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Airburst Extreme

AirBurst Extreme is the sequel to the much loved shareware game AirBurst. It's actually more a refinement than a sequel, much like SSX Tricky was to SSX. It's basically the same game over again, but it looks, plays and sounds better and has more content. But those expecting something completely new is in for a disappointment.

But we who loved the original game has been looking forward to ABE with its enhanced graphics, using OpenGL to draw the graphics and adding a freedom of resolution change. And the graphics are indeed sweet. Now this game is hardly about realistic look and feel, you play the game sitting on top of a balloon at 30,000 feet, trying to burst your opponent's balloons with the help of a spiked ball. And to fit this theme the game is ver colorful and cartoonish, but it is so in a very nice way. The new graphical effects and style is much nicer than the original, so it's a really nice step up.

As for gameplay, most things remain the same. There's a few new gametypes, but the biggest addition in gameplay is probably the "Extreme" powers. Once you've touched the ball enough times with your bat, you have the possibility to unleash your character's Extreme power. This is different from character to character, and can be either offensive or defensive (and then we have Maya, I don't know how to classify that power...). This adds a neat touch to the game, but unfortunately different extremes makes characters uneven in some gametypes. The power you build up for your Extreme can also be used to move your ballon, or to try to make it stop moving if you've gained too much momentum, so you're not completely helpless on top of your balloon as in the previous game.

The network part of the game is what I personally was looking forward to the most, and unfortunately it's also the part that disappointed me the most. The game is a blast online, don't get me wrong there... but it has it's problems. It took me several weeks to get onto GameSmith, Freeverse's online gaming service, and every now and then ABE still refuses to accept my login and password. I've talked with Strange Flavour about this problem, but they haven't identified the problem yet, and for me it seems extremely random. I haven't heard anybody else experience it, and for a while I thought it was caused by my Swedish keyboard layout... but then it started to work with that as well. If this had been the only problem things wouldn't have been to bad... but unfortunately playing over the internet causes some severe lag. Playing people with a ping at about 150ms is far from excellent, and because you can't see people's ping in the GameSmith browser, it's hard to tell beforehand. I still haven't played a lag free game online.... but I guess that's what I get from having most gaming friend on the other side of the pond. If Strange Flavour manage to address this in a future patch, the rating would go up to 9 or maybe even 10... because honestly, This game rocks! Even without multiplayer. It's the perfect game if you just want to play for a few minutes.

Posted on September 15, 2004 at 9:47 am
Games Playing:
Homeworld 2
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4
Unreal Tournament 2004
Knights of the Old Republic
MAFFia 11/25/2004
Airburst Extreme 9/15/2004
Worms 3D 5/24/2004
Jim (G4Jedi)
Mike (Auron)
Conrad (loneAzdgari)
a2daj (yup, him)
Tuncer (da Boss)
System Details:
OS: 10.3
Processor: Dual G5
CPU Speed: 2.0 - 2.9 GHz
Memory: 3 GB
Video: ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition
Display: Generic Flat Panel
HD Space: 250 GB +
CD: Generic 52x
DVD: Generic 16x
Details: Also running: 15" PowerBook G4 1.33GHz, Radeon 9700 Mobility 64MB with 512MB RAM and MDD Dual 867MHz, Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB with 1GB RAM
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