It seems that no matter how hard they try Midway never gets a break. Year in and year out the company tries to bring some diversity to it’s lineup and each year the gaming community throws it back in their face. Dr. Muto for instance was a brilliant platformer that was just marketed poorly and completely underrated by the gaming press, Haven was a poor attempt at trying to fuse too many genres without doing any of them properly, and Freestyle Metal X was an absolute blast to play until you hit the massive slowdown that was sure to be remedied on the recently cancelled Xbox version. So what next you ask? Well Freaky Flyers is their latest attempt at trying something new and to be honest it’s pretty friggin’ good. Does that mean it will launch a new franchise? Probably not but does that mean you shouldn’t purchase it..hell no this game is tons of fun and innovative to boot.
How To Get Freaky
What seperated Freaky Flyers from traditional racers (besides being based in the air of course) is it’s incredibly detailed and intricate tracks. Almost like giant worlds in themselves the levels have multiple branching paths and require several fly throughs before you see the entire track, they are just that big! Not only massive in scale they also sport great detail while maintaining a superb frame rate. Trees can be shot down, passengers can be picked up, and tons of objects can be destroyed, it’s like a virtual playground that screams replayability and this is just the first level! Playing both versions you truly see the difference visually, the PS2 is not as clean or bright as the Xbox version but it still holds it’s own even in the frame rate department.
Freaky Class, Freaky Style
Not only is Freaky Flyers full of vibrant visuals and amazingly detailed surroundings but it also has mass amounts of style and humor. Each character has their own story to progress through and while it may be tedious to play them all it really can be worth it simply for the cut scenes accompanying each one. This is quite possibly the funniest game ever created, on more than one occassion I laughed out loud and that doesn’t happend too often. There are also tons of mini games, levels, and characters to be unlocked in the adventure mode. The only problem lies in the fact that after one time through this game tends to get a bit repetetive and that hurts it overall, it could have really been saved by a four player mode which is sadly lacking.
She’s A Super Freak
The sound is also not too shabby, while the in-game music (where is my custom soundtracks argh!) is fitting at times it is also quite annoying at others. The Bandito music has got to go, simply put that track gave me migraines. The voice overs are absolutely hilarious, from Tracy Torpedos to Cactus Rose the dialogue couldn’t have been cast any better. The announcer gives a perfect voice over for each track and is at times funnier than the characters which also adds to the overall comical feel. Midway was obviously thinking this game was going to be a hit since they sank such a large amount of time and effort on the little details that make this game stand out on the shelf.
Are you sick of the freakin’ puns yet? OK I will stop seriously but I won’t stop going on about how damn much this game impressed me. Keeping with the usual Xbox style for racing games FF uses the triggers for accelerate and brake while the A button shoots the machine gun YEAH! That is one of the best aspects of Freaky Flyers, you can deliver massive damage to your opponent during the race and not only is it allowed it is recommended. Power ups are a plenty and while they are not quite as impressive as say Mario Kart they will suffice. The tracks are also cluttered with other obstacles such as speed tunnels to give you a much needed boost(make sure you don’t miss these), enemies that are trying their hardest to shoot you out of the sky, and even bags of money float in the sky all of which have a purpose. Each level has several objectives to accomplish and there is no way to do them all in one run. The downside, well sometimes they are not descriptive enough and leave you wondering what you need to do to accomplish them. A small gripe but one that does hinder the fun at times.
Get Your Freak On
While this game is not going to win any awards for game of the year it does what it does extremely well. Fans of racing games especially of the Mario Kart style will do well in picking up this highly addictive and massively entertaining game. It’s only downsides lie in the lack of a four player mode and some incoherent mission objectives. The difficulty is also a bit on the high side at times but never do you grow tired of treading the tracks in search of shortcuts and new paths. A great game and a fine addition to the Xbox library I suggest you give it a rent, ya might just get freaky with it. Definitely recommended to fans of alternative racing!