When kart racers take to the skies, they lose a lot of what makes the genre fun in the first place. Careening around corners, building speed to clear chasms, skidding past obstacles--it's a bit much to sacrifice for the dubious distinction of not being just another Mario Kart clone. So, while Freaky Flyers is unique, it's not particularly recommendable. What the game needs most are more subtleties to master and more thrills per minute, since all you do is fly over almost everything and shoot what's in front of you. I'd like to applaud the responsive controls, as well as the vibrant yet perfunctory levels, such as pirate hideaways and arctic wastelands--but there's no denying how pitifully generic it all feels. And rather than offering a cast of endearing cartoon mascots, FF settles for potentially offensive parodies of people from around the world (Engrish-speaking Sammy Wasabi, Tracy Torpedoes the Teutonic sadist, etc.), thus spoiling the game's potential even as a decent pacifier for the bib-and-cradle set.
Here's a racing game that won't let you race. Your opponents are racing, sure--but you're hobbled by a speed handicap, so you must unlock shortcuts by wrestling with the superfluous, eyestraining flotsam that saturates every course. Ghosts, pirate ships, giant snakes, voodoo dolls, and a huge monkey statue fight for attention in just one level! Couldn't we trade these asinine obstacles for some kind of powerslide maneuver? Or a turbo boost? Or weapons that don't suck? In other words, how about some gameplay?
I can give you lots of reasons you'd never want to take to Freaky Flyers' skies. The levels--although imaginative and full of shortcuts--are often confusing and take maddening trial and error to figure out. Opponents cheat to stay ahead. And, like Shawn says, the whole thing feels like a generic airborne kart racer. But all you really need to know is this: If anyone ever caught you playing this game and heard its so-bad-it's-not-even-good music, it would replace that time you got the porno tape stuck in your parents' VCR as the most embarrassing moment of your life.
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Being a four person multiplayer capable racing title, with guns, I figured that Freaky Fliers would be a really entertaining ride, something that I'd enjoy time and time again, hopefully with many friends along to play with. Instead, what I got was a title bereft of any serious depth, that seemed to lack much of the arcade stylings and fine polish I'd seen out of recent titles.
As a racing game, Freaky Flyers is one of the more challenging titles I've played. You're almost forced to take a fast character your first time out, lest you face utter defeat at the hands of superior foes. While the game boasts amazing tracks that offer a great deal of options, the alternative routes that'll let you 'shortcut' around the enemy can rarely be used to any great effect. The environment is somewhat interactive, giving you the chance to drop tree and ice caves on the heads of your opponent, and in a very 'Tony Hawk' style turn, there are a variety of different level objectives you can complete to open new courses of the track, hidden speed boosters, and even more goodies.
A traditionally comical game, you get to race as one of a series of wackily strange racers, each with a fairly detailed, cutscene packed history. While I can't agree with how the game plays directly, at least the art production and design values seem to be top notch. None of the cutscenes look terrible, and the characters themselves are actually quite comedic.
The biggest flaw that I experienced while playing was the simple matter of the gameplay, as no matter how fast you go or how well you fly, a great deal of winning the race simply rests in picking the faster aircraft and getting fairly lucky. Freaky Flyers does a bit of change up in the middle of each characters adventure mode, having you complete stages that involve defending a fort from 'bandidos' for example, but it doesn't alleviate my distaste of the gameplay structure.
All in all, while this is a fun title to play with your friends, it isn't Xbox Live capable, and has some big issues in the gameplay department, being a great deal like every other racing knockoff in existence. If you're looking for a comedic, somewhat easy to learn, very hard to master racing title, I'd say this might be what you need. Otherwise, it doesn't get my endorsement.
Get your freak on with Freaky Flyers. Freaky Flyers is your typical Kart racer with the notable exception being that there are no Karts. Instead, you are put behind the seat of an airplane and get to race through richly detailed 3D environments. Throw in the ability to shoot down your fellow racers, achieve 6-8 sub goals within each race and select from an abundance of outrageous pilots, you start to believe that Midway might have something here.
After logging some time, the results are somewhat mixed. The game itself starts out promising. It's unique enough to catch your interest and after a bit of playing, it's obvious that there was a considerable amount of work put into this game. The levels are vast with a nice amount of detail. Each race includes many additional shortcuts, mini games, as well as an assortment of items to pick up and sub-goals to complete. While you only start out with 14 pilots to select from, you can eventually unlock dozens more. As I said, Freaky Flyers is loaded, so much so that winning the race almost becomes a secondary objective.
There is a multiplayer option, which my kids really enjoyed, although its limited and only supports two players. These days, it's almost unforgivable to make a game that doesn't support 4 players or online mode, especially if it's a game in the racing genre.
While there are several single player modes of play, after awhile they all start looking the same and I found myself less and less interested in winning the race and more interested in exploring the worlds and accomplishing the sub goals of each level. The game, while vibrant with colors and sounds, at times plays out in a tired and repetitive fashion, often leaving you with the feeling that you are playing in slow motion. Freaky Flyers starts out fast with lots of promise, but in the end, delivery falls short of my expectations. Kart racing fans will find something to like here but for the rest of us, it is worth renting once before buying.