The evil commander Borf has kidnapped Ace's girlfriend, the
beautiful Kimberly, and is plotting to enslave the Earth using
his dreaded Infanto Ray, a weapon that changes everyone it
blasts into helpless babies. Armed with only a laser gun,
Ace must find and destroy the Infanto Ray, rescue Kimberly
and save the Earth. All in a day's work for a superhero, right...?
Ace originally began life as a laserdisc arcade video
game in 1984. It was released shortly after the successful,
and more famous, Dragon's Lair and was another impressive
looking game from ex-Disney animator Don Bluth - who incidentally
also provides the voice of the villain Borf.
Space Ace you play the heroic Ace who must stop the
evil Commander Borf from taking over the Earth. Borf plans
to reduce all of humankind to infants and take over the planet.
Only two people have the courage and strength to stop Borf
and save Earth: the beautiful Kimberly and the heroic Ace.
But as they approach Borf's stronghold, Ace is hit by the
Infanto Ray, changing him into a child, and Kimberly is kidnapped
by the evil madman. Of course, you don't know any of this
while playing the game. As far as you know Kimberly accidentally
falls into Borf's hideout and then he attacks you. It's only
once the game has been completed that you learn about the
Infanto Ray - the last level includes an Infanto Ray section.
Dragon's Lair, Space Ace has a predefined animated
story that played out correctly if the player pushed the joystick
in the right direction, or pressed the fire button at the
correct time. On screen help is given mere seconds before
you are required to perform a certain action. Hit the right
button and the action continued. Make a mistake and you died.
trial and error than actual gaming skill is required to sail
through the levels successfully. Unlike Dragon's Lair,
which I remember playing in the arcades (badly, I might add)
I never saw Space Ace when it was originally released.
This is probably a good thing, as I still remember the wonderment
and disappointment I felt playing Dragon's Lair: "Wow!
The graphics are amazing! How much to play? A pound!!!???
Okay here goes!" Thirty seconds later. "What's going
on? Game over?! What?! I didn't do anything?" And so
another pound was sunk into the machine. You have to remember
that this was in the days when the average machine was 10p
a go, so £1 (or it may have been 50p, I can't really
remember - it was a lot more than the average game though,
I remember that) was a lot to drop for 10 seconds of an interactive
cartoon. But it was worth every minute.
I was really looking forward to getting my first look at Space
Ace. This PC DVD ROM represents the first ever High Definition
film transfer of the original animation. So, for the first
time ever you can experience the stunning visuals of Space
Ace in full High Definition video. And it looks pretty
there are a few problems. Like old Scooby-Doo cartoons,
the colour occasionally changes between the scene links, and
the screen moves slightly. But that, I assume, is more to
do with the original material than the transfer. The
game has also been given a nice new 5.1 surround sound soundtrack
(assuming you have a 5.1 surround sound audio card).
relistening to the same small segments of the game time and
time again becomes very tiresome very quickly. It's not always
obvious what you are supposed to do and so trial and error
is the main way people will progress. And this gets annoying
very quickly. If you pay close attention to the screen you
can see which button you supposed to press. But occasionally
it's not overly clear - for example an area in the top left
of the screen may flash, but it's not clear if you are supposed
to press up or left.
you get completely stuck, or bored of constantly dying, you
can watch the finished movie so you can see how everything
is supposed to turn out. You can watch it with, or without
the numerous death sequences (which, if you opt to watch,
are tagged onto the end of each level).
aspect of the game that is interesting, is that you can either
hit the space bar to transform back into the brave hero of
the game at key moments, or you can ignore that and play the
whole game as the weedy, scared Dexter. Either way you can
still finish the game. As the strong Ace, the game is slightly
longer and you have more obstacles, but this means more points.
As Dexter the levels are easier, but you miss out on a lot
of bonus points.
interesting addition is that the levels flip left and right
each time you insert the disc, so if you master the game and
then switch off, the next time you load it up things (left
and right anyway) are reversed.
you aren't old enough to remember these games in the arcades,
I doubt whether you'll enjoy them on your home computer. This
is more a nostalgia trip for those who loved them back in
the '80s. This game will provide plenty of enjoyment for an
afternoon, but that's about all you'll get out of it.