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Game Maker Games - Aces High Over Verlor Island
Aces High Over Verlor Island by FredFredrickson
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Review by edenb
Desert Bus is a mini-game inside Penn and Tellerís unreleased Smoke and Mirrors which simulates driving a bus at a maximum of 45 Mph from Tucson to Las Vegas in real time (takes about 8 hours). Playing Aces High is a bit like playing Desert Bus.
Actually, Desert Bus is a better game since it has that cult-noir feel to it. When you play it you feel like youíre playing something infamous- it's got that "new" feeling to it like when you're a little kid unwrapping that Christmas present you really really wanted.
Unfortunately Aces High possesses none of the charm of Desert Bus and all of the dull, this-is-a-chore qualities. In fact, playing Aces High is like doing chores. I feel video games should be fun and/or immersive, and Aces High isn't quite "fun".

The problem with Aces High is just that: it lacks fun. The game mechanics are some of the most annoying Iíve ever come across. Especially that ďenergyĒ bar which restricts me from using too many bullets and doing flips. Flips were the enjoyable part of Aces High, but itís apparently a good idea to restrict me from doing flips; thus the only enjoyable part is erased.

Perhaps Aces High is meant to be a drunk-pilot-in-an-aeroplane simulator. It certainly feels like it as I wobble through the game with very little precision. Itís ridiculously damaging to how well the game plays; and is one of the reasons Aces High falls flat on its face and straight into the cake.

If Apple had a games division, the classy presentation of this game would fit right in. You should probably download this game just because it has wonderful, detailed (albeit lacking in personality a tad?) graphics and slick, professional presentation. At only 5-and-a-bit MBs, why not download it? Sure, you probably will only play Aces High for 5 or so minutes; but the sheer professionalism on show is sheer brilliance. Itís a pity the rest of the game isnít.

I canít help thinking that while the music was fairly good, it couldíve synched with what the player is doing in the game more. But overall music was of a pretty good; however it gets repetitive after a while. In some ways I would've liked to have heard the old-fashioned music that's typical of the black and white movies with the bi-planes and such.

Aces High is one of the worst high profile games released this year. Itís such a colossal waste of talent, too. Fred could be making games that are actually fun! Instead we get Aces High. A valiant attempt at a fun, casual game that nevertheless doesn't quite live up to it's looks.

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What the Creator wrote:
The airspace over Verlor Island is a hot spot for fantastic dogfights, and you're one of the pilots! Battle the computer or up to 7 other people online! Will you emerge from the fury of bullets and explosions as the best pilot in the sky?

Featuring detailed 3D environments, fast and easy online play, and an assortment of special moves and different ways to score, Aces High Over Verlor Island has something for everyone.

The final build features a tutorial mode, single player game, and online multiplayer for up to 8 players, so dust off your flight gloves and start practicing your maneuvers!

Download Aces High Over Verlor Island (EXE, ~5.0 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Recommendations: The 2 people who like Aces High Over Verlor Island also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2007.08.10 Trogador
Rating: 1

I start playing AHOVI hoping to experience at least a moderate thrill ride.
*the company reveals itself in a wave of golden light*

ERROR: SOUND DOES NO EXIST

ERROR: SOUND DOES NOT EXIST

*another company logo, I am dying to play the game right now*

ERROR: SOUND DOES NOT EXIST.

FATAL ERROR: CANNOT DECLARE EXTERNAL FUNCTION.

*Aborts*
2007.07.27 John_Howard
Rating: 9

I have to disagree with the review and the majority of comments. I think the ground work has been done for what could be an awesome game. There's nothing I love more than flying toward an enemy plane, machine gun rattling away with the sound of chinking as pieces detach from the enemy machine. Reminds me of Ancient Art of War in the Skies. What the comments do get correct are that the game does need some work in terms of some sort of story line and objectives to be accomplished. I don't see this as particularly difficult, given that the mechanics seem to be complete. I'd really love to fly in a mission - say 3 planes vs 3, with one of them the Red Baron..... This game is definitely worth a download and try, although as stated, it does need a story to make it memorable.
2007.07.09 Cesque
Rating: 8

Probably I haven't played many flight simulators made with Game Maker, but putting 1945-clones aside and talking about full 2d movement simulators, the phrases that are born in my head are 'confusing controls' and 'flying in circles while watching streams of bullets'. And usually, 'boredom'.

While the circles and streams still persist in this game as a natural part of the genre, I did not find this game boring, I did not find playing it a chore and in fact, I've found it pretty fun.

So line me up with the people opposing the review for a ruthless assault on the game - though some parts are naturally true. Shooting shouldn't deplete the skill bar - and in fact, probably the skill bar could be handled in a much nicer way altogether. But I can understand why it's there. The ability to slow down and speed up at will is a powerful option when circling around enemies, it adds to the gameplay, but making it available always would cut off the tactical use. It's just too bad this option is so limited because of how fast it drains the bar.

I wouldn't call the graphics lacking in personality and I would praise this game for doing something that most games don't: laying out everything nicely, with the tutorial and gameplay style descriptions.

And I would agree that the gameplay may be lacking. I would like to hope for this version not to be final, and to perhaps expect some tweaks to the annoying skill bar system - but of course, it's not to be expected.

Nonetheless, overally, as an arcade game, this game does a good job. Not a perfect job, but a good job, and certainly not a horrible one. Apart from cactus' arcade games, which I tend to amass on my drive, I can divide the rest into games which I spend some time playing and games which I open up to delete a few minutes afterwards. This game belongs to the first category.

And finally: Look at the highscores! Unless you suspect some giant Fred-and-eo driven conspiracy, nothing speaks better than the highscores that a lot of people have found this game addicting and fun.
2007.07.07 excalibur333
Rating: 7

I feel the staff rating is a little low but the review is perfect and lays out the games pros and cons nicely. I hope Fred learns from it and doesn't take it hard.
Excalibur
2007.07.04 DgN
Rating: 10

The 2nd best game I have ever played!
2007.06.26 FoldingChair
Rating: --

This games graphics look like Sim City 4 graphics to me.
2007.06.24 Deeje
Rating: 8

No offense, but that was the most poorly-written review I've seen. FredFredrickson describes the game as 'a casual 3D dogfighting game,' and casual it is! The graphics are beautiful, the music is fitting, and the gameplay is perfect. It isn't meant to have a complex storyline or plane upgrades! Some of you people need to learn a thing or two about how to review a game.
2007.06.24 JaJ
Rating: --

How can you judge a review if you didn't even read it well (wich you obviously didn't)
If you had read it well you would have seen that the main point isn't about a missing complex storyline.
2007.06.24 GM_guru
Rating: 1

I agree but would give it a smaller rating, grafics aren't everything. gameplay is king and this just isn't fun.
2007.06.22 Feuyaer
Rating: 4

Decent presentation, but the gameplay crashes and burns, if you'll pardon my pun. Not fun at all.
2007.06.19 edenb
Rating: --

@RockyRan
'It's not a matter of satisfaction that Jabberwock shot down one of Fred's games'
Erm, I think you'll find that it was me who actually shot it down.
2007.06.19 RoyalSmacketh
Rating: 10

Id like to see any of you make this game. I loved it. 10/10
2007.06.19 RoyalSmacketh
Rating: --

Also, I played it for more than 5 minutes. I really liked the dogfights and I fail at survival mode. Overall its a great game that isn't boring.
2007.06.18 RockyRan
Rating: 5

I wholeheartedly agree with the review and Jabberwock. The game shouldn't instantly get a 10 because it's FredFredricksons, or because it's pretty. Pondwater, I see where you're going but a game in this and any other independent game review site is judged solely by its content, not by its aesthetic pleasure and 'effort' that is put in.
In reality, it would be more harmful than beneficial for a game to receive accolades because it is from a well-known user and because it impresses the eyes. Fred should realize that this type of game (all show but no substance) is intolerable to many around the GM community. It's not a matter of people downscoring the game so that they can say 'Look at ME, I gave a game from Fred a bad score!' so they can feel haughty in their 'high chairs'. It's about providing the necessary criticism where it's due. If the game's severe flaws don't go noticed by the community, it's just wrong on so many levels. It's wrong because it'll encourage further 'eyecandy only' games; because it'll mean that no matter what Fred or any other 'GM celebrity' does, he/she WILL get great scores and praise; because good presentation and good effort don't merit a good score, the gameplay also does that. It's not a matter of satisfaction that Jabberwock shot down one of Fred's games, it's a matter of what a great GM game TRULY is. Great graphics, 3D gameplay and a nice presentation is halfway there, and that's why I give it a 5, and that's also probably why Jabberwock gave it a ~5 score as well.
2007.06.18 God666
Rating: 8

I think it doesn't deserve a 10 and also not a 5 the controlls are simple(I think) and the game play is smoothe. But we all know it get's boring after some time, and why the the **** do you need a regristration code. I give it a 8.

Maybe you should make a plane selection so you could get missiles, mines, bombes something like that. makes the game look cool..

Also maybe you could add more ''landscape'' It get's boring to look at farms and gras lands all the time. And what I alredy sayd more planes, like jet fighters, or spitfires maybe even ''The Red Baron'' and AA guns.

Overall the game is good good grafics but the game is just a little boring.
2007.06.16 abproductions
Rating: 8

I had the feel of a real commercial product, but lacked variety. Great graphics (reminded me of Sim City 3000 Unlimited), Cool 3D, good physics and rewards system, but lack of variety in the gameplay department. Decent music too.
2007.06.15 Jabberwock
Rating: --

I respect your opinion, Pondwater, but I think that technical difficulty shouldn't matter much to a reviewer; if the game is no good, we shouldn't give a game a good rating just because they tried really hard. I think the review might have been a little harsh, but I also think that Fred has enough rave reviews from other people that he doesn't need another one, especially if it isn't honest. If we were reviewing coding, he would've taken the cake. But we're not doing that. We're reviewing it as a game, and it's not a very good one.
2007.06.15 miky
Rating: 8

Oh, oops, I was too lazy to read it.

It's kind of fun online, but boring otherwise.
2007.06.14 miky
Rating: 10

Um... Why is the review on Desert Bus when the game is Ahovi?
2007.06.14 JakeX
Rating: --

'Um... Why is the review on Desert Bus when the game is Ahovi?'

Because you can't be bothered to read the whole thing.
2007.06.14 DeathMasterGames
Rating: 6

Well, I want to give you a 10 for the most stunning graphics I've ever seen in GameMaker, but the boringness of it all makes me want to slit my throat, so...6?

What you need to do, is make a massive scrolling shooter with these graphics, make the plane turn faster, have upgrades, shops, etc. I mean, it's awesome the way it is, it's just a little too realistic. And no one likes real life. :P
2007.06.14 pondwater
Rating: 8

The review is such a horrid excuse to generate some satirical humour and sophisticated arrogance.

It may lack gameplay, but the minimal mention of appreciation for the programming, the exceptional integration of the 3D and interface, the refinement in presentation and multiplayer support does suggest that the review is one more akin to those found on Game Consumer Sites, rather than one fitted for the patient, understanding game developer community.

I do consider the GMG as the latter, but I may be wrong.
2007.06.13 JaJ
Rating: --

'Oh... My... Gosh... What kind of sane person gives AHOVI a 5!? AHHHHHHHH!'

Just a regulair, sane person. :p
2007.06.13 Jabberwock
Rating: --

In my opinion, sometimes a mean review is necessary, because there are tons of people raving about this game, yet it's very flawed. Saying it nicely wouldn't help. I think Fred is (or has the potential to be) an excellent game developer, but I feel that this is basically a waste of his talents. I'm sorry, Fred, but this is just eye-candy, and that's all it is. I know you hate it when people say that, but it might help if you would listen when they did, because it's true. My advice is to work a lot harder on unique premises and innovative gameplay for your games; with your technical skill the rest should be easy.
2007.06.13 Quack_Kills
Rating: 5

I'm sorry but although the graphics were amazing.... I got bored very fast
2007.06.12 elmernite
Rating: 7

I have to agree with the review. Though I wouldn't have put it so bluntly. While the game has amazing graphics, I find it lacks in the gameplay. I liked it a bit more than the reviewer did, but thats just personal taste.
-Elmernite
2007.06.12 pubby8
Rating: 5

The review fits.

Finally some one finds the dullness and boringnuss (are those words) in flying a little airplane. Don't get me wrong - I love some airplane games, but those you got to fly in everydirection! Oh well it looks FANTASTIC! Great job with how it looks and feels. Just the gameplay is horrible.
2007.06.12 JaJ
Rating: 4

I agree with the review, the game is just not fun at all.
2007.06.12 David Lindberg
Rating: --

I must agree, but still... Poor Fred probably didnīt really knew what fun you could add to a flighting simulator... Actually, I would enjoy playing this, if it was space-ships, and there was more weapons, invironments, moves, missions... Yeah, ok... Maybe itīs not just 'poor Fred'... Iīd rather think 'lazy Fred!' now!
2007.06.12 ZPXNeonGM
Rating: 5

This game feels more like a glorified tech demo built for GM7.

This isn't a bad game, by any means. It's exceptional graphics are the only things that make the game shine.
2007.06.12 Darklink Kyle
Rating: 9

I don't know what you guys are talking about! This game was really fun! I couldn't get the mulitiplayer to work (Yes I have an account on their website), but other then that, it was a great game.
2007.06.12 E.G. Ordacle
Rating: 7

I agreee with ZPXNeonGm, this seems more like a demo to show what GM7 can do. While the gameplay was a little bland, this really shows how powerful GM can be. Way to take advantage of the program. So, the review is kind of right, altough it seems a little... mean. But seriously, just add more variety and this would seriously rock.
2007.06.12 Absolute Zer0
Rating: 10

Oh... My... Gosh... What kind of sane person gives AHOVI a 5!? AHHHHHHHH!

I love it, 10. :D
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