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I played a little bit of Luftrausers this weekend, and boy howdy that's a swell game. I love the combination of retro graphics and vintage design sensibilities. Every menu screen, effect, and cinematic it has to offer sings to my soul. On top of looking pretty, Luftrausers is one of those games that just feels good to play. The sensation of momentum as you hurl your Rauser through the air is perfect. The balance between shooting to wipe out enemies and keep the score multiplier going versus backing off and healing up damage is easy to understand, but thrilling to put into practice. The tricky split second maneuverings when your trying to negotiate a decent shot on a submarine without eating a stream of bullets is the stuff dreams/nightmares are made of. It's soul food for gamers.

I just wish I wasn't so god-awfully terrible at it.

But c'est la vie. Not all of us were destined to be ace fighter pilots of the 2D skies I guess. I'll have to content myself with my ability to rock a Titan. I might not be a Titanfall wunderkind either, but at least I can usually get by without embarrassing myself and splashing into the ocean seconds after launch. Plus, no evil German scientist laughs at me when I auto-eject in a nuclear haze.

It might just be that I'm playing them both at the same time, but I can't help but wish Titanfall could borrow a few tricks from Luftrausers. How cool would it be if Titans were assembled out of a collection of unlockable parts that gave them slightly different visual profiles and dynamic names like the Rausers? I would love to see a bit more customization in that department. Titanfall's tepid campaign storyline could have sprinkled in some much needed spice if they tossed in the occasional enemy ace or serious NPC threat, just like the aces and blimps of Luftrausers. I understand that a game like Titanfall needs to keep the focus on the player, but c'mon, that campaign is seriously flat.
 
While you occasionally see a computer controlled Titan milling about at the start of a campaign mission, its generally walking free points. Despite being the NPC avatar of some serious badass in the Titanfall world, those computer Titans have zero impact or gravitas. I think it would be much cooler if some missions were punctuated by the arrival of a serious ace Titan, a badass with an extra thick slab of armour that takes the attention of multiple teammates to keep from running amuck. Or if you could unleash a wave of disposable Grunts depending on who was winning or holding objectives. A group of Spectre robots possessed by the malicious Spyglass A.I that were much tougher and deadly than your run of the mill killbots would be interesting to see. Just something to throw in a curve ball.

Ah well, it's all just cloud talk. I'll just quietly hold out hopes for a horde mode in the DLC or sequel.

* - Hey now! This is how you do a YouTube blog! Instead of just dropping off a video and scurrying away, Lachhh has done the work and included a blog with the salient points of the video included. The blog has some good points about F2P games and the video is well produced to boot. Good stuff!

A - Aaron Anglin has been having trouble securing press passes for conventions. I would have to wager that major conventions see enough media presence that they simply don't feel the need to hand out passes to individual bloggers.

N - PSA: The latest Vita update might brick your expensive memory card. Ouch.

R - A review for Space Invaders? Okay.




-Wrenchfarm

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