toy craze teams up with a parcel shipping company and what do you
get? (Pichachu and UPS, a play on the developer names….) Acrobat
Mission! (Oh dear - malc) You play the role of the Fripenzi
Brothers, a swinging acrobat team, out to rescue ringmaster Bob
from the clutches of the Phreaks, a renegade bunch of rag-tags from
the freak show. You'll take on giant elephants, goofy clowns, high
ticket prices, and fly through giant cotton candy making machines……well….not
quite. Acrobat Mission is nothing like that, in fact it is an average
to poor shooter that you can probably pass on by.
only having five levels (this is the kiss of death for me….Last
Resort did this too, which would have been so much better if it
was a little longer…..), AM brings out some very interesting and
innovative features to a shooter. There are basically two main weapons,
marked with a W or an H. The "W" I assume stands for wave, which
is basically a spreadshot, and the "H" I guess stands for homing,
which is a circular shot that is a bit awkward. Each weapon can
be powered up by holding down the shot key, the W giving a beam
that stays in front of your ship for a few seconds, and the H giving
a power shot that takes a second or two to fire (and the charge
looks really cool….concentric circles with a timer countdown). Along
with these frontal attacks, you also have the standard bombs, which
drop down in the form of powerups during the game. You can hold
up to two, and one really intresting thing about bombs is that they
act as shields! When you grab an icon, the bomb is actually loaded
onto the ship like a real fighter jet, sticking out of the side.
If you happen to take a bullet there, the bomb blows up, but you
don't! And speaking of getting hit, when your character dies, the
plane starts to go down and spins wildly out of control. A counter
appears, and you have about 4 seconds to try to crash the plane
into an enemy! You can actually do damage with a crippled plane.
That was a surprise to me. Even the ship moves normally in an innovative
fashion - there are constant flame jets shooting out, or you are
rolling or spinning in a certain direction - hard to explain without
the Mission of the Acrobat falls short. The gameplay is uninspired,
the levels short, and the bosses are a drab black and white color.
The music doesn't do much for me, weapons systems don't work very
well - a spiral like shot that is slow, what good is that? The only
positives to this shooter are…..well….it's a shooter. The bosses
are probably the highlight of this one, even though poorly colored
they make for some nice scraps. AM did give us some cool new ideas,
such as the "goin' down in flames" death sequence which hurts enemies
and the "bomb shield". Hopefully someone will rip off those ideas
and put them in a better game. Kinda like in music, when they "sample"
a nice riff and make an updated song out of it…..Irem, grab a melody
from Acrobat Mission and start composing!