Air Twister puts players in the proverbial shoes of Princess Arch as she needs to defend her home AIR, from the large-scale invasion by Vanguard. Arch will encounter a diverse array of enemies and threatening bosses that are looking to invade her home planet. Thanks to her your winged mounts and unique firepower, she’ll be able to take them head on and save her people.
Air Twister is an new all-out rail shooter by legendary arcade developer Yu Suzuki; of Virtua Fighter, Shenmue and Space Harrier fame. For those unfamiliar with the genre, on-rail means you’re pretty locked in position, but you can at least move up, down, left and right. You can’t move forward or backward. Our heroine has a single attack with two different style of attacking. If you don’t move around targeting enemies, you’ll be able to try and manually aim at enemies; however by moving around in front of enemies, it will auto-target them and you’ll fire pink bullets that will directly enemies you’ve targeted, making combat a bit easy than the free fire.
Killing enemies reward players with stars, which basically act as the game’s currency which can be used in the Adventure Map. You can exchange earned stars for additional health, new character skins for Arch; new hair, suit, etc… Once you’ve tackled the Story and are confident in your on-rail shooting skills, the game offers a plethora of challenge modes you can unlock as you progress through the game such as Arcade mode, Boss Rush, Turbo Mode; just to name a few.
To keep players busy and as a additional way to earn stars, they’ve included Daily, Weekly and Timed tasks to complete that will reward players with additional stars once completed. It can accomplished as easily as starting up the game, beating X amount of bosses, or vanquish X amount of enemies; just to name a few. Great incentive to keep players playing.
While the gameplay sounds limited, it’s definitely a challenge for the Achievement hunters out there as the game includes a whooping 53 achievements of all varying difficulty; from simply clearing each level to clearing One hit Death Arcade mode requiring players to master the game and use their skills to skillfully avoid enemy projectiles.
The game looks great in all of its colorful, plastic-looking goodness. Each level is uniquely themed and there’s a decent enemy variety across the various areas. Bosses are overall well designed and fairly challenging. The soundtrack on the other end is quite… familiar. The best way to describe it is if someone decided to buy Queen on Wish. The melody, voice tone and instruments; it’s all very Queen-ish, albeit not as a good or classic.
The game’s main nuisance is that, true to its arcade nature, when you’re game over, you’re thrown back to the start of the game. While I can understand the reasoning behind this, in 2023, where most games allow players to pick up where you left off, this is irritating. Thank god for Xbox’s Quick Resume feature here. Despite its gameplay variety, the gameplay depth is quite shallow. Oh and also Level 5 boss is clusterf*ck of an affair.
Air Twister is a great action packed on-rail shooter with a surprising amount of gameplay content. Being able to unlock content is always a good thing when it comes to games and having some light RPG elements in terms of character is also a nice touch. However, the gameplay depth is a bit lacking where some players might turn it off after a single run. But once it gets its teeth in you, you’re hooked and there’s a lot of do. Don’t sleep on this gem.
- Great visuals and boss battles
- Lots of gameplay variety
- Level 5 boss
- Lack of gameplay depth