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NDS Preview - 'Time Ace'

by Thomas Wilde on March 2, 2007 @ 4:18 a.m. PST

Time Ace is a fast and explosive high-flying shooter featuring 19 heart-pounding missions, numerous multiplayer modes and vibrant 3D graphics that faithfully bring the arcade-style shooter experience to a handheld gaming system.

Genre : Action/Flight Sim
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Trainwreck Studios
Release Date: Q2 2007

In 1914, Dr. Hugo Clock, action scientist, creates a working time machine. He intends to go back in time and prevent World War I from starting. Sadly, Clock has managed to overlook both the Changing the Past and Villainous Assistant clauses in his Mad Scientists’ Union contract, and so he shouldn’t really be surprised when his assistant Klaus Scythe steals the time machine.

Scythe’s goal is to travel throughout time and gather an arsenal of powerful weaponry, with which he will rule the world. Dr. Clock hops into his plane and gives chase, intending to prevent this.

Time Ace, then, is interesting on a couple of different levels. It’s an aerial action game, forming a kind of spiritual sequel to Konami’s Time Pilot, and it’s on the DS. allowing you to use the touchscreen to pilot a variety of different combat aircraft from throughout time and space.

You begin the game in a WWI-vintage fighter plane, but as you progress through time and through the game’s nineteen levels, you can acquire modern jets and futuristic aircraft. Each of the planes will handle differently as the science of aviation advances. In the meantime, you’ll engage in near-constant dogfights with blimps, jets, ground forces, and more, as well as Scythe and his futuristic arsenal.

The action in Time Ace takes place on the top screen. The bottom screen is used to display your radar, activate power-ups, and kick on your boost, while you fly your plane with the D-pad. The shoulder buttons let you do barrel rolls, which is slightly problematic, as it’s easy to crash into things.

Imagine something like StarFox or some levels of Air Force Delta Strike, albeit in a more arcade-esque form, and you come close to Time Ace’s gameplay. You don’t have full three-dimensional freedom to fly wherever you want. Instead, you constantly fly forward and must contend with obstacles as they appear.

At this point, Time Ace is still nowhere near launch, so a lot is up in the air. Right now, it’s an interesting combination of flight sim and arcade shooter, with the potential for some really cool fights once you get into the more futuristic levels.

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