Playing this game was one of the earliest memories I have of the NES, which is why I wanted Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II to be the first game i'm going to review.
The game starts you off at the bottom of a mountain with no idea what to do and a strange picture of a face blowing wind at the bottom left of the screen, the game is split into 5 sections: A wind level and boss, a water level and boss, an earth level and boss, a fire level and boss and finally the non-elemental top of the mountain last level and last boss which you fight at the peak of the mountain. The graphics in the game look crisp enough for the 8-bit era some excellent boss designs and flashy looking spells make this one of the more polished games for the console. The music in the game leaves a lot to be desired with just 4 meager tracks in the entire game and even those are nothing special and forgettable, you won't find yourself humming the games main theme after you're done.
While traversing the game world in Ironsword is fun I was left feeling the game wouldn't have gone amiss with just a few hints or help on where exactly your goal points lie, sometimes a crucial element needed to beat a boss and progress with the game is e.g in a chest behind a fake wall that looks exactly the same as every other wall in the area. Money is a pretty big factor in te game as you are constantly picking up forms of currency be it in jewels money bags etc. this can be spent in the various inns scattered throughout the different levels.
While the game can be frustrating at times with taxing and sometimes downright unfair level design (however this IS a NES platformer we're talking about) it never manages to keep it from being fun. Sure you'll curse up a storm trying to make jumps that seem impossible only to find out later you need a pair of special boots to make it in the first place but it is satisfiying when you finally work these things out and progress.
All in all Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II is a decent platformer which tries to do more than it is capable of, while the levels are expansive they lack direction and apart from that fault it is a tight package and I would reccomend this game to any NES platforming afficinado.