If you need to know the quickest way to flush your money down the toilet, Red Baron Arcade is the answer. Originally penciled in for a release last year, the dogfighter disappeared into the ether after Activision swallowed the whole of Sierra. Six months later, the game crash-landed on the PSN store, treating gamers to one of the most poorly presented PSN titles in recent memory. There are choppy, awful graphics, a boring multiplayer (hardly anyone surfaced to play with) and 36 missions of face-melting monotony. Thank god for the ‘Off’ button.
With the original having earned itself a place in the pantheon of classic shooters from back in its Eighties heyday, a lot was expected of this Naughties rehash, but all memories of the original quickly swirl away once you kickstart this turd. Missions are fairly simple for the most part: take down enemy planes, protect certain objects from being attacked or damaged too much and glide just above the ground on bomb runs. The problem with these bomb runs is that the camera is somewhat askew, making it difficult to nail your run. That’s not to say it’s impossible or game breaking, it’s just an irksome angle that won’t ruin the game, but chews away at you over time.
The second issue we’ve got with the game is the turbo button. It’s about as powerful as a fart in a hurricane, and sends you bursting forward for a millisecond before running out, which makes traveling to the other side of the map to take on a slew of incoming enemies an absolute chore. Yes, it refills fairly speedily, but a little extra speed juice would have gone a long way in this day and age of snack-sized gaming.
Multiplayer packs in a handy Deathmatch mode and a number of other usual suspects, all of which are fun for about five minutes before you’re kicked in the face by lag issues and the sheer lack of people willing to play the game online. Just avoid it altogether.
Aug 11, 2009