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AirForce Delta Storm



Flight Sim



Hop in the cockpit and get ready for a bumpy ride with the Xbox's first flight sim, Airforce Delta Storm.

Words such as fun, exhilarating, stunning and intense help portray a true flight simulation game. As Konami's sequel to the Dreamcast cult hit AirForce Delta, AirForce Delta Storm is the first of its genre to be released for the new Xbox system from Microsoft. Unfortunately, Konami was shot down before reaching its designated target. Nonetheless, the title still manages to give players something to shoot for.

One of the more important factors for the Xbox is the visual appearance of its games. AirForce Delta Storm provides a mixed bag graphics wise. On a positive note, each aircraft was displayed perfectly to match its real life counterpart (and there are over 60 of them by the way). The game's environments are certainly eye catching while flying at a large distance from the ground, but once you level off at 500 feet, the amazing atmosphere becomes nothing more then some textures put together to form a two dimensional sheet of colors (not good). Replays look jaggy and some heavy anti-aliasing would have been superb in giving the objects a more realistic look.

Konami's flight sim only includes two game modes. The first mode is based around making money, enabling players to build a better hangar, where the planes are kept. With a better hangar, players have more choice in their aircrafts; more choices give a better chance at success during the missions. Making money is effortless, one of the easiest parts of the game. By taking out marked targets, some of which demand shooting pilots out of the sky, huge amounts of credits pour into the player's account. From there, players are given the opportunity to buy new planes, or sell old ones. As the game goes on, and more tasks are completed, players can find themselves with several different bases, each unique in the way that it included its own very distinctive aircrafts and corresponding missions.

Sounds good? Well, it's not all that amusing. In order to reach an assigned mission (the game has about 50 of them), players are required to battle through several simple sub-tasks. These become very boring, very fast. I repeatedly found myself reaching my desired location with a small quantity of missiles, due to the fact half of my supply had been wasted on these sub-missions and the only way to get them back was to return to base. With the thought of having to go through the dozens of useless time consuming sub-tasks, I found myself not wanting to play the game after several couple of hours.

The real fun of this mode came from its "real" missions, including the whole briefing (which could have been better with smooth cut-scenes instead of written text). Some are stealthy, others more full out power and speed tasks, but each pretty cool nonetheless. Repetition did get in the way of the excitement after a while though, as the same tasks kept showing up over and over again.

The second game mode is what I would call "quick and entertaining". After completing the missions in your "campaign" section, they are automatically made available for practice. Each mission is listed in this mode, with a time limit, usually placed between 5 and 10 minutes. All aircrafts unlocked in the other mode are also available for a test ride. Completing these missions, once again, usually unlocks even more planes. This mode pretty much wraps up all the fun missions (including the unfortunate repetition), without the hassle of loosing planes and going through time wasting sub-tasks.

A huge disappointment came from the fact of not having a multiplayer mode. Oh, the possibilities…

The computer A.I is certainly one of the worst ever. Pilots navigate left to right all the time, enabling players to tell where their next location would be. I found myself quite frustrated with the fact that taking them out of the sky was as easy as stwaling nappies from the geriatric ward. The same problems go for the player's allies. Some missions required protecting Army ships, which ended up never helping me in the end, the jerks. Not doing the missions alone would be nice, but the friendly AI is about as useful as the enemy's.

When it comes to AirForce Delta Storm's sound department, there is really nothing all too positive to say. The game's music is repetitive, and not at all entertaining. Some songs were too slow, while others didn't match the mission task at all. A customizable soundtrack option would have been a major plus for this game. The plane's sounds did give a more realistic "in the game" feel, but after a while, they also became repetitive. Each plane, and each target when blown up made the same sound every time, certainly not enjoyable after a certain period of time.

Airforce Delta Storm's controls are smooth and simple. The assigned missile and machine gun buttons were placed easily in order to utilize efficiently. Both triggers participated in the action, one to accelerate, and the other to cut down speed. The D-Pad didn't cause any problems either. As always, the inverse mode is available under the options. Within a couple minutes, I was able to learn all buttons, without even having to open the manual. What is completely unforgivable though is that players were not given the chance to do barrel rolls, or drop torpedoes. These could have been prevented with the use of the white and black buttons on the controller.

Konami falls short of redefining the flight simulation genre with its most recent Xbox title. With the power and advantages of the next generation consoles, there is no reason why a game like this one should be released when so much more could have been done to make it better. Even though most of AirForce Delta Storm could have been pulled off on other previous consoles, the game is still decent nonetheless.

Matt Thomas
Ex-Wannabe Pilot.

AirForce Delta Storm: The Scores













The Final Word:  While the game did have its fun occasions, I was more disappointed then anything else while playing Konami's AirForce Delta Storm. The Xbox's first flight simulation title isn't all that great of a showing for a genre that usually has gamers anxious. Unless totally obsessed with the genre it is part of, I recommend renting AirForce Delta Storm before purchasing.

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