M.A.C.H PSP Review

Whereas the majority of racing games are road based affairs, with the occasional exhilarating jump being the closest you get to the heavens, M.A.C.H (or to give the games its full title: Modified Air Combat heroes) plonks you into a plane and sends you soaring through the skies.

Races have you battling for first position (now that‘s a surprise!), whilst occasionally utilizing a power up (which are found dotted around the track, and often in dangerous locations) to take out the opposition or as a defensive action.

Machpower meanwhile gives the game some form of strategy. This utilizes the same risk and reward method, that is found in such games as Burnout, requiring you to fly dangerously close to the ground, for the meter to start charging up. Machpower can be used to give you a speed boost, but it can also be spent to allow you to barrel roll (which we must say is rather thrilling to execute, but also rather tricky, resulting in many fiery crashes) to dodge enemy projectiles. It’s up to you to spend Machpower, in the most effective manner possible, boosting when it’s needed, but making sure to save some to avoid those pesky missiles and whatnot.

The career, the games most substantial mode, features two types of modes. The usual racing and dog fighting, which as the name suggests, plays out much like a death match, where the objective is to take out more enemies than everyone else within an allotted time limit.

The mode allows you to unlock further planes and with money earned by winning races, you are also able to customise the appearance of your flying machine and even buy new parts to improve its performance.

This may be all well and good, but the career whilst sizeable is repetitive. The game simply doesn’t feature enough courses to keep proceedings interesting for the modes lengthy entirety.

The challenge mode, as the name suggests, offers you plenty of tricky challenges to try your hand at. These include such things as coin collecting and flying through rings to boost your speed. These are on occasion more entertaining than the regular races, but why you can’t play them in multiplayer is beyond us. On the good side at least, both races and dogfights offer eight player multiplayer and the game does support the convenient game sharing feature.

M.A.C.H is an exhilarating racing game, that is not without its fair share of problems, but it does play rather wonderfully and offers something a little bit different from your usual wheels based racer. A pleasant surprise!