Preview: Ace Banana
Great incorporation of multiplayer, great variation throughout, and a bit of simple manic fun.
Ace Banana is the title published by Oasis Games and developed by TVR, and is the second shooter-style title in the package that Oasis Games is releasing. Ace Banana draws many similarities to Pixel Gear in the stationary shooter respect, but that’s where the line can be drawn as it has a much more manic and slapstic.
The way to “win” Ace Banana isn’t by gaining anything, but sustaining your pile of bananas that you have to mercilessly protect with a bow and arrow, which is a great use of the PlayStation Move controllers. Pulling back your right arm while holding the trigger, much like how you would actually pull the string of a bow back, you will have to aim your left arm to end up hopefully in the face of a cheeky monkey attempting to take from your stash. This in itself can take a little bit of time to get used to, much like with the Wii controller and nunchucks in the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. But, if you’re expecting skilful precision with each of your shots, you’re going to find yourself quickly falling into manic showers of arrows when the monkeys prove to be quicker than you’d like.
Now this is the part where Ace Banana has a different take to the usual shooter as there is not just one area where you will have to defend your pile of bananas from, but several. By transporting over to the glowing yellow areas, you can protect your vast infiltrated kingdom from either down on the ground or high up in the trees. While this can become incredibly hectic for single players, and almost overwhelming, this is the best way to get multiplayer involved in a shooter. While you are covering the ground base, Player Two – who appear to be a samurai-style banana, can be tackling the higher levels to ensure that all monkeys are cleared and you can enjoy your extensive collection of bananas (if you have defended well enough).
The monkeys who threaten your general quality of living and eating aren’t all of the same kind, or else this would become very boring very quickly. Instead, there is a variation of primate foes who advance on your bananas, including construction worker moneys, clown monkeys, and even what was generally accepted to be called the Dad Monkey. Each of these monkeys take varying numbers of shots to be defeated, with the bigger ones taking three shots.
Do not fear, however, as you will be given different types of ammo to aid you on your protective quest. This includes icy bombs that can freeze the monkeys where they stand if you blast it on the floor in front of them, or explosive hedgehogs that release spikes as they land on the ground, as well as many others that you will come across as you progress through the levels.
Going back to similarities with the previously mentioned Pixel Gear, there are waves of enemies, and at the end of each level there is a chance to battle against a big ol’ monkey boss. It certainly makes you wonder what these monkeys would be capable of if they concentrated their efforts into things other than stealing bananas.
This is the first title that will be available for purchase on launch for PlayStation VR from the Oasis Games lineup, and it is great for a quick bit of simple fun to get you in the mood for the more taxing games that will soon be in your library – whether they are the two thriller mystery titles from Oasis Games or not. Either way, it is the type of game you can bide your time with alongside your friends, which can be quite refreshing most days.