May 22, 2012 3 Comments
You’ll probably get 80 Microsoft Points worth of entertainment out of MiG Madness. It’s a solid wave-shooter in the styling of Time Pilot that features four player co-op. No storyline or bullshit cut scenes. It’s just you, your buddies, some power-ups, and some bad guys. There’s not a lot of meat on the bone, but what it here is fairly palatable, making MiG a solid waste of an hour. I almost have nothing to complain about.
MiG’s graphics are not spectacular or anything, but it does have decent character models and pretty looking clouds. I would probably have liked these things more, but it quickly became obvious that MiG could serve as a poster child for developers allowing ascetics to get in the way of gameplay. MiG suffers from all kinds of visibility issues. You often can’t see your bullets, but more importantly, you often can’t see those of the enemies either. In a game that is all about shooting things and dodging bullets, that is pretty significant problem. The bullets just blend it too much with the background, and sometimes the planes do too, depending on what color the backdrop is. The game constantly switches between day and night, dusk and dawn, meaning that no matter what color ship you choose, keeping an eye on it can be troublesome. I had the best luck with yellow, even if it made me feel like I was flying a giant Twinkie.
I’ve played other games here where the graphics got in the way of gameplay. I do get it. Better graphics equals more commercial appeal. However, I don’t think anyone is going to look at a game that looks like this:
And say that they’re sold on it based on how gosh darn swell the clouds look. A person is either going to want a quirk-and-dirty wave shooter themed on vintage military planes or they won’t. MiG is not a bad game by any means. It’s fun in single player or co-op, has a nice variety of weapons (even if some of the missile-based stuff is too slow to be useful), and controls pretty decently. It’s the type of game that you can spend a buck on, play for an hour, feel satisfied, and never go back to it again. If it wasn’t for the graphics getting in the way, I wouldn’t have to include “but..” with all of that. Sadly I do. It’s a big but, I cannot lie. You developers have got to try. When a title shows up with a pretty face but busted gameplay all over the place, it is dung.
80 Microsoft Points promise to never do that again in the making of this review.