Air Twister Review - Repetitious Fantasy
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Air Twister Review - Repetitious Fantasy

Yu Suzuki has been making games longer than most of us have been playing them. Today he is best known as the creator of Shenmue, but he has a long history of innovating in arcades with titles like 1985's Space Harrier and the Virtua Fighter series. Air Twister on Apple Arcade represents a return to his arcade origins while also taking some lore and story lessons learned from Shenmue. But overall, the experience ends up feeling repetitive without being particularly rewarding.

Air Twister begins strong with playable protagonist Princess Arch responding to an alien invasion threat on her home planet. She soars through the air alongside gigantic swans flying past massive mushrooms to a soundtrack from dutch composer Valensia that truly sounds like nothing I've heard in a video game. The visuals and music are a joy to take in, but the repetition stagnates the experience quickly as every playthrough (and there are a lot of playthroughs) is identical.

Combating the alien invasion takes the form of an on-rails shooter that feels like a cross between Panzer Dragoon and Star Fox. As you fly forward you tap the screen to fire at enemies, or swipe across them to lock on to a handful and launch a collection of homing attacks. I found using a controller to be much more manageable, as it made moving Princess Arch out of the way of attacks while still locking onto enemies easier. I never found this style of play to be particularly compelling and during the last few levels I found success by just tapping the fire button repeatedly and moving Princess Arch constantly in random directions to dodge attacks, which wasn't strategic or interesting.

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