Platform:PsN XBLA Title: Skydive Proximity Flight Controls: Playstation Move Kinect
Skydive: Proximity Flight – Review
Gaijin was completely unknown to me as a developer and once I had a look on their site: http://gaijinent.com/, I saw they aren’t just a ‘one trick monkey’. A whole variety of games popped up on their list of development. I have to say, I’m not really great at sports games but sometimes, one comes along and that might just change my view on games of that specific sports branch.
I really can’t say much about the story of the game, there’s no history on the characters and apart from looks none of them really have that much to say… Apart from creating a fictional story of your own about every ski diver, you’ll have to just take it as it comes.
The game is absolutely magnificent in this aspect. The character models are quite decent, they aren’t extreme high definition, but the way their suits flutter in the wind is quite enthralling. What really got to me was the view. It takes your breath away. There’s so many landscapes you’ll explore, sometimes from frighteningly close distance. You’ll take really steep dives of snowy cliffs, soar over green lush meadows, and navigate your way through cracks in rocks and look down upon treetops and rivers. Not always will your view be unhindered. There are different weather effects and times of the day that make your jump more interesting.
The opening song is quite catchy, a rock and roll tune. I looked it up, and the name is: Second Life by Tarsa. The music while you dive isn’t voiced over, not that you’ll really notice, because you’ll need to focus on the jumps themselves. The bits that clung to my eardrums are more or less along the lines of the opening song. The characters don’t have voices. They really seem to be the instruments to your will of flight.
I pulled this little tidbit from the site:
‘Ever since the dawn of time, man has been wishingly looking up into the sky hoping that we one day might be able to fly.
You are standing on a mountain ledge. The valleys of the Italian Alps stretch out below you, lush with glistening waterfalls, winding streams, and groves of proud pine trees. It all seems tiny from up here.
You jump …
You’re flying through the air, gaining speed. Arms by your sides, you fly along the ridge, the mountain’s wall coming dangerously close to your body. By moving your arms just a little, you’re able to clear the rock wall. But suddenly a huge rock is right in front of you, closing in fast! You raise your arm up and turn right, narrowly avoiding it by just a few feet.
How much does this prescription define the game? Well, a lot! I didn’t try out the game with the Move controller, but I have to say, the game is quite reactive to your movements. Sometimes it’s a little off; well this is based on how you hold your controller at the start of the jump. It has to be said, this isn’t a game that you’d play for hours… Not that you couldn’t, not that it’s boring, but it’s VERY straining on the wrists.
There are quite some game modes for you to explore. Firstly there are challenges for you to complete. You have to fly through markers, after a certain amount of markers you’ll be told you passed the challenge. But there are markers beyond that. You can then try for a higher score by doing more tricks and shooting through more rings. I then discovered that you can do trick challenges, these were where I got the most fun. You get an objective and have to complete it. The first ones start off quite easy, do a barrel roll, do a front flip, slowly but surely the game increases the difficulty. Now I have no way of telling you if it’s any different for a move controller, but the diving mechanic wasn’t easy to master with a normal controller. Dipping down the controller so that the buttons faced my screen should have made for a ‘diving’ motion, only a couple of times did it register. Also the controls tended to be very fidgety on how ‘level’ your controller was and thus it became difficult to pull off tricks. When you do pull them off, it’s quite riveting. What’s even more riveting is when you change the camera on your character and get a front view or the view from under the arms, as you spin and glide you’ll be entranced by the view. Controls become a little more difficult as you try to pull of stuns this way. It’s also harrowing to see your camera whizz past the cliff at such proximities as you dive off them.
Last but not least, a Free Flight mode, where you can pick whichever track you want and just have fun with the flight, while taking full control over the path and the tricks, without objective. It can also be used as a ‘training’ mode, though the tutorials that are in game give you ample hints and tips on how to proceed.
A great game that gives you full control over your flight, whoop as you swoop over treetops and hills. A great sports game giving you the thrill and suspension of hovering. Definitely worth a look if you are into sports games and want to explore another kind of sport.