hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Impressions: Luftrausers makes too much sense on the Vita

2:00 PM on 04.05.2014 // Steven Hansen

Luftrauser? I hardly even know her!

Luftrausers is perfect on the Vita in the same way Vlambeer's Super Crate Box was perfect on the Vita. It's "perfect for the Vita" because it's a great game. While either title, with their minimal arcade sensibilities "make sense" on a portable (with buttons) for their quickness, you're not likely to play Luftrausers for just ten minutes on your commute.

You're more likely to miss your stop because you mashed "up" to launch, craving one more run. This time you'll do better. This time you'll kill that blimp.

Maybe my handheld love makes Luftrausers perfect on the Vita for me, but there's something freeing in its total parity with the PS3 and PC versions, but on a dense, gorgeous OLED. The PC controls almost make more practical sense. It helps that there's an elegant balance of risk (if you shoot, you don't recover health) versus reward (the only way to score big is to combo, to generally keep shooting things).

This is not a traditional shmup. You're freewheeling around, left and right, up and down, a finite area, trying to stay alive. And the "up" to engage engine, left and right arrow to control orientation makes sense, what with your ability to have a finger on all those necessary keys at once. Playing Luftrausers with the d-pad -- and, heck, maybe you prefer the analog -- took some getting used to because it doesn't control how you'd expect. 

But I quickly got into the rhythm of rolling my thumb across the top half of the d-pad and the fluidity of Luftrausers is wonderful. It's not that it's imprecise, but as if everything operated on sin waves rather than Super Crate Box jumps on linear platforms. Thank the finely tuned physics and gravity for its satisfying chaotic choreography.

The best way to fly, though this may be build dependent (it makes more sense with the laser), is a manic starting and stalling, changing direction (and laser aim) in midair. Curved serpentine, pulling up at the last moment and skimming the damaging water at the bottom of the screen. Aside from the immediate changes in direction, it feels as abstractly representative of actual dogfighting as you can get.

Luftrausers is a great fit on the Vita because a match can last seconds. Minutes if you're an ace pilot. And that always makes sense on a portable system. But I spent hours at a time playing while sitting in bed, dancing across the skies like a waltzing pinball,  trying and trying again. Even if I can't kill the damn blimp.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Jiraya avatarJiraya
Gonna have a date tonight ? Here's a song for you. [youtube][/youtube]
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
[youtube][/youtube] And yes, this is video game related!
Nathan D avatarNathan D
"Everlasting. True love. I am yours." -Rule of Rose T^T
Shinta avatarShinta
MGO's pretty fun! I suck at it though. I mostly hang back and just mark enemies and get the occasional sniper kill. It's pretty fun to be semi-useful with a very hands off role like that. Love my avatar character guy too.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Fuck Insecticons
nanashi avatarnanashi
they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.
KyWii avatarKyWii
Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xD
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much. [youtube][/youtube]
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game.
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #Spooky
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
It is coming fast AAAAAAH
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
[Youtube][/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

  Mar 26

Luftrausers final unlockable is a monstrosity

Behold the awesome might of the URAUSER

  Mar 18

Review: Luftrausers

Initiate wing attack plan 'R'

  Aug 03

Sonic, Pokemon, and the power of pixels with Paul Veer

Get to know the people that make great videogames

  Sep 03

PAX: Vlambeer's Luftrausers soars

Dutch indies delivering yet another addictive, minimalist game

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -