looks pretty decent, graphically speaking. Midway
continues to impress me with some of the great ideas they're putting out right now. The environments are what make Fire Blade
so impressive. They are expertly textured, as there is massive geographic diversity represented in the game. This of course means that Kuju
couldn't cut any corners with what they did. You have the massive mountain ranges of the first areas. Vegetation is lush and almost entrapping. You then skirt along Latin America and through the desert of South America. These are defined by bombed out cities that are as inviting as a slumber party at the Addams Family place. The desert of South America looks so sandy and real, I was instantly parched, and I had to set up a fan or two in my living room. Finally the Artic Circle looks so icy, cold and white. All in all, the canyons and rivers look really good, with excellent camera effects. The solar flare is even there, making the fighting helicopter experience more real. The only thing that I had an issue with was when you're actually fighting. It takes a significant amount of time to get used to all the missiles flying around you. All you see is smoke in every direction, a fighter jet here and there and maybe some troops on the ground firing at you. It's very overwhelming to figure out what's going on, which can be attributed to the graphical point of view you're given. Also, it's hard to see anything on the ground. I don't know if it's because the ground is so well done, that it ensnares the troops and missile trucks, but whatever the reason, it's hard to tell when some little ground dude is lighting you up. So while the environments and buildings look exceptional, I had a hard time with the ground troop coloring and the pure hell of everything going on at once. Very discombobulating it was.
The sound is about as perfect as you could want for a game like Fire Blade. The music is there, but not anything overpowering. It's a very beat-driven, helicopter-flying type of music. Don't expect to see any quartet in the Swiss mountains blowing on their Ricola horns. All you'll get is high energy music here. Trust me, with missiles chomping at your finer parts, you'll love the music. The sound effects are nothing spectacular, but nothing dull either. The machine gun sounds like a chain gun should. Raunchy and metallic is all I need out of my neighborhood .50-caliber. The missiles swish and sound all the more luscious when coupled with the bassy explosion of a nice kill. You also have speech communication coming through your 'helmet,' but that was kind of aggravating after a while. Granted it does warn you before a missile whacks you or something, but after a while I wanted to throttle my captain and my co-pilot. So, to me the graphics and sound were more like a pork loin with spicy ketchup, instead of a butterfly-grilled steak with a delicious garlic butter sauce. It was good and tasty, but there is a lot of room for improvement.