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PAX EAST 2013 | Vlambeer’s “Luftrausers” Takes A Thrilling Flight

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Posted on March 26, 2013 AT 10:40am

Vlambeer has been a busy group of developers. They recently made gaming headlines with its critically-acclaimed Ridiculous Fishing, where you catch fish from below the sea, send them flying into the sky, and then proceed to shoot them down. At PAX East this year they showed off its next game: a sequel to the simplistic but fun Luftrauser.

Due to be released on PS3, Vita, and all the computer formats (including Linux) Luftrausers has you take control of “the greatest pilot in the world” as you take down enemy planes and battleships that wish to destroy you. These enemies are everywhere, shooting various missiles, bombs, and other weapons that will take your plane down. The good news is you’ll have enough of a barrier to keep your plane protected to escape from enemy fire, and it will regenerate once you stop getting hit. However the hardest part of Luftrausers is trying to return that fire.

In the game you can perform various loops and tricks in flight to evade attacks. However when it comes times to shoot back flying becomes a bit more difficult to handle. As you fire and fly the power to avoid getting hit is basically choked out, so plenty of strategy is needed to be victorious. You may have to spend awhile making sure the enemies miss you before you attempt to fire your first shot. Luftrausers is a game that demands patience, but promises crazy bullet-hell maneuvers each time.

Each turn you take you play as a different ship, each with its own weapon system. Some have simple bullets, others missiles, and in one occasion a long laser that zaps down everything in its path. There was one ship that had one sort of orb-shaped missile that — even as of this writing — I’m quite not sure what it actually does. Perhaps another time with that ship would’ve given me a better idea of what it did, but for now I’ll let the mystery continue to tease me. You can also customize your own ships, although I didn’t get a chance to see what kind of combinations I can make.

Like its predecessor Luftrausers is simplistic in appearance. Coming off like a title of Atari’s past the game uses minimal colors and pixels to create the actions happening on the screen. What it lacked in looks was made up in its gameplay, as the Vlambeer title knows how to keep you on your toes. Blink at the wrong time, and your ship will find itself wrecked in the sea. Keep your eyes on the screen, though, and you’ll find yourself on the verge of a win.

Luftrausers is due to be released sometime this spring, featuring over a hundred missions with nearly 125 customizable options for your plane. Give it a try, and you’re sure to bear witness to an insane flying shooter hiding behind a very retro look.

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008, where he is a contributing editor and host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck


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