Space Ace

aka: Don Bluth's Space Ace, Space Ace CD-ROM, Sullivan Bluth's Space Ace
Moby ID: 6009
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Description official descriptions

Following the successful gameplay of Dragon's Lair, Don Bluth released this second conversion of his Laserdisc games series.

You're playing Dexter, a guy fighting the evil madman Borf who has kidnapped your girlfriend Kimberly and is now threatening the world with his dreaded weapon, the "Infanto Ray" which turns adults into small children.

The game plays like a comic strip - visuals are similar to many cartoon movies. In each scene, you only have to decide which direction of the keyboard has to be hit in order to avoid one of the countless death screens and to advance to the next screen...

Spellings

  • Космический Ас - Russian spelling

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Credits (CD-i version)

14 People

Produced By
  • Superclub & Int'l CDI
Executive producers
Integrated by
  • International Creative Digital Image - Charleroi
Technical Director
Project Leader
Software Design Engineer
Additional Graphics Design
Interactive Design
Production follow up
Digital Video Engineer
Telecinema, Video and Audio processing
  • Studio L'Equipe - Brussels

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 60% (based on 23 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 44 ratings with 1 reviews)

In space, no one can here you scream

The Good
The creative folks behind Dragon's Lair bring us another animated adverture, this time set in the realm of science fiction. It is hard not to fall in love with Don Bluth's imagination.

Much like Dragon's Lair, this game features incredible animation sequences set in the fast paced world of a do-or-die quest. You succeed or die based on you ability to push the right button at the precise moment in the game.

The death sequences are as entertaining as the story itself, which is a good thing to. If you don't know what to do, be prepared for death. Our out-of-this-world hero has got the 'right stuff', but he is also capable of making some rather gruesome mistakes.

The Bad
The Sega CD version of Space Ace suffers from the system's hardware limitations. Our sci-fi adventure is not full-screen, and the high quality, Don Bluth animation has become embarrassingly muddy, grainy and pixelated.

The Sega CD was not well designed for full-motion-video, which was odd given the number of animated and live action "interactive" movies that designed for the CD-ROM format.

To produce half-way, decent full-motion-video the hardware needed a broad rang of different colors to work with. The Sega CD, like the Genesis, was limited to 64 colors at once, with a pallet of 512.

Often times the actual number used was even lower with video compression software, closer to 32 colors on screen.

The result is that a beautiful-looking game like Space Ace has to be made noticeable less so, just to run on the Sega CD.

Don't buy the hype about hardware tricks giving the Sega CD system more colors to work with. The tricks did not alter the hardware limitations, as much as the moved around them, slightly. At any rate, most of the time, the tricks were out of reach of the developers.

Even with the downgrade in video quality, the Sega CD has to frequently pause a few seconds to load the data.

While it unrealistic, given its era, to expect anything more then a single speed drive in the Sega CD, some tricks did exist to help speed up the system.

Yet, most game developers simply did have access to the tricks. The Sega CD did produce some great, 16-bit era, games , and sometimes that gets lost in the criticism.

Yet, even with all the tricks in the world, the early 1990s hardware was just not strong enough to handle an 1980s arcade game.

When you try to wrap your head around that gaming oddity, you may just wonder what idiot at Sega gave the Sega CD - hardware-wise - the green light? Probably the same person who dreamed up the 32X and Saturn.

The Bottom Line
Space Ace is a classic, coin-op arcade game from the artistic genius of Don Bluth. The Sega CD port suffers from embarrassingly weak hardware, and the difficulties in knowing how to utilize the Sega CD programming tricks. Play it only if you have no other ports of the game available.

SEGA CD · by ETJB (428) · 2014

Trivia

Space Ace was popular enough to have a Saturday morning TV cartoon based on it in the early 1980s.

The voice of the game's villain Borf was provided by Don Bluth himself.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Alexander Schaefer.

PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0. CD-i added by Corn Popper. Nintendo DSi added by HelloMrKearns. iPad, Android added by Sciere. Blu-ray Disc Player, DVD Player added by Kabushi. 3DO added by Opipeuter. Jaguar added by Lee Seitz. iPhone added by Pseudo_Intellectual. DOS, Arcade added by Terok Nor. SEGA CD added by Katakis | カタキス. Windows added by Stratege. Macintosh added by Zeppin.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, POMAH, Guy Chapman, formercontrib, Stratege, 64er.

Game added March 22, 2002. Last modified February 12, 2024.