When the Nintendo DS was introduced, who knew that the touch screen could be used in a variety of interesting ways. We have seen all sorts of different games succeed on the platform, from dog trainers to brain surgeons, it has been an interesting run for the DS. Now we are moving forward into a more noteworthy genre that people have loved for years, and that is flight combat. So the question is can this title, Time Ace, manage to succeed on the DS given the success of the platform? Read our full review to find out!
Many handheld games lack the necessary elements to have an indulging story line, and Time Ace is actually in example of that. There are a few glimmers of a something resembling a story line early on in the game, but that fades away rather quickly. It is a shame that what could have been an interesting read ends up being a rather disappointing and rather unbearable read. Time Ace is a game that for me started off on the wrong foot, and really gave me no interest whatsoever about the back story of the game.
Moving onto the actual gameplay of Time Ace this is a game that really doesn’t utilize much of the touch screen capabilities. The bottom half of your DS is more of just a guide to what is going on, on the main screen. Time Ace is a flight combat game through and through, and it takes a lot of ideas from the old Star Fox 64, which is not a bad thing. However this does give rise a couple of issues mainly that the game is not sure what it wants to be. At times I feel like the game wants to let you open up and explore but it keeps things so linear that it’s hard to really get the feel of the game.
I also had some issues with the controls, which for a DS game felt especially clunky and really didn’t make a great impression right out of the gate. The missions also are in general pretty lackluster, with very little in the way of originality. And this goes back to the previous point about the fact that the game is extremely linear, and this really hinders the free flying feel that flight games are made to give. It is hard to get excited about something that you really have no say in, and often times makes decisions for you.
This is one of those games that just has that a bland feel and never really flies its way out of this trap. The ideas and concepts are all apparent in this game but the execution is nowhere to be found. This is a game that I wasn’t dreading continuing to play it, but was one that I could just see countless ways to improve the title.
Visually you have to give the game some credit for what it was able to accomplish, mainly the environments, which are beautifully constructed, but it’s too bad the rest of the game couldn’t keep up. In fact, much of the rest of the game has issues which start with the plane models and the models of the enemies, which are just bland and simply uninspired. Once again the idea of originality comes into play with the visuals here as everything is so run of the mill that it is once again really hard to get excited about anything given here in the game.
The game doesn’t start off too bad, but I have to say that as you progress you will find that things don’t pick up much. Where many games start to hit their stride this game becomes just a slow and predictable experience that never throws any curve balls. It’s unfortunate too, because the ideas are all there the execution however is far from it. To me it is very important to keep an eye on the overall goal of a game and this game seems like its goals were undermined by either time or desire. Either way the overall experience seems to fall flat in comparison to the game’s true potential.
It is unfortunate that Time Ace doesn’t have stronger guns under the hood to really take this game to the next level. There is not anything necessarily broken about this game, but I think the fact that Time Ace doesn’t have any mobility and keeps things so linear that it really draws the game back quite a bit. If you enjoy flight games you might want to give it a rental, but for the most part I would say you’re better off going elsewhere.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.