Just a couple of demos this week, but there are plenty of new releases to talk about. Later this week we'll have a special Review Roundup of Fall 2010 Music Games, with tons more reviews coming over the next couple of weeks. Plus, video game fans, make sure you're checking back every day this week at 5pm EST for more in-depth info about DC Universe Online.
Apache Air Assault (Xbox Retail)
The demo for this helicopter flight/combat sim puts you at the controls of the titular gunship moving from target to target over expansive maps in three loosely connected story missions. At your command is a small selection of weapons including laser guided missiles, a pod of fast firing rockets and a 30mm cannon that can be controlled by the AI co-pilot, a second human player or manually by switching to a thermal gun camera. Realism takes a bit of a hit here as your extremely useful missiles will regenerate after a few minutes. The demo’s difficulty is largely set by the control scheme you select before each mission. ‘Training’ controls give you a tight, almost arcade control over your helicopter while ‘realistic’ mode will quickly make the player wonder who thought such a craft was a viable mode of transport in the first place. While getting a grasp of the controls will give you a simple but satisfying combat experience, the game is otherwise utilitarian with its flat sound and visuals, especially the unremarkable sky, a shame since that’s where you will be spending all of your time. A couple other player-choppers are teased, as well as four-player co-op play.
King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match (Xbox Live Arcade)
An eight year old entry in the long running King Of Fighters series gets an almost direct port from the Neo-Geo arcade cabinet to home consoles and the degree to which things have changed since then are abundantly clear. The low frame rate and sprite-based animations interfere with any sense of flow to the matches, and while the four attack buttons (two punches and two kicks) fit well on modern controllers, the response from the game feels stiff. In the demo, you can choose among six of the possible 66 rather unremarkable player characters in three on three matches that lack the quick swap-out features of all modern fighting games.
Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s Decade Duels (Xbox Live Arcade)
Set against the framework of the latest TV series in Yu-Gi-Oh franchise, Decade Duels is a pure (read: animation-free) console version of the trading card game that allows players to unlock cards and build custom decks though its core multiplayer, one on one or tag team, mode and a secondary single-player story mode tournament. The first three matches that you play with the default deck make up the demo. Gamers unfamiliar with the rules of this surprisingly complicated children’s card game (make a wrong move and you can easily wipe yourself out with no warning or recourse) can go through the game’s step-by-step seventeen chapter tutorial.What games are you looking forward to?