follow us:

Latest News

Jump Festa 2014: FFXV trailer reveals new voicework, Cindy, and more
After Square Enix released a short English language trailer For Final Fantasy XV a few days ago, the company now has more info about the game shown at Jump Festa in Japan. ... [read more]
Time for some holiday cheer
Harlem and O.G. are back to talk about the latest games they've played. They discuss the removal and reappearance of Hatred from Steam, Target Australia pulling GTA V and getting ready for PAX South. ... [read more]
Halo ODST campaign and more freebies for Master Chief Collection owners
Bonnie Ross, the head of 343 Industries announced free content as a token of appreciation to the Halo fanbase who dealt with various multiplayer issues in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

The rise and fall and rise again of Hatred
It's been a long 24 hours for Destructive Creations. One minute their controversial game, Hatred, makes it way to Steam Greenlight then it's taken off the next and eventually added back on becoming the biggest gaming news story of the day. ... [read more]
An Open Letter to 2K Sports - How 'Bout Them Spurs?
I saw your latest trailer for NBA 2K15, and I had to simply shake my head. As an avid San Antonio Spurs fan, you know that team that won the NBA Championship last year, I was disappointed with their exclusion from the trailer. After re-watching trailer, I realized that they ... [read more]
gamescom 2014: Sony shows off more indie games and hidden Silent Hill game
Lots of games ranging from AAA to Indie along with some shocking surprises were revealed at this year’s Sony Press Conference at gamescom in Cologne, Germany.... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review
With a three year development cycle, Sledgehammer Games had a lot at stake when they took charge in the leading the efforts behind Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Set in the future, Advanced Warfare's campaign is packed with explosive moments featuring cool new tech and gad... [read more]
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Review
If Batman: Arkham Asylum placed Rocksteady Studios in god’s shrine, then I can say with utmost confidence that it’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor that is a shining example for a great future that’s ahead for Monolith Productions. Shadow of Mordor has surprised the h... [read more]
Destiny Review
After creating one of the most iconic sci-fi first-person shooters with the Halo series, Bungie partnered with Activision to create their massive new IP, Destiny. Destiny is a multiplayer action shooter with heavier emphasis on RPG elements like character customization, prog... [read more]

Latest Videos

8-Bit Eric: Characters that should be in Smash Bros.
Smash Bros. is one of the most epic games of all time, with tons of characters from all sorts of gaming history featured, there are some good ones and bad ones, but there are also several that have been left out that 8-Bit Eric feels should be in the game. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Retron 5 Unboxing
Hyperkin's Retron 5 is a retro gaming powerhouse that can play NES, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance games. Find out what you get in the box with this video from 8-Bit Eric. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Hyrule Warriors Review
8-Bit Eric reviews Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U, a new hack and slash game based on the Legend of Zelda that is a spinoff of the Dynasty Warriors series. How does this game hold up? ... [read more]
Air Buccaneers Review
Posted on December 28, 2012 by Nickolai Niver

The people at LudoCraft are one of the few groups of individuals I know who have retained their youthful ambitions. I say this because I don't know too many grown men who thought “Man, I really would enjoy watching pirates and vikings kill each other on hot air balloons. That would be legit.”

Regardless of whether it was an awesome dream from childhood, or a bunch of grown men who mixed the wrong kind of mushrooms into their soup, they made Air Buccaneers, a game about vikings and pirates killing each other in the most historically inaccurate way possible. As a design, it's one of the most unique games to come out this year. As a game, it's got me on the edge. Chances are, it's just another indie game that is too obscure to be enjoyable, but that doesn't mean we're not going to try and review it.

THAT WAS A FUN-BOAT

Darn Interesting Idea  - I don't think I've been able to get over the concept behind Air Buccaneers since I started playing it. Two masters of the seas decided killing each other in hot air balloons was preferable to doing it in the ocean and have set off to destroy the other one. These hot air balloons come in various forms. They can be large enough to have one man on the wheel and four on the cannons (with additional crew), or just small enough for one pirate to go kamikaze into a larger ship.

Everyone Has a Job - There's always something to do in Air Buccaneers, and a player would do wise to learn all the functions as soon as possible. One moment you'll be minding your own business as you attempt to crash your one-man kamikaze ship into an enemy's, the next you'll be running for your life from man-eating mushrooms. Aside from piloting an air ship and shooting cannons, players will find a wide variety of other activities that can prove vital for their team's victory. The key to success is figuring out what needs to be done at that exact moment.

Sounds so Bad That it's Good - The sound is really something else. It's so bugged and bad that it actually makes the game more enjoyable. An example of this is when your character jumps off of something for the first time on any given respawn. Jumping off of a ship only to press space bar and climb back up causes your character to let out a ten second death scream that doesn't sound dissimilar to me finding a brown recluse occupying the same space as myself in the shower. However, your character will only scream once, which means that if you simply fell off of the docks and walked back on, you've wasted your characters heroic death cries. Add this to the sound of your ships exploding and your captain screaming for you to desperately fix your ship, and you have a hilariously bad collection of random sound clips.

Like Nothing Else - There's a fine line between a game that's completely different from everything else being good and being bad. Air Buccaneers manages to just barely find itself in the safe place of being different and fun at the same time. The gameplay is something that can't be found in any other game, making it the only game of its kind. It's something to satiate your hipster desires.

I Can Pick This Up - The control scheme is deceptively simple. In someone's first life they'll easily figure out how to move. After dying once or twice, they'll understand how the cannon works. Then, after experiencing crash courses as a rookie captain once or twice, players will be able to master steering one of their ships. It's not something that's accomplished immediately, but it's user-friendly and forgiving.

Deep Level of Customization - As a gamer who's been spoiled by modern trends, I tend to enjoy things that should have no bearing on a game's score. Leveling systems that unlock new skills and customization options are a key example of this, and Air Buccaneers has both. As a player levels they unlock visual upgrades to make them more unique. Then, as they steer, fight, and repair their ships they gain job experience that lets them do tasks easier. Unlike most games, while these abilities are nice to have, they don't give an experienced player too much of an advantage over a newer player. The advantages are there, but they aren't game breaking.
 

ALL ABOARD THE FAIL BOAT

False Advertising - Advertised as a combination of melee combat and ship battles, players will quickly discover themselves spending very little time aboard enemy ships. In the odd chance that two ships manage to get close enough to each other that they can board each other, opening fire with the cannons is often a much better decision than a boarding party. It's a bit disappointing how there's an entire mechanic of the game that doesn't get used.

After 4 Hours, I'm Already Bored - Being a very niche game, Air Buccaneers can grow very boring very quickly. After the shock and awe of hot air balloons blowing each other up ends, players will realize that there's not much to this title. The price tag certainly matches how in depth the game is, but it's a bit disappointing. It's an idea that's very unique and could have very easily been made much larger than what it is.

It Ain't Pretty - Even after you get past the bad character models and aged graphics, Air Buccaneers is not a colorful game. The dull shades of gray that can plague many titles is very much prevalent here. It's so bad that it often becomes difficult to distinguish friendly ships from enemies despite the red vs. blue color scheme that's been provided. Some of the visual effects can be nice, but they don't carry the dull color palette. It's one of those games that could have done very well with a very bright color selection but decided not to.




 

Air Buccaneers is an interesting idea, but it fails to have the meat or depth of a standalone game, regardless of the price tag. The entire concept is a game mode not dissimilar to one of the various mini-games found in Banjo Tooie and various other games. A great concept, but something I’d wait on to fully blossom; at least until it goes on sale for $5.  

*This review was based on the PC version of the game with a review code provided by the publisher.*

Nickolai Niver - Staff Writer nic (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What do you think of Hatred?

It's a horrible game that no one should play!
I don't care for it, but it should be available for people to play.
it looks interesting, I may check it out.
O-M-G THIS IS THE GAME I'VE BEEN DREAMING OF!
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Time for some holiday cheer


Dead Space Review

Dead Space Review

Guns of Icarus Online Review

Other Gaming News From The Web