Date: 02-14-2011 18:30
Author: Jesse Dietderich

PDC profile: Jesse

The job of air traffic controller doesn't sound very glorious. However, keeping those man-made birds from flying into each other and getting them on the ground safely isn't supposed to be this fun. Flight Control HD delivers entertainment by the plane full.

This is your Captain Speaking ...
Flight Control HD is a high definition port of an extremely popular cellphone game. During the adaption for its debut on Sony's premier home console, PlayStation Move has been added to assist those who want a slightly more intuitive control scheme. In the meantime those who don't own a PS Move, or simply prefer a standard controller, will be pleased to know that the game also has a DualShock 3 / Sixaxis control option, as well as an option to just use a navigation controller. After trying each control scheme, I'd have to say the PS Move quickly became my favorite way to play.

While there have been a few HD remakes of this game on other platforms, the PS3 makes it very convenient to enjoy this game on your TV, which presumably is the largest display you own. And for those lucky enough to own a 3D TV, you'll be happy to know that the game has a stereoscopic 3D mode. Lastly, this variant of Flight Control has all the content of the original with the addition of an exclusive day/night bonus map called Metropolis.

Here is the Situation


The first thing you must do is pick one of the 9 maps available. Each map has a difficulty rating which depends on the number of challenges that the particular map contains. After making a selection, you jump right into a top-down view of the map with different colored aircraft's beginning to fly in from the sides of the screen. It is your task to select them, and then trace the path you want the aircraft to take for it to reach the appropriately colored landing zone. I found this to be quite challenging as the game progresses, due to the different types of aircraft that they throw at you. The difficulty for me was that the speeds differed depending on the make of the aircraft. Jumbo jets and military jets would whiz around the sky, while the biplanes and helicopters move at a much slower pace. It took me a while to get used to the different planes on each map, but as soon as I adjusted, I began to really get into a groove. There are four large maps that contain a larger variety of colors and landing locations, and five smaller maps that contain less variety. The smaller maps are made more difficult however with the inclement weather that shuts down random airstrips, aircraft carriers that will slowly rotate, and emergency planes landing that you have no control over, and consequently you need to clear all aircraft out of its path. I actually preferred to play the maps with these challenges, because their uniqueness made them more fun.

Never Fly Alone Again
One of the key features that this version has that many of the others lack is multiplayer support. You and up to 3 others can all cooperatively take on the responsibility of landing those air craft. When playing multiplayer, each player is assigned a different colored cursor on the screen to help identify each person to prevent confusion. A really nice touch is that when using the PS Move controller, the color of the glowing ball will correspond with your assigned cursor color. For those who don't know, the PS Move will usually pick a color based on the other colors in the room. The fact that they turned it into a gameplay mechanic is very cool. For those who only like to game online, this game won't be giving you what you want. Instead they opted to include online leader boards, which limit you to viewing only people who are around your top score for a particular map.

Making Our Final Approach
The graphics and animations possess a fresh look and fit this title very well. There might be a few that will be disappointed with the single audio track available on the game. One positive is that the song will play at the start of a stage only once, and then you play in silence. Another is that the game allows for custom soundtracks via the XMB. The sound effects are not realistic, yet compliment the style of the game. I feel very lucky to have gotten a chance to play Flight Control HD on my PlayStation 3. Currently the game is available in 5 regions around the world with a 6th one planned. However, the developer's website states that this title will never be released in North America due to circumstances beyond their control. To be honest the only problem I found with the game, was that there was no way to save your progress and return to a map to continue. This is where a mobile version gets it right with being able to suspend the game and come back to it hours or days later. I can easily recommend this title for anyone who has the opportunity to purchase it. It is very clear, that I enjoyed this game, and I hope you do too.

Flight Control HD was developed by Firemint for the PlayStation 3. It is available right now in the European PlayStation store for 3.99 / 4.99, as well as many other PS Stores (except for N.America). I played this game for probably close to 6 hours prior to writing this review.


9/10
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