Review by mr chupon
"The day after..."
Okay, I went back to it (the cover art got to me), and tried the game again, and I realize that I may have been a tad hasty in my review. I will stay to my beliefs that the control sucks, but it doesn't suck as much as it used to. The learning curve for this game is a good 3-5 hours spread over multiple days, and I guarantee you will be frustrated and think the game sucks when you first try it. I still don't like the controls, but at least I'm starting to like the game.
Essentially, the game revolves around the boost sytem. You have a fuel gauge which drops every time you use fuel, and recharges while you're not using fuel. The amount of fuel you have is piddly, and therefore you pretty much have to fly on faith alone. It's very difficult to believe in this system in the first place, and you'll find yourself trying to do the impossible (circle strafe, death from above, etc). Circle strafing in this game is next to impossible, so experienced gamers will feel pretty naked in this game in the beginning. The good news is that once you start rocking at the game, you feel a sense of accomplishment, something which isn't all that amazing, but it makes you feel like you've done the impossible.
However, the gripes I still have are the sound effects, music, and a bit still with control structure. The sound effects all sound very simillar, so you have one sound effect telling you that you did a boost combo, another one if you've locked onto an enemy, another if there's enemies nearby. In the end it's very difficult to concentrate on the important sound. The lock on. Lock on's are symbolized by a faint blue target rectacle around each enemy. When bombing the helpless from a safe distance, they're easy to make out. But when you're in the midst of a mid-air dogfight, you try to rely on the sound effects because you can't see anything (and remember what I said about the sfx). Locking onto enemies requires you to hold down the fire button, so you can't shoot and lock on at the same time. Lock ons happen pretty fast, which is a life saver. My gripe is having to hold down the right trigger to lock on. Mainly because the trigger buttons are heavy and don't give well to rapid fire as well as the other controller buttons.
So the end result is a game which will frustrate you to no end if you rent it. You will not like it the first time you play. Only after leaving it and coming back to it do you stand a chance of liking it. If you saw my review before and noticed the 3/10, I put a lot of emphasis into fun factor for a game such as this. It loses points for everything I said above, and the graphics, as usual, are not up to what the X-Box is capable of.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/21/02, Updated 03/21/02
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