoping to destroy the enemies. After you fly through a level, you'll encounter a boss, who has the inevitable sweet-spot that you must attack.
The problem is that it's just not fun. Your bullets never ever go where you want them to--they tend to aim towards the centre of the screen whether you like it or not, which can be amazingly frustrating when you have to clip an enemy that's close to you and moving around. The weapons themselves are uniformly unimpressive, and chances are good that you'll barely be able to distinguish between them. You die too easily, and this mostly comes from the fact that you really can't tell how far away things are, and it's very easy to collide into them without thinking you will.