It's Tally Ho and Chocks away for this retro style arcade shoot 'em up, and it's fast moving game that rarely gives you a chance to catch your breath or a break between waves of enemies.
Indeed the skies will soon become full of enemy aircraft, jets, and ammunition, all with your name on! It goes right on in there, jumping in with both feet. There's no fancy full motion video or animation to lead you in, not even voice overs with still images!
You will be presented with a screen showing you an aircraft carrier floarting on the sea. Press X and it's away you go, taking off vertically and then it's a case of steering the craft, trying to dodge enemies and blast them out of the sky. But the enemies are not just airborne, there are warships hunting you dowm as well, and eventually battleships and (gulp) blimps.
The blimps are by far the worst of the bunch. They may be slow but take a lot of damage to take down, but don't worry, it will take you some time to rack up the points to summon these beasts of the air, and as you rack up the points, you will unlock weapons, engines and bodies for your aircraft and you can mix and match them to your hearts content.
Do you risk a combo that means you can take more damage, but slows you down. Do you want speedy flight and continuous firepower with a laser beam, or do you just go for standard ammo and something less maneuverable? Your call pilot, your call.
This sends danger your way in wave after wave and there is little or no chance at all of catching your breath. So if you want fast paced action, this is for you, but if you want something that gives you pauses in action and a chance to rest your blistered thumbs, then look elsewhere! This perhaps, is for some going to be an attraction for others or something that may well make you heistate before purchasing this game.
It's presentation is in Sepia tones, and evokes memories of playing a shooter on an original Game Boy. Nice if you like the retro style game. The controls, well they do not use all the buttons on the Vita but the game is tricky not only in the way you struggle to stay alive (Not shooting by the way, will repair the damage sustained by your aircraft) but actually keeping the plane aloft.
X will launch the plane, and acts as the fire button. The left stick steers the aircraft, and the shoulder buttons act as brakes and accelerator. But be careful, unless you have a tough fuselage, then hitting the water is not a good idea and even flying too high and striking the cloud barrier at the top of the screen also, for reasons I cannot fathom, damage your craft. To be fair it also damages enemy planes, so it's useful if you can lure the suckers up there.
Enemy planes will not suffer after hitting the sea, but your plane will and then comes a big problem. Maybe it's a control issue or perhaps a glitch, but darn it, get too low and you will find it darned hard to get the plane back at a reasonable height to carry on your fight. Maybe it's weighed down by water that you have taken on board? I don't know but it's one cause for frustration. This is a game with a Dark Souls factor, prepare to be shot down again and again and again....at least you will keep any money owned on each sortee, so you can still buy the right mix of fuselage, engine and firepower....feel free to mix and match as much as you want.
It has a steep learning curve but it's fun in it's own rights but there is I feel, a chance that the novelty could soon wear off. There is no cooperative play or online competition, you are on your own. So if you feel the urge to become the next Biggles go ahead and give this a go. Stay away though if you prefer your arcade shooting fun with colourful presentation and a not such a steep learning curve or difficulty level.
Be warned sinking battleships is bad enough, but blimps....put it like this, these beasts can survive your Nuke. Yes you heard, they can survive a nuke! They are not impregnable, just damned tough to put down and all the time the screen is filling with enemy planes and bullets.
This is going to be a Marmite game, you will either love this or hate it. There are times I do enjoy it, but there are times when I just swear, and switch off the Vita and find something a little less stressful to do.....