Review by Truck_1_0_1_

Reviewed: 04/01/09

Bite The Hand That Feeds!!!!!!

Something should have been done to release Propeller Arena! Now I know the horse has been beaten to death, but Propeller Arena was cancelled for all regions on the Dreamcast console, due to the events of September 11th. Level three, known as Tower City, looks eerily similar to New York City, complete with the Hudson River, and the Empire State Building. For fear of backlash from, "crashing your plane into the buildings," Sega pulled the plug on a truly great, fun, and unique game. Dogfighting has never been so challenging, yet at the same time, a lot of fun. Propeller Arena also introduced some new aspects to gaming, which are used in all online games today. This will all be expanded upon further, in game play.

Game play: 9/10

Playing very similarly to a first person shooter (or, in particular, Microsoft's Dog-Fighter, Crimson Skies), the goal of Propeller Arena is to shoot down any of the 5 enemies, reaching the goal of the level, or having the highest number of kills when time runs out on the level. In Championship mode, you must go through a minimum of eight levels in order to complete the mode, and after every subsequent time you defeat the game, it gets more difficult, a lot more difficult, though I will not spoil it for you. Quick Battle is the only multi-player mode, and you can choose the time limit, kill limit, etc. for the mode. Then comes the one mode that un-playable; online mode. While Propeller Arena would not have changed the face of gaming as we know it, it would have been the first game to introduce the microphone while playing online. No more typing messages on your keyboard, or (even worse) calling the buddy you're playing and slagging him off when he kills you. Propeller mini-game mode has three sections: Propeller Stunt (you must perform tricks), Propeller Challenge (must perform various challenges), and Propeller Agility (must fly through a course of ring in the available time). The final area of game play that keeps this section from getting a ten are the controls. They controls are tight, and super responsive, however I find my fingers cramping from using the L and R triggers extensively. Unlike a racing game, where you are pressing and holding the R for accelerating, and the L occasionally for the brake, you are constantly pressing the triggers to speed up, slow down, turbo, or air brake, and the constant pressing of these buttons has cramped my index fingers, prompting me to use my middle fingers. Its a minor gripe anyways, so on to the story!

Story: 9/10

It is the year 2045, and a tournament involving World War II fighters is taking place, called the Aviation Battle Championship. Ten competitors from around the world (though many are from the United States) challenge each other, all with their own motives, and gains to get from winning the competition. Graphics are next, and you are in for a treat.

Graphics: 10/10

One of the Dreamcast's better games, though it does not look too realistic/lifelike, it looks fantastic, polished, bright, and vivid. The backgrounds are the highlight far and away, and they are exceptionally detailed, as the game itself says, "beyond comprehension." The characters look very detailed and very unique (see Michael Cantrelle {Pizza Fat}, Rally Miller {Pengo Jets}, and Silver Boy {8-bit Beat}). The aircraft all look unique (even though three sets of two of the planes are the same), and they too are very detailed, each with their own insignias that allows you to tell them apart. Not much else to say, other then let's move on to the sound; you're in for yet another treat.

Sound: 10/10

Whether you like punk music or not (I'm indifferent to punk; I really do not like it, and I really do not hate it, its merely, "meh"), the music really fits the game, just like Tony Hawk's music suits the Pro Skater series. Sega recorded twelve tracks to be used throughout the game (used in the menus and level previews), and they also approached two music labels, and enlisted five bands to perform nine songs (two songs each, save for one band), and again, these songs fit the game perfectly. Hard, driving music that gets you into every level. Some with interesting lyrics (Bite the hand that feeds!!!!), and some with catchy riffs and melodies. As for the effects, every character has their own unique taunts (A fly has more strength!), and each are voiced uniquely. The aircraft sounds, guns, and other weapons all sound big, loud, and real. Now for the, "DJ," um... cannot quite remember his name right now, that's alright though. Many people who play the game are annoyed at his voice, and his constant shouts of, "Danger!!" However, he fits the game perfectly, as the Crazy Taxi guy fits Crazy Taxi (and no, that is not sarcasm). With all of these good points, is the game replay-able?

Replay ability: 7/10

Now, this game has its lasting qualities, absolutely, though if online mode was available, this would have easily gotten a 10. Championship mode is great fun, as is the quick battle and mini-game modes, however an online mode would have helped greatly. Still, the game is as good as it is without it.

Buy or rent?

Well, if you find this game for sale, then by all means purchase it, however I will not suggest any other way to acquire it.

Its too bad that 9/11 ever occurred, and as you can see, it also spread to the video game world. Propeller Arena was not the only game lost due to 9/11, no many other games were canned including those on other consoles, not just the Dreamcast. Thankfully though, this game was able to slip through the cracks and into the homes of others. Yu Suzuki has done it again, even if its a bit different than his past offerings... "Oh the pain... You want me?! Really?!"

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Propeller Arena (US, 12/31/98)

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