Brought to the Playstation Network by Tik Games, a heavy arcade game developer, SkyFighter is a charming and smooth World War II era side-scrolling shooter. Their 11th PSN game, SkyFighter serves as a culmination of techniques learned through trial and error with previous titles. For $10, you’d only expect a limited experience but Tik has crammed a good bit of gameplay in this title, including local and online multi-player.
Progression is set up much like mobile arcade titles. Each campaign mission is unlocked via success in the previous mission and the difficulty amps up in kind. You’re given a ranking after your performance, the max being 3 stars. You have a couple different ships to fly as you engage in air dogfights and ground attacks and, coming in at 21 missions, SkyFighter keeps things interesting throughout. You’re not limited to the just intense battles, there are various mission types from attacking an armored train to stealth missions. These missions are surprisingly engaging, having you hide amongst cloud cover to avoid spotlights. The multiplayer is also pretty exciting, mainly turning into a battle for upgrades versus actual skill.
Arcade games typically live or die on its controls. Luckily this game gets it right. The controls and physics are perfectly balanced for the surprising amount of movements you can execute. You use L1 and L2 for throttle. R1 and R2 are delegated to your weapons. This leaves your thumbs to maneuver effortlessly through the virtual skies. After the tutorial, I was managing some awesome high level maneuvers with no problem, though you have to get used to the realistic decreases in speed when moving vertically. On another note, I’m not sure why the game teases you with support units during missions. They’re utterly useless and often seem to die in scripted events early on. Couch co-op options make this less of an issue.
Overall, Skyfighter is one of the better arcade experiences I’ve had and it’d be nice to have more arcade shooters like it. Objectives are varied enough to keep you interested throughout the campaign and the difficulty is not too daunting that you won’t want to finish, but not so forgiving that its a cakewalk. There are tons of games to fish through on PSN and it can be hard knowing whats what. Spend the $10 on this one knowing you’re in for a pick up and play treat.
- Fantastic controls
- Many gameplay options for a $10 release
- Smooth visuals
- Useless support A.I.
- Lack of ship variety
Final Grade: B+
This review was conducted on a downloadable retail copy of the game for the PlayStation 3 provided by Creat Games.