Iron Snout is a 2D fighter available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS4 and PS Vita. Iron Snout was originally created by SnoutUp Games followed by a port developed and published by Ratalaika Games on Vita, PS4 and more platforms besides. Can Iron Snout deliver a 2D fighter with a unique premise?
Iron Snout’s premise revolves around a pig fighting numerous wolves in a twist on the fairytale rivalry of the Three Little Pigs. There are three single player modes including classic that tasks the player to defeat as many wolves as possible, while sudden death provides a huge challenge of your pig being defeated if he is even touched by an enemy, alongside pig vs. 100 that sees your pig given the objective to defeat 100 wolves in the shortest period of time with two seconds added to your time after having been hit by a wolf.
Fighting moves includes punching and kicking enemies to their lower and upper body, while jumping in combination with kicking aerial enemies, although despite being able to jump your pig cannot move from side to side at all, alongside catching items that can be used to throw at enemies. Meanwhile, enemies approach your pig at varying speeds as they use weapons in an attempt to defeat your pig.
Character design includes nine character costumes, although only two are available in the form of a pig without a costume and wearing a Santa costume with the other costumes such as a Rambo-esque costume, a zombie, ninja and more besides being unlocked after having reached specific objectives. Enemy design varies within each environment including what is essentially the same concept of pig costumes as wolves walk or run at your pig wearing a wide range of costumes.
Environment design includes three environments such as standing in the middle of a forest, a street and a ship at sea, although only the first environment is available until enough enemies have been defeated.
Iron Snout supports cross-buy between the PS4 and Vita, although it unfortunately does not support cross-save, so you will not be able to continue from your previous progression on the Vita version when playing the PS4 version and vice versa. Cross-buy presents a superb amount of value as it means that you will be purchasing the PS4 and Vita versions of the game with just a single purchase.
The controls are appropriately mapped to the Vita and DualShock 4 controller as the control scheme consists of pressing square or left on the d-pad to punch to the left; pressing O or right on the d-pad to punch to the right; pressing X or down on the d-pad to kick when crouched; pressing triangle or up on the d-pad to kick when jumping or press twice quickly to perform a double jump kick; and pressing a d-pad or face button in the corresponding direction to pick up and throw an item after defeating an enemy that was holding the item.
Graphically, Iron Snout has cel-shaded cartoon style character models and background environments, alongside great animations such as fighting moves performed by your pig and wolves; while a speech bubble reminiscent of a comic book appears when your pig has hit a wolf.
Iron Snout’s presentation is solid with a great user interface across various menus such as the main menu, character selection menu, environment design menu, mode menu, multiplayer customisation menu, settings menu and gameplay menus with support for navigation via the directional pad and face buttons on Vita and DualShock 4, although it does not include support for navigation via the left and right analogue sticks and touch screen or touch pad between Vita and DualShock 4. Menu backgrounds include your pig standing and performing fighting moves in the currently chosen environment.
Sound effects include your pig performing his fighting moves and wolves performing their fighting moves, alongside a mixture of arcade and climactic battle music. There is no DualShock 4 speaker implementation that could have produced sound effects.
The trophy list includes 16 trophies with 5 silver trophies, 10 gold trophies and 1 platinum trophy with the PS4 and Vita versions having individual trophy lists. Easier trophies include the Balloon Popper silver trophy for popping every balloon in the tutorial in less than 10 seconds as it should only take a few attempts. Harder trophies include the Beat 50 gold trophy for defeating 50 wolves in a single fight; the Hard Bacon to Chew gold trophy for defeating 10 enemies in 1HP mode; and the Sticky Hooves gold trophy for catching 250 items. However, the majority of the trophies occur in the hectic pacing of gameplay such as the Fashion Police gold trophy for putting a basket hat on a wolf and the Rain of Hooves gold trophy for getting an epic 25 hit combo, alongside 3 silver trophies and 1 gold trophy for accumulatively defeating 250, 500, 750 and 1,000 wolves. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between 5 to 10 hours to platinum the trophy list on each platform.
There are no difficulty levels, although the difficulty curve gradually increases as your pig has to fight against faster and more aggressive wolves rather than the slower walking and movements of the first few enemies.
Rather surprisingly, local competitive multiplayer does not actually focus on fighting gameplay between both players; instead providing a fun party game titled Wolfieball that is reminiscent to the football party game in Rayman Legends with numerous excellent gameplay changing customisation. Wolfieball supports two players with customisation options including choosing a character costume from the previously unlocked costumes for each player; a maximum score of 3, 5, 7 or 9; 1 or 2 balls; hitting buttons adding to the score or spawning enemies at the opposition’s end that refocuses gameplay on fighting A.I. controlled enemies rather than having the ball hitting a button to score a point; health quantity of up to 3; a small, medium or large ball; and weak, normal or strong ball gravity causing more or less bouncing of the ball.
Iron Snout’s replayability stems from three single player modes, a customisable local competitive multiplayer party game and unlockable character costumes and environments that will collectively keep players returning for quite some time, alongside the ability to play on Vita or PS4 via cross-buy.
• Title: Iron Snout
• Developer: SnoutUp Games (Original Developers)/Ratalaika Games (PS4/Vita Port)
• Publisher: Ratalaika Games
• System: PS4/PS Vita
• Format: PSN Download
• Cross-Buy: Yes
• Cross-Play: No
• Players: 1 (Vita)/1-2 (PS4 Local Competitive Multiplayer)
• PS4 Hard Drive Space Required: 43.08MB
• PS Vita Memory Card Space Required: 25MB