Date: 06-26-2012 01:01
Author: Matt Gonzales

PDC profile: Matt

SkyDrift is an action packed arcade airplane racer. Can SkyDrift race to the end for the goal? Or will it crash mid-race? Hop on for a action packed review of SkyDrift ...

The Arcade Racer

From action packed aviators like Ace Combat, to airplane simulators, SkyDrift finally takes a different approach to airplane games; racing. Developed by Digital Reality, SkyDrift attempts to approach games by incorporating multiple arcade gameplay elements into a racer. There are three race modes that can played; Power, Speed, and Survivor. Each game mode teaches a different aspect of the game. Power racing is the good olde' standard racing, with power-ups and speed boost. Speed races are practically time trials. The only available power-ups are boost pads which are found throughout the maps. While Survivor is an elimination type race. Anyone in last place gets knocked-out of the game every lap till the last player stands. Controls really surprised me. The controls felt perfect for an airplane racer, it's approachable for anyone wanting to try out this game. It's a plus in my books for having Digital Reality spending time on having intuitive controls in an airplane racer. These power-ups help players to fight off others throughout a race.

There are six power-ups; cannons, missiles, repair, shock-wave, and the all helpful shield. Power-ups can be leveled up by collecting multiple power-ups of the same type, they are placed in the same area within all maps. I never really found some power-ups useful, like the shield which I seemingly always got. There should have been allot more originality, which SkyDrift fails to do. For instance, there should have been specials that each plane could do in the game. It would have made me think twice before picking a plane instead of just looking at the stats. Multiplayer is present in the game. It allows players to pick maps they've played before with otherplayers online. Sadly, that's all. There is nothing much compelling with the multiplayer portion of the game. Again, SkyDrift throws in elements we've already seen in other arcade racers.

Crash landing
Being an arcade racer, SkyDrift does have its faults in some aspects. There is little originality or variety in the maps, only being 6 maps in the whole game. The typical arctic, desert, volcano, and ocean coasts maps are present. Each map seemingly feel like they're connected to each-other, just blocked off. I got bored quick with the lack of robust levels, playing each over and over again just with a higher difficulty and slightly different goals in the end. The campaign is fairly lengthy, so I wondered why isn't there more than 6 maps? I seriously wondered the question. But it hit me; downloadable content. I'm not a fan of "charge the person for more content" just to make the game feel complete. Sadly, there is only 1 pack of downloadable content. Music is awful in this game. Listening to never-ending action packed aviation themed music gets tiresome within the first 2 minutes of launching SkyDrift. Sadly, custom soundtrack or in-game XMB is not present. Then again, any game with airplanes has awful music, like Top Gun or Ace Combat.

Towards the finish line
SkyDrift is a great try for being the airplane knockoff of Mario Kart, which I know Digital Reality must hate being compared too. Controls are very intuitive and can be played by anyone that picks up the game. The multiplayer is dead and always will be dead as it is lackluster and not containing elements of being actually compelling. Music was predicable of being downright awful. There is no variety in the with the maps, which is my biggest gripe with SkyDrift. The decision of putting only six maps in the base game (twelve being all together including the reverse versions), and having someone actually pay for other maps was an awful decision. There was little originality with this game other than calling it an airplane racer. Though I'm conflicted since the gameplay does feel and play great, though the lack of features, it kills everything. If you're looking for an arcade racer, I would recommend looking at somewhere else besides SkyDrift.

SkyDrift is developed by Digital Reality and is available as a downloadable title. More than 5 hours were put into the review of the SkyDrift.

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