MiG Madness by Bionic Shark Studios is an interesting shooter utilizing MiG aircrafts. MiG is a shooter stripped to the bone. It has no story, no plot, no characters, but it does have solid game play and a fun multiplayer.
You get to feel like Maverick, Iceman or, yes, even Goose while maneuvering the aircraft and shooting the enemy MiGs. The Russian aircrafts put up a hell of a fight as the levels progress. Luckily, those pesky planes that drop out of the sky have the possibility of leaving behind a power-up or a small health pack, but the dropped items disappear, probably crashing to the ground, so you need to pick them up quickly. Additionally, the power-ups only last for a few seconds, so you need to take advantage of them quickly.
As an interesting side-note, if you have a power-up when you pick-up another, the one you had originally drops out. However, the timer on the dropped power-up remains intact, so if you had one second left on it before you picked-up the next one, when you grab the original power-up back up, it will only have a second on it. You can also choose to drop a power-up.
The controls are easy to get a grasp of and make the plane feel like it is maneuvering through the sky. You have two types of guns – a machine gun and a missile. The two get temporary upgrades that are left behind from fallen foes. Each weapon has its own perks and draw backs. The main weapon can fire much quicker and has unlimited ammo, but it heats up with continual use and then needs to cool down. The secondary weapons only have a limited number of shots and can only be replenished when picking up a power-up.
The graphics are nothing spectacular, but they get the job done. The level backgrounds also switch between night and day, giving a nice element to the game to avoi monotony. However, your plane, or bullets, can sometimes get “lost” in the clouds as the colors change. This color mishap is somewhat annoying, but does not ruin the game much.
The sprites are well designed and resemble their physical counterparts. The game also allows for a few color options to choose from when playing. However, you can not fully appreciate the sprites as the game’s view is zoomed out a bit. The zoom is especially a problem in multiplayer, when your buddies and you want to go in separate directions. The game also uses some other additional elements to add to the game’s feel including varied alphabet characters that give the text a more “Russian” look.
MiG also has a nice tutorial included in the game. It allows you to freestyle fly while you learn the basic controls and maneuvering. It would have been nice if it added something to shoot at, or the availability of some power-ups to fully explore their capabilities before playing the actual game.
The multiplayer is also a great added feature. It allows you to play with up to three additional players while each tries to kill as many enemies as possible and get the highest score. The main problem with multiplayer is the excessive zooming out when players are far from each other in the playing field.
MiG is a fun game that can easily give a few hours of playtime. It is a fun and solid game; however, the background issue can be frustrating and annoying. The game delivers on it promise for MiGs and does a good job of trying to create a Russian-esq flavor feel.
Final Rating: 7/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: XBLIG
Time to completion: Infinitely many hours
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: N/A – Copy provided by Bionic Shark Studios
Current Price: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)
Recommend Purchase Price: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)
Why you should buy it: If you loved the movie Top Gun, are fascinated by the Russian aircraft or enjoy shooter games.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: You hate Tom Cruise or don’t want to be reminded of Goose’s demise. Or, you know, if you hate shooter games.