MACH (M.A.C.H) PSP Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.6
Graphics 8.6
Sound 8.4
Value 8.6
Distributor: Vivendi
Classification:
PG
Review Date:
June 2007
Reviewer:
Tyrone Williams

8.6


M.A.C.H..
Modified Air Combat Heroes

M.A.C.H. (Modified Air Combat Heroes) is the latest and dare I say it... greatest PSP game to be released all year which transforms gamers into a fighter pilot in the year 2049.

As the casualties of war rise, governments around the globe turn to unmanned aircrafts for combat in order to reduce the casualties of war. With thousands of planes decommissioned and thousands of pilots no longer able to fly these man made metal eagles, entrepreneurs have started selling these jets on the black-markets to the highest bidders.

With these planes falling back into the hands of the underground, ex-pilots and wealthy enthusiasts now challenge each other for fortune and glory through races and dogfights across the globe.

The storyline of M.A.C.H. may sound clichéd but where the story may lack, the gameplay more than makes up for this addictive and entertaining title. In its basic essence, M.A.C.H. is an arcade flight simulator that allows the gamer to either race their jets on a dangerous circuit or challenge their opponents to dogfights in the high skies.

The title features two main modes of play which include Arcade (quick play) and Career that allows the gamer to start as a Rookie and fly their way through to Combat Hero. The career mode also awards the gamer for their standing in the race and dogfight and  the cash which is awarded to you can then be used to upgrade your jets or purchase new aircrafts.

Through the career mode, you will need to compete in races where you must use your afterburner and wits to win the race. In order to assist you, there are various powerups littered through the gaming environment such as missiles and cloak to blow your opponents into next week.

Dogfights are completely different to races and you need to defeat as many enemies as you can through missiles and bullets. The afterburner gauge is located on the lower-left hand side of the screen and is activated via double-tapping the X button, giving you a short burst of speed.

The gameplay of M.A.C.H.. is perfect and it uses the PSP controls to its limits with the analog stick used to control your aircraft in the gaming environment, the X button used for afterburner (which is limited) and the shoulder buttons for attacking your enemies.

The artificial intelligence of your opponents range from easy to difficult, however as you progress, you slowly learn how to adjust to your opponents. There are also a variety of challenge modes and some great multiplayer fun over Adhoc wireless networks or via Game Sharing.

I must reiterate that the gameplay of M.A.C.H. is perfect and I haven't had this much fun on the PSP in a long time. The game is extremely reminiscent of an old PC game called Plane Crazy which is now emulated and improved on the PlayStation Portable.

Graphially, M.A.C.H. is a visual treat on the PSP that features colourful and detailed background environments that go hand-in-hand with the gameplay. Match that with some great looking aircraft models and a variety of special effects from Hollywood style explosions to Star Trek like cloaking effects, it's all been perfectly implemented into the title.

As with the graphics, the sounds effects are top class which feature realistic aircraft sounds with an impressive soundtrack. The small touches such as the sounds of the afterburner or the sounds of your machine gun really help push the gameplay to the next stage of entertainment.

In conclusion, M.A.C.H.. is definitely a fun experience on the PSP that is recommended to those that love those classic arcade flight simulators with a 21st century twist. The gameplay does become a little repetitive but it's still a wild ride from start to finish  that will definitely have a multiple replay value.

Features

Arcade - Arcade mode is designed to throw gamers into the action as quickly as possible and, although only one plane will be available initially, progressing through the Career mode to unlock other planes will gradually give access to the full Arcade experience.

Career - This mode consists of a collection of high-octane tournaments spread over various landscapes. As gamers progress through their career from a Rookie through Pro, Ace, Elite and finally to a combat Hero, they'll gradually win access to enemies' planes and earn cash, which will enable players to upgrade capabilities and keep up with the competition.

Challenge - Each tier consists of five challenges - MACH Melée, MACH Dash, Time Check, MACH LAP and Dog Tag - in different locations in the quest for ultimate glory.

Multiplayer - Players race or dogfight against up to eight opponents over an Ad Hoc wireless network or via Game Sharing with rival PSP system owners for the ultimate deathmatch experience! (Game sharing mode requires only one copy of M.A.C.H..)

1-8 Players
Wi-Fi Compatible (Ad-Hoc)






 
 



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