Space Ace is a laserdisc-based disc arcade game released in 1983, which featured animation by Don Bluth. The original was very popular and critically praised with ports to other platforms being released even to this day.
In 1994, Absolute Entertainment released a port of the game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Though most versions of the game were well received, this port was critically panned.
Plot and Gameplay
On an expedition in outer space, the villainous Commander Borf attacks our musclebound hero Ace with the Infanto Ray. A weapon that transforms him into an adolescent version of himself, and kidnaps his girlfriend Kimberly. It's up to Ace as his younger incarnation, Dexter, to go after Borf, rescue Kimberly and stop him using the Infanto Ray to conquer Earth.
Since the SNES had limited storage, it ended up being a sidescroller with levels based on the scenes from the arcade game.
Why it Sucks
- One-hit deaths.
- Bad graphics that came off as visually off-putting and just disappointing, even if you ignore the arcade game.
- Stiff and awkward controls.
- The game plays out on an isometric plane, but it all looks like a typical 2D sidescroller, so it's hard to tell where you can and can't go. You may fall off ledges for no reason at all.
- Horrible hit detection.
- The game doesn't even use the original Space Ace music except for the main theme.
- Terrible maneuverability. In the Space Maze level, sometimes you can never go through the portals that take you to the next level. In Barren Wasteland, the level stops at the end with no direction and you have to take a random jump to the left to continue.
- If you die, you respawn at the beginning of the stage you were on when you died (just like in Silver Surfer).
The Only Redeeming Quality
The death scenes from the original laserdisc version are included with digitized audio.
GamePro panned this version, commenting that "The awkward controls and horrible, pixelated graphics combine for one of the most unplayable video games in recent memory." Even recommending that fans of the original try the Sega CD version instead.
In an interview with TubeFilter, JonTron said: "I think I can safely say out of all the games I’ve played, Space Ace is the one that give me the most PTSD. I really don’t like that game."