Thanks to X Box for the code!!
Like Dogos that I reviewed a little while ago, this is another modern take on the old traditional vertically scrolling shoot them up game that was so popular in the video game arcades back in the day.
Bright, colourful and simple to play but tricky to beat, this game could grab you and once it has it's hooks into you it could be difficult to break free.
The plot is fairly simple, a dictator has gathered his forces both airborne, land borne and oceanic to try and take control of the world, and like Sky Captain in the movie of the same name, one heroic pilot is the last line of defence. So strap on your flying helmet, adjust your goggles and chocks away!
There are a variety of weapons and power ups to be unlocked and bought on the way. In game currency comes in the form of stars that are the equivalent of tokens. Destroy a target and collect the stars it leaves in it's wake, simple.
Once you have collected enough 'money', you can buy upgrades in the hangar between missions. But be warned there is a catch. You will see that there are three devices that look very useful and they are. They are the Mega Bomb that will take out and damage all that's on the screen (Like a flying version of the B.F.G), the shield, that generates a force field to protect your plane for a limited time and the laser. Now you might be mistaken in thinking that if you buy a laser or shield upgrade say, you would start the level with one equipped. Yes you start with it but it does not begin the level charged up. You have to do that by spending additional coinage (providing you have it) on a pre level start up screen.
So now you have the tactical choice to make, keep the money and buy the next weapon or do I buy up now and hope to stay alive until the end of the level?
Look out for cards or dog tags that are hidden in crates. These are dropped from time to time but not that frequently so if you use your life, you lose that card. The cards grant you useful advantages such as making items to buy in the hangar cheaper, extending the range of your life line (useful for rescuing downed pilots, something that I had almost forgotten to mention), bonuses to damage from weapons etc etc. There are quite a lot of these to collect so grind away and you'll get them.
Did I say grind?
Yes it's a vertical arcade game where it pays to grind or farm the levels. Collecting stars, rescuing downed pilots and the rare V.I.P boost your score by applying multipliers to the total. This fills out the medal table for each level and once these are all achieved you will unlock another degree of difficulty for that level. There are four in total and although the attack patterns don't vary much (if at all) it means that it will take more damage to eliminate the incoming waves. The V.I.P prisoners appear randomly, and I am not too sure what they do to be honest, I can only assume it adds to the X Box One achievement tally.
You do have quite a lot of work to do, but it's easier in local co-op mode. (No online co-op which is a shame)
Bright, colourful graphics and some very nicely rendered explosions, impacts with water etc. However level design does not vary very much and perhaps some extra special weapons could have been added to mix it up a little but this is a minor gripe.
The music and sound are pretty darned good. If you are looking for a serious flight sim then look elsewhere amigo, but if you want a fast, furious and above all else, FUN arcade shooter than this is it. If anyone has played Reso Gun on the PS4 and have wondered when and if the X Box One is going to get a game that's as much fun and a big a blast as that. then this comes pretty damned close.
This is fun with a capital F-U-N. Well worth getting.