“You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain, too much love drives a man insane, you broke my will, oh what a thrill, goodness gracious great balls of fire.” If the previous line doesn’t ring a bell, you probably haven’t seen the movie Top Gun (rent/buy it now!). Now play some “Highway to the Dangerzone” and fly to the review!
As a major flightsim fan I found it difficult to leave this game on the shelf, so I bought it. But then I launched it and the crappy intro started. It was not promising much, but hey everyone can screw something up. After that I launched the game, starting scenario mode like a windows installer, just hitting next, next, next to get up flying as quick as possible. I was stunned, but in a bad way…
Over G Fighters has three main game modes:
- Xbox Live
In the scenario mode you are a pilot of the “Energy Air Force”. This EAF has the duty to maintain peace around the globe, obviously achieved by blowing up lots of things and shooting down uncountable numbers of enemy targets. The first mission of the scenario is basically a 101 on the controls: you learn to take off and to shoot down some planes. When you completed this, you have earned your first plane (and achievement). After this the scenario mode will take you to different parts of the world. Between missions the sorry excuse for a “story” is told by showing a screen with a cartoony general with the briefing info and spoken text. In the current era of High Definition graphics this looks more than a little bit outdated. The kind of missions vary: shooting down enemy squadrons, bombing airfields, sinking enemy vessels, destroying AAA and protecting transport planes. But while progressing through scenario mode no new mission types are introduced so it gets pretty boring after a while.
As most games Over G Fighters has two types of online play: player matches and ranked matches. Both types support two multiplayer modes: Arena and Versus. Versus is just team based deathmatch: Side A has to shoot down all planes from Side B. When I played this it was just a matter of locking long range (AIM-54 Phoenix) missiles at each other and then firing, no challenge nor skill involved or even possible. In the Arena mode you and your team need to destroy the enemy’s strong point. Just like versus online play wasn’t that great, but that might change when more people are getting skilled and really work together well. But for now I can’t recommend it.
Modes I missed were System Link and splitscreen options. Normally due to good experiences on Xbox Live I wouldn’t be bothered by this, but the crappy online experiences I had, made me looking for it. So this were just more MIA opportunities for Taito to make people play this game.
All games on Xbox 360 are required to support HD graphics… well this game does support it, but the image quality regularly made me wonder whether the developers used anything larger than 10 inch screens. When you are flying and you use the outside view, the plane looks not too bad. When you find yourself close to the ground, don’t look outside, because it isn’t worth it. Too bad I didn’t come close enough to an opponent to see their plane, so I can’t tell you much about the looks of the enemy planes. The blackout effects during experiencing high G forces are nicely done. The explosions of missiles and airplanes are great, if you like blocky pixelated explosions.
The scenario storytelling graphics as described above sucked big time. I expected small movies like they were done in the C&C games. If they even bother to make a sequel I suggest they hire Joseph D. Kucan to get that part done the right way.
One of the few moments the game isn’t looking bad
After the visuals being crappy, maybe my ears would enjoy the sound of the game, but also this isn’t really working out. The in-game sound doesn’t give me the impression that I am flying a multi-million dollar jet with giant roaring engines. The music of the replays is not well varied and there are not many songs either. So this will make you even more dislike this game after you get forced to watch the first part of the replay. The radio replies of your wingman and AWACS are very limited, so it happens rather too often that you hear the same message at least twice in a mission.
Over G Fighters is one of those games that make me wonder what the quality assurance department was doing when it tested the game. If they only check for crashes, they failed… it crashed a couple of times (and only when I just unlocked a plane…), but if they also look at visuals and audio they have certainly been sleeping during the process. Over G Fighters failed miserably on almost every front. If you still want to play this game, wait until it is relocated to the budget corner of your local gameshop and buy it for a small price. To be honest, I have returned Over G Fighters to the shop where I purchased it because it couldn’t remotely live up to the expectations I had as a flightsim fan.
Final Score: 4 out of 10 - Poor (how do we rank games?).
(Also, check out our Achievement list in the wiki.)