Luftrausers (2014) PlayStation Vita | Game Review

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2 years ago

Vlambeer showed you a pretty ridiculous way to fish on your smartphone, and the Dutch indie dev's meditations on aerial combat here in Luftrausers are every bit as absurd. In its sepia-toned take on the 2D dogfighting arcade game, your plane has less in common with After Burner's F-14 Tomcat than it does with Orville The Duck. If you'll excuse the cultural reference so stale, I'm choking on the spores as I type.

Pressing up on the left analogue stick engages your burners. Pressing any other direction engages a graceless tumble through the clouds as you wrestle with correcting your fall – that is until you're shot down by the swarm of planes and boats out to get you. At least during your first go. You'll gradually take control of the flight stick, learning to heal yourself by ceasing fire in quiet spells and how to double-back on pursuing fighters.

Because Luftrausers is a single rolling stage, it's all about surviving as long as possible, and when you do, the plane-building meta-game of Luftrausers emerges. You acquire additional weapons, bodies, and engines when you complete tasks, such as destroying two boats while your score multiplier is at its maximum. Every combination is a one-of-a-kind snowflake; however, some are better for high-score pursuit while others are merely oddities.

This duality of pilot and mechanic roles enables you to take the credit after a great run, and you can always blame your impractical creation when it all goes wrong. You always feel just one more go away from the unlock that smashes your high score, but in the 8-bit skies, you're able to revel in your glory that much more.

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Avatar for patientgamer9
2 years ago

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