I have always had a fear of heights. Well not as badly as other may have. Rooftops and airplanes, I’m okay with, just as long as there is some kind of protective barrier to prevent me from falling to my death. When it comes to more extreme things such as bungee jumping and skydiving, no, just no. that’s why I always rely on videogames to get my adrenaline rush. Ever since Grand Theft Auto San Andreas back on the PS2, skydiving has always been one of my favorite activities in open world games. Over the years there have been a plethora of open world games that allow for fun and addictive skydiving, but never a game dedicated to the extreme sport. Well, that's where Skydive: Proximity Flight comes in. It’s fun at first, but the sadly wears off extremely quick.
When you first start the game, you are greeted to footage of someone skydiving in a wing suit accompanied by generic rock music. This actually got me pretty pumped up for the game cause I said "hey, that't looks awesome." Then the game starts. You get a plethora of characters to choose from all with different attributes, but sadly it doesn’t really seem like they play all that differently. I went with the girl in the flying squirrel suit because, well, that’s just adorable. You will then finding yourself standing at the top of a mountain, ready to take your first plunge, and when you do, it’s actually pretty fun. I felt that rush I assume one feels when free falling through the sky to the ground below. The flying mechanics work pretty well and can be used with either the joysticks, or if you really want a challenge, the move controller or the Sixaxis. Yes, you can use the motion controls in the PS3 controller. Remember those? Neither did I. In the “Route” mode, your objective is pretty simple. Traverse each course while flying through as many rings as you can. Most levels will require a certain amount of rings you need to pass through in order to progress. Don’t worry, it’s not god awful like Superman 64. It actually works and it’s actually pretty fun. As I mentioned above however, the fun quickly wears off. One that that is not fun about this game at all, is the music. They committed one of my biggest pet peeve with videogames. There are only one or two incredibly generic rock tracks that play throughout the entire game. It sounds like entrance music a professional wrestling heel would have in the mid-late 90's. It gets extremely obnoxious, extremely fast. I highly recommend either shutting it off or play your own music from a computer or iPod.
Now, I’m not a professional skydiver but for a game that seems to go somewhat for authenticity, the physics in the same seem a bit off. For one, you can fly head first into a mountain and bounce off right back into the air. You only incur a “collision penalty” for it the first time. Hit a mountain a second time and you fail the stage. Second, for whatever reason, all you have do to safely land and complete a stage is to deploy your parachute. Doesn’t matter if you smash into the side of a mountain, or hit the ground upside down, as long as that parachute is deployed, you are golden. Finally, it seems awkward that there are trees everywhere and you can clip right through them without any penalty. The only obstacles you will have to watch out for in this game are mountains and the ground if you don’t have your chute deployed. I wasn’t expecting tons of different obstacles in the game but it would have been nice if there was some added tension. The game just seems way too easy to accomplish what you need to do unless you start screwing around trying to pull off 100 barrel rolls in a row.
If flying through rings isn't your thing, there are other game modes in the game but that becomes a problem as well. The problem is that there just isn’t really much to do in the game. Sure flying through rings is fun but it gets old extremely fast. Unless you are the kind of person that likes to compete with friends on the leaderboards or unlocking trophies, there isn’t really much that made me want to continue. There are a few other game modes such as clearing levels through getting high scores while performing advanced tricks but again, it gets old fast. You do have the ability to perform tricks to up your score but they aren’t that thrilling. You get to perform a total of three tricks, a front flip, back flip and barrel roll. Pulling this tricks off are extremely easy and only require you to hold the X button while pressing up, down, left or right on the joystick. You keep most of your control in the air while performing tricks so there isn’t really any sense of danger in the game. The game is extremely easy and you could probably complete all of the levels in the game in one day long sitting. Aside from those game modes there is a race mode and a freestyle mode. The race mode pits you against three AI controlled opponents and whomever makes it to the end first wins. Unfortunately, there is no multiplayer or online at all and the AI opponents aren't really that much fun to race against so again unless you like leaderboards, you probably wont find much to enjoy here. I played the race one and didn't feel the need to do it again. Freestyle mode is pretty much what you would expect. Pick a course, conditions, and do whatever you want. Did I mention leaderboards? If that is your thing, have at it, but considering none of my friends have this game, I didn't really find the need to go for a higher score.
I hate to make the comparison but if you are really desperate for a sky diving fix, you are better off buying one of the plethora of open world games like Grand Theft Auto V, Saints Row 3, 4 and Just Cause, because they provide a fun sky diving experience and tons of other content as well. Finally, there is the problem with the price. Value is very important to me in games and I just cannot recommend spending $20 on this game when there are many more indie games on the Playstation Network that will most likely provide you will more fun and more content. I give Skydive: Proximity Flight props for at least being playable. The gameplay isn't broken and controls well using the controller. the problem is that it just isn't that much fun but hey, that's only my opinion. Maybe yours will be different.
I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. My earliest gaming memories come from playing Lady Bug and Snafu on my fathers Colecovision and Intellivision respectively. It wasnt until I was 6 years old and played a Mortal Kombat 2 arcade machine in a game room at a hotel that I truly fell in love with a videogame. I have so many wonderful memories of my dad and I playing Mortal Kombat on SNES every night after dinner. Throughout my childhood NES, SNES, Gameboy and Sega Genesis were the loves of my life. Here I am 29 years old and still as much in love with videogames as I ever was. And for the record... I enjoyed the Mass Effect 3 ending... sue me