Flying High


Title		Flying High
Game Type	Driving
Players		1-4
Compatibility	AGA and 6 Mb RAM
HD Installable	Yes
Submission	Kristian Hesketh Profiled Reviewer

Review
Flying High is a first person perspective 3D texture-mapped racer and is
currently the most realistic looking driving game on the Classic Amiga.
The graphics are very good, especially in stills. It was released with
disappointment from the Amiga press and got pretty poor reviews. Since
then, the v1.05 patch came out and rectified the game's main problem,
handling.

The game looks very professional, right from the beginning and there is a
nice, short 3D animation before the actual options screen appears. The
options screen is evily disguised, just to make it slighty harder to play
the game. Different parts of the screen need to be clicked on to continue.

Setting up your game is relatively easy. Type in the save game name, your
player name and you're away. You can choose the resolution you run the
game at, the highest being 320x256 and the other being half the
resolution. You can also choose the sight distance, which sacrifices the
distance you can see for speed. The fire button can be used to accelerate
too.

The track loads and after the green light has appeared, you can begin your
race. All the cars look identical apart from the colour of each, but that
really isn't a problem. The old fault of handling has been removed and the
cars now turn in a much more acceptable manner. The handling isn't
perfect, but the game is infinitely more playable with good control.

Mastering the control of your car is essential as you really cannot afford
to keep hitting the enemy cars. They are slightly slower than you, but if
you end up in a tussle, it's always you who pays the price.

Once you have learnt to weave effectively around the track it becomes
clear that you need the sight distance at maximum. It becomes very hard
when a tree/bush/barrel appears out of nowhere to reduce your speed very
effectively.

The artificial intelligence of the cars is pretty poor and each car seems
to have an identical driver. They hit the same obstacles in the same place
everytime and if you don't get involved they stay in the same formation
around the whole track.

The graphics of the game are the main selling point and they whizz by at a
fair pace with an 060. There are tricks to make the engine look more
complicated (false lighting in the tunnels) and the roadside objects look
spectacular. The roads look ridden over, the cities looked lived in and
the forests look like a collection of trees. The graphics really are
something special.

The early tracks are nicely done. There are plently of hills and curves to
keep you interested and there are not many obstacles. Some of the later
tracks (e.g. snow) are unspeakably awful, but you can just ignore them,
like me.

Playing the game, randomly picking out levels, makes it quite hard to make
progress, but if you choose to compete for a Cup you can collect the coins
lying around to get SpeedTyres or an engine upgrade. This makes it much
easier on the harder tracks to do well. Rockets and Missiles are of course
included and also Spiked Tyres, although their purpose is harder to find...

The ingame tunes of Flying High could be described as rock and are actually
quite good. The engine sounds are a little high pitched perhaps, but it does
sound like you are driving which is surprisingly important (although players
of TurboRacer may disagree).

As the intelligence of the enemy cars is poor, the 2Player ooption is a
godsend. Racing a mate around the tracks is enormous fun. With a 4Player
adapter, 4 people can race around the same track. If you do play
multiplayer Flying High you will notice a small quirk. The coders, in
their infinite wisdom, designed it so that the car being controlled is
always red and the opponent is always yellow, for everyone. Yes, everyone.
This can make it hard to tell whats going on early in a race.

I reccommend this game, but only if you have a mate to compete against AND
if you have a really (really) speedy processor. You really need it 320x256
with the sight distance on full to fully enjoy the game. My 060/75 can do
it while running a smooth game, but anything less may start to struggle a
bit. I personally rate this behind Stunt Car Racer and XTR but it is still
a great drive if you have the kit.




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