Wednesday, December 12, 2012

MetalStorm: Aces Review



MetalStorm: Aces Review
As most of you know, Z2Live has created a new game in the MetalStorm lineup titled MetalStorm: Aces.   Last that I checked, this game still had limited release only to Canada and the Netherlands (most likely to work out any early bugs and updates to a limited audience).  I’ve made an earlier post on how to trick iTunes into letting you download this if you would like to try the game for yourself.


Overall, I’ve been reluctant to review this game, mainly because it seems like it is not quite complete yet.  There have been several major updates and fixes made to it since its limited release.  Z2 is taking an active role in soliciting feedback from fan groups on facebook which is commendable and it is evident that they really are trying to listen to the users to improve the game.  However the game has been out for awhile now, so I’ve decided to post this review for now and will make updates as the game matures.

Cost:  Just like Metalstorm Wingman, Metalstorm Aces (MSA from now on) takes the fremium approach where the app is free but to advance significantly in the game you will need to pay for better planes and upgrades which can add up to a fairly large amount of money as you progress.  


Graphics:  I hate to say it but I find the graphics in MSA to be disappointing.  The terrain detail, shadowing, texturing, weather, sky, etc.  all seem to be less than you’d expect for a newly released fighting sim game.  Especially the shadowing and texturing.  In my opinion, the game takes on the look of a comic book, a cartoon or an old Nintendo console game rather than a cutting edge iOS game.  Perhaps Z2 is focusing more on game play rather than graphics, which would be fine if the game play is good, but I don’t think that is the case here.  They have thrown in some swimming sharks in the water and a few other touches, but there really was nothing in the graphics that I could find that was impressive or cutting edge.  It almost looks like they’ve let some of their developers from their other games, Trade Nations/Battle Nations do the coding here.  Those games also have basic graphics but have excelled on their strategy and game play aspects.

Graphics Verdict:  Disappointing 

...but take a look and judge for for yourself:




Your cannons can catch on fire when shot by certain opponent planes




Game Modes:
MSA has followed the lead of MSWM and has basically 3 game modes:
  1. Ace Attack:  This is basically the campaign mode, however from what I’ve seen so far, the campaigns seem to all be air-to-air combat without much of a story line, (haven’t seen any air-to-ground or boats to blow up, but I haven’t progressed too far yet – maybe some of you readers can fill in here).
  2. Survival:  Just like MSWM survival mode.
  3. VS:  Just like MSWM VS mode.
That’s it.  No new game types. Just like MSWM.  Nothing new.  

Note the fuel gauge at top of screen - if you run out, you have to pay or wait


Flight Controls:

No surprises here.  Same flying controls as MSWM including screen swipes for rolls and flips.  Z2 HAS made major changes to the Heads-Up-Display, showing energy, damage and other info in a more tight package merged towards the center of the screen.  

New limitations to your flying:
There appear to be 3 major new limitations to your flying capabilities in this game

  1. Deceleration:  You lose energy when you brake, just like you do when you accelerate.  So if you get into a circling match in VS you quickly run dry on energy if you decelerate like you would in MSWM.
  2. Fuel:  There is now a “Fuel” gauge in the game.  Translation:  If you play too much, you will run out of fuel and will have to wait or buy more fuel. 
  3. Waiting for Upgrades:  There is a new process for upgrading your planes.  At times you will have to wait anywhere from several minutes to several hours for your plane to get rebuilt and upgraded.  Oh, and this also includes advanced weapon purchases.
My only response to all this is WTF?  I really don’t understand the reasoning on these decisions.  Lets make the game such as pain to play that we’ll never want to play it?



Plane Types and Specs:

MSA has an assortment of planes, as you would expect.  You unlock the better planes as you advance levels, just like in MSWM.  They are your standard fare and will all look pretty familiar if you play MSWM although some of the paint jobs and colors have been jazzed up and are well done.   
The plane rating system has been completely revamped from MSWM.  In general, the performance parameters are slightly simpler.  Each plane has various types of ratings such as Armor, Speed, Cannon Damage, Agility, Missile Damage, Missile Lock Zone… but it appears that there are only 15 different plane performance specs along with a summary of your upgrades (compared to about 25 specs for MSWM).  It is still fairly complex to tell which planes are best, as in MSWM and would take a bit of time to rate them all in a similar manner as MSWM.    Of note, there are no classes of planes in MSA such as Weapons/Agility/Defense class.








Currency:
MSWM has credits and coins.  MSA has Credits and “Insignias”.  LOL – what was wrong with just calling them coins? Planes and upgrades cost Insignias if you want to accelerate or costs credits as you reach certain levels.  So far, there are no offers for free Insignias by Tapjoy – maybe that is still in the works.  Weapons appear to only cost credits.  Example: If I want to buy the best missiles (the TT-42 Thunderbolts), they cost 2000 credits for 50.  

Weapons Types and Specs:
As mentioned, you have an assortment of cannons and missiles to pick from.  The BUILD time is unbelievable long for some of these (8 hours for the best missiles, 5 minutes for the second to bottom missiles).  I did buy some of the best missiles (TT-42) and (8 hours later) tried them out – they did seem pretty lethal (beat my opponent 5-0).



Best missile
Lower end missile

Lower end cannon

Best Cannon

Plane Upgrades:

There is one word that best describes the MSA upgrade system:  Complicated.  You can upgrade 5
different aspects of your plane:  Missile System, Cannon System, Engine System, Fuselage System and Module System.  Each of these systems have various upgrades that you can make as you advance levels.  You can also remove an upgrade and reinstall a better upgrade as you move up levels, however you cannot transfer upgrades to other planes, just like in MSWM. Most upgrades cost Insignias and they take time to “build”.





Dogfighting and Overall Game Play:
For Metalstorm Wingman, the 1 vs 1 dogfighting is what makes the game great.  Sky Gamblers is kicking its butt in pretty much everything else, but for 1 vs 1 dogfighting, MSWM still offers the best and most exciting experience in my opinion.  So needless to say, I had high expectations when playing VS mode in MSA.  I have to say that I’ve been disappointed.  Control, in general, seems a little sluggish.  The circling physics are just ok, the missile locking seems slow and cumbersome and entry grade aircraft, in general, all seem to suck.  I’ve heard that once you move up to the more advanced aircraft that the experience improves, but do I really want to pay the money to find out??  My advice to Z2 would be to make some half way decent entry level aircraft in the game to get players involved in the game.  I just don’t feel like I’ve enjoyed the game enough to invest the substantial amount of time to reach some of the higher levels or start shelling out $$ for better planes and upgrades quickly.

 
Also, the playing field in the game is pretty small – if you stray too far from the main area, you start getting a warning.  If you continue to stray, you blow up!  

Heh- lets check out the cool waterfall.  WARNING - It is off the playing field - turn around or you will blow up!


Overall Verdict:  

As you can see, I am not a big fan of Metalstorm Aces.  I feel that Z2 has lost the mojo of Wingman.  Metalstorm Aces is just OK.  They really are not offering anything new here to differentiate this game from the competition.

It seems to me that Z2 is trying to mix a jet fighter sim game with a strategy/resource/city building type of game where you build things and wait for them to get constructed....   I think that there are 2 very different mindsets with gamers.  Jet fighting sim gamers do not want to wait for stuff to get built, they just want to dogfight, shoot at opponents and blow up stuff for some diversionary relief.  Strategy gamers slowly want to build large cities, gather resources, etc...  I just don't think waiting for 8 hours for an upgrade or better missiles is something that dogfighters will want to do.  Anyway, thats my opinion, lets hear yours!  Comment away!

Of note, if you ARE a fan of MSA, there is a great Facebook page out there that you may want to join and check out.  It is located at:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/metalstormaces/

45 comments:

  1. From what I heard and read about aces I will pass on this. BTW 1st in.

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  2. Hopefully, Z2live will make some major improvements after all the reviews out there.

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  3. I'm a fan of RTS and piloting games....lol

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  4. Well Z2 has learned that coin users and purchase won't have the advantage in versus because even the best missiles cost credits but you need to wait 8 hours for 50.
    Also now all planes cost credits and the upgrades are free using credits but you need to wait. If your not happy then use the coins to speed up the production which is the only way Z2 gets money through the gane

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  5. Metalstorm Aces sucks. Metalstorm Wingman is awesome.

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  6. They need to make it a pay once and for all system, and more features that make it awesome like DFM and ASM from ace combat assault horizon. Then I would gladly buy it, even if it was 10$

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  7. Just had a MSWM game with a result : 15-0 has anyone achieved a similar or a higher one in a versus mode? I am around 49k SR and that is the most that i ever made lol. I thought up to 11-0 was the max.

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    Replies
    1. I had a match with 19-19... But that was purely for coin gaining purposes...-__-

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  8. I was so damn thrilled to hear about MSA at first, but looking at it now, I'm kind of disappointed too.

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  9. Guys CHECK THIS OUT!!
    In Metalstorm Wingman there is a whole new plane: TX-66 Rattler !!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zpwpyyjwu0d4ahf/foto%20%281%29.PNG

    It has some very nice paintings put the stats aren't really surprising me!

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  10. Has anyone experience any troubles with Tapjoys blue coins offers lately? Most of the free applications that offer blue coins are a bit dodgy recently as the blue coins do not arrive!!

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  11. The S-03 Marauder is in the hangar and there is no post about it. Too much of SGSR lately

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  12. the blue coins do arrive but not till later. send them a support ticket they will respond.

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  13. Nope. They do not arrive! Same applications still advertise. Even if u reinstall them or do what i was told by tapjoy, ( delete cokies, etc) it does not make any difference so far and no any blue coins. But i manage today to get one with the blue coins shortly after. Now there are, around 10-12 applications hanging around at tapjoys site but no way to get the blue coins. Does anyone know if there is a way to get blue coins from certain applications, i mean if my part has to act somehow!! lol or is the case with the advert in full. many thanks

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  14. By the way, blue coins that arrive later is from the applications that since u download them from the tapjoy, are no longer available immediately afterwards from the site. once again many thanks.

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  15. Florovic i invite u many times and perhaps u busy with exams and hope not with SGSR!! in regards to Marauder u must be very satisfied i think. Is in the hangar and it will stay there for long. Rattler arrived today for 100 blue coins although no impressive stats.

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    Replies
    1. Rattler does have a nice design though. It looks better than I expected since it seems to be the custom skin design that was chosen from the contest.

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  16. Strangely the S-03 Marauder is positioned at the very end in my hangar where the relatively low stats planes are. Given that its stats with a first look, are not that impressive neither, it gives u the view that Z2 has made an error in regards to its cost (68000) lol!!

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    Replies
    1. Compared to the Dragon, the Marauder is overpriced.

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    2. Marauder ain't overpriced to the Dragon! Marauder is better than dragon. I can get kills with that marauder unlike in the dragon. It's a damn slow piece of shot that needs 15+ raams shot at it to die. Very nooby plane. If you play with dragon raams/banshee vs sentinel bisnovats/Zeus you will lose for certain. If you play with marauder raams banshee you'll win if he can't hit you

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    3. Actually, I use the Dragon sometimes and i usually win 1-0 against sentinel using bisnovats/zeus while I use ramms/standard. I am an agility class person and it is manageable to outmaneuver weapon class planes with my dragon. Although dragon against agility class is almost impossible to win so Marauder would be better when against dragon. Ever since my skill rating went above 3000, almost everyone uses coined missiles which is the reason why I chose the Dragon.

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  17. I just had a game twice with the Rattler. Nothing interest and relatively very easy target. Florovic insists that Marauder is the best among agility planes!! I tend to believe him. Lol

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  18. I am not a fan of Marauder, but I feel like Striker is better mainly because critical strike bonus does not favor me when I usually use credit missiles rather than coined missiles.

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  19. I use credit missile which are raams. Petropoulos my sister was raping out EBay and everytime you were sending it she didn't want to give me the phone probably today I might hide the phone away from her and give you a game

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  20. MSW lags on my phone that's why I want to play it on my mums phone but whilst my sister had it i played SGSR on my 3GS because its the best game that doesn't lag

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  21. Does anyone understand why in MSA, some higher level parts have less stats then lower level? For example, level 5 missile parts has less damage and lock zone than level 3 parts, same slot for the parts so you have to replace one with another.

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  22. Just reached exactly the 50000 skill rating barrier!!

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  23. I saw tour invite but i werent ready you shoukd off invited me twice with 5 min difference

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  24. Could someone please tell me what is my position in leaderboards today? My nicknane is: X-30 Aurora Effect. thank u.

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  25. Does game center or the Z2 puts a barrier in the leaderboards in regards to the high score? Is it recorded up to 50000, where a date of when a player managed to achieve it, plays a role in leadership order?

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  26. Well still have not figure out how the leaderboards in game center works. In my device keeps on positioning me on top of the rest of players where a barrier of 50000 SR is obviously placed, no matter if their actual SR is much higher. Does anyone know how the position in the game center/leaderboards is associated in regards to MSWN? many thanks

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  27. What type of plane is the delta 2

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  28. What is release date for MSW Aces in US ?

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  29. I found some leaked information on this site:

    metalstormapp.com/blog/tips-and-tricks/leakeded-msw-planes/

    this information is no lie. I assume somtime in February 2013, Z2 is going to release a plane based on the Gripen called the Firefly. Its paintjob is god-like, and I plan on getting it. Tell me if you have heard of this before! Oh... if you can, tell me and everyone else if you can find one of the International tricks to get this plane earlier. Thanks in advance!
    -XX6010

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  30. Very fun game!

    Really miss sets for specific updates, ie set for PvP and PvE set for. Replace all updates - not very efficient and have to remember them all in my head constantly: (.

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  31. This game SUCK, and Z2 blackmales us into playing it if we want the new warlord for the REAL metalstorm...I feel Z2 spit in my eye and slapped my face by making me play this lame game for the warlord. Thanks for treating me, a loyal customer and player of MSO and Nitro like this. Kiss my ass Z2. I'll never spend a cent on your games again.

    Anyone want to buy my account? It's LOADED with fully upgraded planes...I've had it with Z2 after this.

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  32. MetalstormwingmanmanJune 30, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    I won't go running for this game for MSWN. MSWN (MSO)has better graphics, a better playing experience, and MSA, well, is pretty much CRAP.

    From what I read, I don't think Warlord is worth the time and effort. Even though the Warlord is a good Agil. plane, I won't want it if this crap is the only way to get it lol.

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  33. In aces you can shoot down incoming missiles. Cool feature.

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    Replies
    1. Yea, I like Aces..

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  34. Update: you don't have the fuel feature anymore, the upgrade system is simpler, and now there is a wall or something that tells you where the end of the playing zone is.

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  35. I think Z2 should give this new game a better name, um, such as Metal Storm: Ass

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  36. Its fun until you play against more advanced planes... THEY FRICKIN SHOOT MISSILES OUT OF THEIR ASSES...

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  37. Wow you guys... Doesn't any one pay attention to the news? Metalstorm Aces is just a replacement to metalstorm online. They could fix many of the problems in online so they just made the new game. Read the letter from the Z2 CEO if you don't believe me. Online is just getting replaced. As of right now no matter what you think the game is NO DIFFERENT than online. It just looks different. As of now other than the 2v2 vs matches everything other than planes is copied DIRECTLY from online. Look at the code on your computer and you'll see what I mean

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  38. I don't bother with all the advanced missile systems. I just max out the missile reload times and hit points for the unlimited supply of the base missile system and unload as many as I can. Needless to say, my opponents become disturbed right quick...at least until they figure out how whimpy my missiles really are....

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