Chase Ace 2 is the type of concept game that can bring a genre to a new level. That being said, I found it to be odd and at times interesting but, mostly, just weird. The premise of the game revolves around you being a pilot for a spacecraft going to and from different space stations in order to accomplish missions. There are actually three different episodes you can play, in any order, to beat the game. After defeating each level, progress is saved so no backtracking is necessary.
The best way to compare Chase Ace 2 is against Raiden. A shooter game with some of the same qualities, Raiden is more directed and structured. But in Chase Ace 2, you move any direction you want and choose to kill enemies or not. The biggest difference between the two is that Chase Ace 2 has actual objectives and is not limited to being just a "shoot-em-up." You may have to find the exit of the space ship, kill all of the enemies or solve a puzzle to escape. Regardless, Chase Ace 2 requires a quick thumb, as well as a few other fingers, in order to be successful.
A highlight of Chase Ace 2 is definitely the music, as the soundtrack features a number of techno and funk bands. A nice feature is that they're credited at the bottom of the screen when each song plays. You have the option of listening to techno, funk or a mixture of both. The music enhances gameplay and inspires you on the various missions.
The missions, however, are a different story. They are very difficult to complete, especially with the control structure employed by the Chase Ace 2 designers. For some reason, my SideWinder gamepad would not work in the missions, although it is programmed into the configurations mode. I think the game would benefit by the use of a joystick more so than keyboard, as sharp turns and quick stops are necessary. Using the arrow keys is a major setback and causes unfortunate delay.
Chase Ace 2 is an interesting, innovative game. Its sequences are well thought out and very difficult for the gamer that feels he or she may run through it without any trouble. The game packs a level editor that, although difficult to use, can be used to extend the game's life by adding to the already numerous levels. Chase Ace 2 is a reasonably good buy for the fan of the flying/shooting genre.
Graphics: There's not much to work with here, mostly 2D. It's all left to right and up and down -- no depth to the levels. The ships and stations look decent but aren't detailed enough.
Sound: This is a great soundtrack. The techno and funk music fit in and adds to the game's ambience.
Enjoyment: Control issues and some oddities in gameplay aside, Chase Ace 2 is entertaining, for a while.
Replay Value: The three different episodes allow plenty of variety in gameplay but at the end of the day, repetition wins out.
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