Freaky Flyers update

We get a new look at Midway's slick upcoming multiplatform flyer.

Midway stopped by today to give us a look at Freaky Flyers, its upcoming multiplatform action flying game. The game was 2809986first announced in August and shown off at a Midway press event a few weeks prior to the announcement. The build we had a chance to take a test drive with was much further along, and it offered us a chance to get a better feel for how the game is coming together.

We got a quick glance at the game's cast of 13 characters and a much better look at a number of the areas players will find themselves in. We were able to check out the Canada and Coyote Canyon levels, in addition to several of the minigame arenas and boss battles. The Canada and Coyote Canyon levels featured a mix of wide-open spaces and enclosed areas. The game will reward inquisitive players by featuring a host of alternate paths that will offer shortcuts, power-ups, and interesting diversions. The minigame arenas were enclosed, although the area you could navigate in was quite large. One minigame involves collecting torpedoes and using them to take out battleships for points. The number of points you earned hinged on how you took out the ships--for example, taking out their weapons before torpedoing the craft resulted in a higher point tally than quickly taking them out. The boss battles were an amusing change of pace from traditional boss fights, as they offered unique challenges to players that ranged from collecting enough monkeys to make a "monkey pie" (best not dwell on the visual that calls up) to defending a fort from attack.

The control in the game was solid, with acceleration and braking handled by the shoulder buttons. You'll access your plane's machine gun and special weapon pick-ups with the controller's face buttons. You'll also be able to perform a variety of air tricks via the "stunt" button, which is essentially a modifier button that triggers a different air trick depending on how long you hold it down and the direction pressed on the analog stick. The setup works quite well and manages to keep the action very accessible.

So far, Freaky Flyers is shaping up to be a very cool little game. The game's sense of humor is fleshed out by its cartoony graphics and its music, which features a slick mix of instrumental and vocal tracks with twisted lyrics. Look for a report on the game's debut on the PlayStation 2 at E3 later this month. The game is slated to ship on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube this fall.

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