Digital Leisure has been taking great pride in bringing these classic laserdisc games into a mainstream modern day audience. For the first time in high def, Space Ace (as well as Dragon’s Lair) have been remade with the best visual and audio quality to date.
Not really playing like a video game, but not just a movie, the viewer must press the appropriate button on your remote at the right time to keep the animation flowing. Press the wrong direction or have a delayed reaction, and it is game over for Dexter, a space hero on a quest to rescue his girlfriend from the clutches of the evil Commander Borf. Although control is limited, these laserdisc titles give the viewer one step of interactivity.
So what makes this Blu-Ray disc so great? Well, the entire story has been digitally remastered in high definition (1080p) and upgraded to 5.1 surround sound. Besides the cosmetic upgrade, the disc is stocked with bonus features such as interviews with the creators and video commentary. All these special features are also presented in high definition. And for the long time fans of the game, the aspect ratio can either be presented in arcade 1.33 ratio or widescreen.
Yes, the entire disc has been given the royal upgrade, but what about the gameplay? Well, getting through the story is just as difficult as it always was. Luckily, there is now an option to watch the entire episode without actually hitting buttons on your remote. This game was originally created to suck the coins out of adolescent’s pockets when it was first released decades ago. But while this title was definitely innovative at the time, I have the feeling it is not going to please everyone today.
As compared to video games of the current generation, Space Ace is extremely limited on interactivity. The overall playability of the title is limited as to how durable the arrow buttons are on your Blu-Ray remote. There is also the extra caveat that you need to always hold your remote with a clear view for IR signal transmission or hope there is zero Bluetooth lag from your PS3 remote. But since these laserdisc games are essentially in a category of their own, this is not necessarily seen as a hindrance, but can be viewed as a rather unique movie watching/gameplay experience.
At a retail price of near $30, it contains the cost of a typical Blu-Ray disc although I would have like to seen a slightly lower price point or have it come bundled with another laserdisc title. But if you are looking for something a little extra in your movies, or want to play a different style of video game, then this remake of Space Ace and will definitely satisfy. And there is no reason why long time fans should not buy this either.
– Totally remastered
– Widescreen and 1.33 ratio
– 5.1 Surround Sound
– Plenty of bonus features
– Watch Mode
– Still really difficult
– Limited to the rubber buttons on your remote
– Would have liked to see this bundled with another laserdisc game