This airborne racer oh so quickly comes crashing down to the ground with problems
One of the titles in the extended Nintendo stable that I wish would make a return is PilotWings. The Switch really hasn’t had any real alternatives that deliver that feel well, and in truth there’s only a small handful you could even say lean in its direction in the first place. When I took an initial look at Animal Rivals I was getting a little bit of that vibe and had some hopes, though understanding that this is ultimately an aerial racing game, I was just hoping there could be some of that polished flight play that was at the intersection of fun and skill. Unfortunately, Up in the Air really struggles to get off the ground in multiple areas. The layout of the tracks, which are dictated by rings that are suspended in the air, is almost immediately a noticeable problem right off the bat. Struggling to understand where you’re supposed to be flying is a consistent early problem, and the relatively close proximity of the rings exacerbates the problem considerably. The next problem is simply in the disappointing controls and general feel, most notably the fact that it seems that gravity is practically non-existent in the game, with you decelerating your plane generally lacking the expected pull of gravity to complicate you simply “hitting the brakes” as you try to make tight turns. Last is just the all-over-the-place feel of the various power-ups that range from simply difficult to use, to overpowered, to simply uninspired in general. Your best hope of getting something out of it would be playing with friends, but even then this game is a low-budget mess overall.
Justin Nation, Score: