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Anyone that grew up in Suburbia, especially around the Midlands, will remember Airwolf with romantic feelings of nostalgia, even though it wasn't actually that good. It was marginally better than Blue Thunder though - or was it? Having said that, it planted something in our heads that tells us helicopter games are cool. Not only that, it also told us that mediocrity is cool. I was a bit of wary of twin strike as I had never heard of it, no whispers or gossip, not a muttering, and I soon found out why. So what would I make of this one player title.
You get the feeling you are smack bang in the middle of budget land when a game fires up without any intro sequence. I believe the Wii term is 'shovelware'. But hark I hear you say, intro sequences aren't everything, and some shovelware is good - on to the game. Let me tell you what the game is about: 'You control a military helicopter - and you perform missions'. The missions take place in campaign mode, of which there is around 20, lasting 5-10 minutes, and there is also an arcade mode and some quite handy training to get you going. Arcade mode is similar to campaign, but with various smaller scale tasks to perform. For campaign mode you choose an accompanying copter i.e. one that picks people up. A few can be unlocked on the way and they are all passable to look at, it's easy to switch between them during the game also.
To their credit the gamemakers have offered a basic and advanced control scheme, the latter makes use of the nunchuk. But in all fairness none of them are very good, there are stability and accuracy issues on each during the action.
I must admit that flying close to the trees low down is good fun, but hit anything and you are dead.
Before you perform each mission you have to sit through a bit of dialogue, you know the type I mean, the type you cannot skip. Also, the type that is dull, tawdry, and laughable. The characters are actually pictures (the same picture each time), and there are no voices, so be ready for a good read (of meaningless tripe). Some humour and a bit of flirting is interjected into the script, but you will find it difficult to follow and will probably miss it anywhow. On to the actual mission? Not quite, you then have to read a training briefing.
It took a bit of perseverance to get into the game, much of the instruction is metered out via on-screen text backed up a radio communication cackle sound. Why not just use real speech though? I would cite accidentally using up all my missles early as a good example. When re-doing the level, I noticed the text 'try and save your missiles'.
Let me tell you, this is no visual feast. Trying to visualise and navigate your way around is like trying to snorkel your way through a canal after ten pints. Everything seems to be a greyish brown, the background music grates, and having to keep up with mission instructions is a chore. I must admit that flying close to the trees low down is good fun, but hit anything and you are dead. Fortunately there are checkpoints during missions and these are well placed in my opinion.
Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, if you treat it as a budget title you may gain some enjoyment from this one. For me personally the poor controls, ridiculous story, lack of online features, lack of multiplayer and swamp like scenes, was enough to put me off. Don't get me wrong, I like any old rubbish if it is fun and playable, but I had to make an effort to get into this.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
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