Legendary designer Yu Suzuki returns with a wild arcade shooter
There’s quite a bit occurring in Air Tornado. The arcade-style shooter from legendary designer Yu Suzuki is out right this moment on Apple Arcade, and it pushes gamers by way of a wierd fantasy world filled with armored birds, flying squids, skeletal dragons, floating cities, and evil clocks. For Suzuki, who’s greatest recognized for his work at Sega on video games like Area Harrier, Shenmue, and Virtua Fighter, it was an opportunity to construct a fantasy universe filled with issues he beloved. “It’s an amalgamation of the entire various things that I wish to see in a fantasy world,” he tells The Verge.
Air Tornado is a basic rail shooter — suppose Area Harrier or Panzer Dragoon — the place gamers tackle the function of a sci-fi princess preventing to save lots of her house world. It has 12 levels, that are comparatively quick however filled with enemies and punctuated by gigantic boss battles. It looks like a long-lost Dreamcast recreation however with the trendy addition of contact controls; you may spotlight swarms of enemies along with your fingertips to fireplace off a volley of assaults. It’s very satisfying.
The gameplay is stable, however probably the most placing factor about Air Tornado is its downright weird world. You begin out hovering throughout an unlimited ocean with huge mushrooms rising out of it earlier than shifting on to levels that embody a barren moon, a stark mechanical lair, an enormous backyard filled with impossibly big roses and topiary animals, and a desert filled with lethal flying manta rays.
Suzuki describes the worldbuilding as a “collage” of concepts, citing influences just like the artist Michael Parkes and the movie The NeverEnding Story. “At first, it looks like they might not match collectively, and as I used to be placing these components collectively, I wasn’t actually consciously fascinated by how they might truly match collectively on this world,” he explains. “For me, they only naturally match.” A part of making this work, he says, was specializing in “the feel and the density and the colour” of the landscapes and enemies when rendering the visuals. “I needed every part to really feel as if it was aged 100 years,” he explains.
The music was approached in the same method. Air Tornado incorporates a prog rock soundtrack from Dutch composer Valensia; Suzuki says that he’s been a long-time fan of the musician and even “needed to have the world match his music.” However Suzuki had no connections to assist him get involved. So he resorted to a random Fb message — and it labored. “As soon as he bought a really feel for the world we have been making an attempt to create, he was completely on board,” Suzuki says of Valensia.
Apart from the contact controls, Air Tornado does make a number of concessions for contemporary gamers. In its major mode, you may accumulate stars, which might then be used to unlock new objects, starting from beauty upgrades like new hairstyles or outfits to genuinely helpful gear like a protecting defend that kicks in when your well being will get low. On condition that Air Tornado can get fairly difficult, this construction is designed to assist less-skilled gamers make it to the tip.
That mentioned, the sport nonetheless has a extra conventional arcade mode with various levels of problem. Similar to in the event you have been shoving quarters into an arcade cupboard within the ’80s, right here you solely have your individual talent to depend on — which is how Suzuki initially envisioned the expertise. “I needed to make this like an old-school arcade recreation,” he says.