Time Ace Review

In my first column, I wrote that it’s sad publishers aren’t taking more risks with unknown licenses rather than publish big name, movie tie-in type games. Well, Konami took such a chance with Time Ace…unfortunately, it does not pay off. At all.

The story of the game is rather simple, if not cliched. You’re some doctor (and also a pilot) who developed a time machine. It’s stolen, so you chase the thief through time; coincidentally, you end up involved in a lot of historical battles. As if that wasn’t cliché enough, the main character is named Dr. Clock.

You get a nice rush when starting the game. The first level is solid, and the visuals are pretty good for a DS title by a small team. You’ll find yourself destroying some train, and flying around the screen to shoot and dodge obstacles.

Once that’s over, though, you’re in for a rough ride. Time Ace tries to look like a free-flight action title, but in reality it’s a watered down shooter on rails. Where games like Star Fox made the genre fun, Time Ace does little for it, and at times takes it down a notch. In some levels you’re able to roam further than others, and these are much more entertaining than missions where you can’t deviate at all from a flight path. Why they tried to mix free-flight and on-rails I’ll never know, but it’s a bad idea. Also a bad idea? Not letting someone with a basic knowledge of geography design the levels. Canyons in New York? Sadly, that’s one of the more reasonable additions they make.

It also doesn’t help that horrid collision detection causes more deaths due to "What, I missed that!" syndrome than any game I’ve ever played. Since you receive so many damned lives (way too much for this type of game), and the game is ridiculously simple and mostly boring, the only chance you have of seeing a Game Over screen or enduring any risk comes from crashing into an inanimate object.

As an arcade game, Time Ace would be good fun for a quarter or two while you wait for a bowling lane to open up. As a $20 DS title, though, it just doesn’t cut it. Multiplayer is a bore (if you can even find other people to play with), the single player is full of decent combat marred by bad controls and physics, and the story is just too cliché to care about. Save yourself some time and money, and go ahead and pass Time Ace up. I love that Konami took a chance, but you guys still need to at least make sure it’s a decent game, first. Ironically, the game is developed by Trainwreck Studios. Fitting, given that the game is a complete trainwreck.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.