• Over G Fighters may seem like a new game name we have never seen before, but Taito have been producing this style of game for a while albeit under a different disguise. Over G Fighters or Over-G as I shall now refer to it… is the latest flight simulation game from Taito and stems from their Energy Airforce series.

    Now this is the second flight simulation game of sorts to hit the 360, and Ubisoft with Blazing Angels had been very much a hit and miss title with the gaming public… most opting to say the game well… Sucked! Now Ubisoft have gone and done it again putting their brand name against Over-G so this raises the question, in that… are Ubisoft about to make the same mistake twice? Or will Over-G simply blow you away?

    Over-G; offers you an extensive if not somewhat repetitive story mode to play through, giving you the chance to climb into the cockpit of over 30 up to date jets as the story unfolds, this mode can be played in either arcade mode or full simulation mode. There is also a challenge mode to play through, testing both your patience and skill taking on wave after wave of enemy aircraft. And finally Over-G also offers full Xbox LIVE multiplayer support where you can take to the skies and battle it out with other budding top-gun wanabees across the Xbox LIVE globe.

    Over G Fighters

    The majority of your offline time spent on Over-G will be playing through the story mode, and it is this mode that sends you on countless numbers of missions and sub missions in each area. Now I will make a note here in saying that if you are playing this game for achievements then you would be best to source some information giving you a clue as to what order to play through each area. The reason I mention this is that on any given area you are sent to… there will be a number of choice targets for you to pick from. So, you may have a group of aircraft highlighted on the map but you may also have a tank squadron or a fleet of ships as other possible targets. If you were then to select the group of aircraft you could find upon completing that mission, and returned to the area map that the alternate targets you saw previously have now disappeared. Thus the bottom line being, If, you do miss out on achievements for a certain area then you only option here is to play through the game again collecting any gamerscore/achievements you previously missed.

    One of my biggest problems with Over-G and the story mode imbedded into the game is just at how straight, forward this mode is. Quite often you will simply find your targets laid out in front of you, only leaving you to ever so slightly line your sights up, release said rocket/bomb… watch target go boom, repeat-rinse and re-use and voila mission over… Next! Once you have done this a few times you will understand my frustration, now there are rare times that have you flying low to avoid detection and nice touches like that but these are far and few between and quite often you are just returned to the repetitive side as mentioned above. I have played many a PC flight simulation game in my time and part of the enjoyment was tracking down your target or targets before you actually unleashed hell to take them down, Over-G has removed a lot of this fun and in turn becomes boring.

    The controls within Over-G are also very simplified although it seems like you are trying to fly a truck rather than a slick jet fighter. Turns are slow and painful, yet your enemy AI will whip past you with ease, which in turn leads to further frustration with you trying to catch up to them with what seems like a slower and harder pace. Switching to real mode helps a little but this console flight simulation is nothing like you may have experienced on the PC.

    Wingman controls are easy to control and select by simply pressing back and then using the left or right triggers to select the chosen option before executing the command. Now I will stick with Wingman here because at the beginning of every mission you get to choose a support pilot to help you out and I will say I have used the word “help” very loosely as quite often you may as well forget they are there and they only end up becoming whiney and annoying. On one mission I even had my wingman fly into me for no apparent reason, so even though there is a choice of wingmen all with different attributes – care not of your choice as the killing quite often is down to you.

    When piloting your craft you will have a number of view options available to you from inside the aircraft to a third person behind your aircraft view. The majority of the views are hard work and switching to the view that just had my HUD on the screen quickly became my preferred choice.Â

    Continuing with views this leads nicely into the looks, sound and feel department. Over-G is a “kinda-nice” to look at game but is certainly not what you would expect a next generation flight simulation game to look like… this is more Xbox than Xbox 360. The plane detail is nice but quite often you will never look at them apart from the time you spend selecting your aircraft from the mission screen. The backdrops are bland and where at least in Blazing Angels you had some cracking cityscapes to behold, in Over-G they are blocky and well… plain old ugly. The sound quality is also fairly lame, and here more than anywhere becomes highly apparent that this is a ported Japanese title and the voice-overs are awful. Even jet noises never seem to change from craft to craft but the in game audio does just about deliver what we would expect from a flight simulation game. Overall in looks and sound it’s a mixed bag from good to damn ugly and for what is a next generation title Over-G has certainly failed to move into the wow factor… Maybe I am expecting too much from next generation titles now… I don’t know, but what I do know is that Over-G left me unimpressed.

    Before closing of course it is worth re-mentioning that Over-G does offer an offline challenge mode and does has full Xbox LIVE Multiplayer support. The challenge mode offline should really have been re-titled survival mode as it’s a case of seeing how many targets you can take out before you are blown from the sky. Xbox LIVE play comes in two flavours, which are versus and arena. In arena you can pair up with a player and take on another three pairs of players, so eight players in total with you launching attacks on each other. In versus mode you have the option to play in ranked or un-ranked matches with you having more gameplay design options to tweak… and it is this mode that will probably provide the most fun on LIVE with your online buddies, that being of course that you actually have people on your friends list that own the game.

    Now I seem to have constantly slapped this game in the face throughout this review and in general I have really had good cause to do so. Over-G is what I will pigeon hole as an “okay” game, there is fun to be had and being the first proper flight simulation game on the 360 has provided me as a gamer, with some fun moments. But the game is not great and is certainly not fantastic… it became long winded, boring and frustrating to play through and is a game you can easily put down as fast as you picked up… In short this game will not live long in your memories and is therefore worth renting and having a bit of a dabble, rather than a purchase and glum feeling that you just wasted a fair amount of cash.

    Score: 4/10

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