Dire two-up shooer
While there are many superb two-player head-to-head games which revel in their own simplicity and which emerge victorious, from Molez to Worms to Scorched Earth, Aces High is sadly not to be numbered in their ranks. Simplicity is often a good thing but in this case, it's taken way too far and anyone playing this game will be left wondering what happened to the rest of it. The concept is intriguing and elegant in itself, pitting two players in an airborne battle to the death and placing them in a pair of fighter planes and giving them one straightforward task: blow the other one out of the sky. And unfortunately, that is pretty much it for the game. While this could have been a thrilling two-player combat game, it is just ultimately too bland and boring to be considered anywhere near a success. The action plays out on a single screen, with little room to manoeuvre and offering no tactical skills whatsoever and games rarely last more than a couple of seconds, giving players little time to get excited about the whole affair. Adding insult to injury, the visuals are dull in the extreme, with nothing more than blue skies, a very basic explosion and two simple planes to look at, with sound effects that are equally uninspiring. Aces High really is one of those games which shouldn't actually exist, it being little more than a lazy attempt to cash in on weak-minded gamers desperate for a fix. The only remotely interesting feature about the game is that it is inspired by the Iron Maiden song of the same name and which features as the background music. However, the result is a less of a tribute than an utter travesty.