Budapest-based Digital Reality is mostly known for Real Time Strategy games; things like Imperium Galactica or the science fiction take on World War II named War Front: Turning Point. So needless to say, I was a little intrigued when I heard they had two projects in the works, both flight titles, one being Sine Mora, the other being this game, Skydrift...
Skydrift isn’t a flight simulator, not even close. It’s a fast paced, high action plane racer. That’s right, and if that wasn’t enough to leave you scratching your head, it has items to boot. I’ll get this out of the way immediately, there will be a lot of parallels drawn between this game and Diddy Kong Racing, since one of the modes from that game is essentially exactly what Skydrift is. There are a few differences, but overall the experience feels very similar. It hearkens back to that timeless mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The game offers eight different planes to race with, although only two are available at the beginning and the rest are unlocked through winning races. There’s also three different modes to choose from, Easy, Normal and Hard. The story mode has eight different sets of challenges to choose from, with each race needing a different requirement to emerge victorious, whether it be a survival race where one by one, whoever is in last gets eliminated until one remains, or speed races where no items are found, but boost rings are everywhere. Even with all these different modes, the game begins to feel repetitive by the 3rd round, simply because there are only a half dozen maps to play in, and some of them are mirrored. At least the visuals aren’t boring as the game is actually quite stunning, with gorgeous graphics and a good soundtrack for an XBLA title.
Power ups are ultimately what will keep you coming back to the races though. The way the power ups work again is extremely similar to Diddy Kong Racing; pick up a power up and shoot it, or save it, get the same power up again to deliver even more damage. Where Skydrift differs however, is in the fact that you can hold up to two different power ups at once, and you can choose to “burn” them and add it to your boost gauge. This helps add strategy in key moments, whether you decide to risk shooting your opponent out of the sky or just rocketing past him.
SkyDrift is the one of the best racing games you can find on XBLA, bar none. It performs great, and is honestly just hours of fun.. Each plane has it’s own feel to it, weight and manoeuvrability. My biggest complaint is the invisible walls restricting my freedom of flight at times, or other at times I’ll see the distance I need to go to, yet I’m still greeted with an invisible wall, since I’m expected to go around the basin before going into the cave. I was never able to find any matchups on Live though, which is a shame. The game offers up a decent challenge, and is easily worth the 1200 points.
Release date : 2011-09-13
Publisher : Digital Reality
Developer : Digital Reality
Gameplay : Racing
Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?
Let’s face it: buying digital games is significantly more convenient than buying from a retail store. You don’t have to put pants on to go outside, nor do you even have to go outside. You don’t have to drive to the store, nor do you have to wait in line at said store. On top of that, the price is generally the exact same, if not more for the physical version.
Let’s face it: staying in just your underwear, FTW.
Despite the overwhelming advantages of buying digital, I still can’t fully commit to it. While I understand I am more in the minority with each day that goes by, I truly believe I have a legitimate case about buying physical copies of games.
In some sort of cosmic twist, I have seen the future. No, I didn’t find out where/when/why I’ll die, nor did I even find out what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow (I hope it’s pancakes). But I assure you, I have seen the future.
The future of video games that is. I recently got to test out Morpheus - uh, I mean PlayStation VR - Sony’s answer to the ever-growing interest in virtual reality. Although the headset is currently far from completion, it’s also far from shotty.
Whether it’s a rainy day, a sickness, or some other reason not to go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer air, video games are the perfect way to spend your time - that is, if you can find a game to play. In terms of releases, summer generally isn’t the most fruitful of seasons, and this year is no different. So what games could/should you be sinking your teeth into during the dog days?