Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Video game number one hundred and fifty four: Snoopy Flying Ace

Video game review number one hundred and fifty four in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is"Snoopy Flying Ace".

If someone told you they had just played a pretty awesome game with lots of dog fighting starring a famous celebrity, you'd probably ask "They let Michael Vick have a video game?"

Fortunately for the world, no....this one actually stars Charlie Brown and his good old hound. I booted this one up today not quite sure what to expect. It's getting all sorts of great reviews, so I wanted to see what all the hype was all about.

Right off the bat, the game tries to throw you into multiplayer, and I didn't feel comfortable with that. I was getting killed right and left, and wondered where the hell the offline mode was. After being severely killed for awhile, I rolled back to the main menu and found the campaign. It's hiding below the multiplayer menu, which was a first for me.

The campaign teaches you the ropes, but unfortunately...it's pretty tough. I was never expecting a Snoopy game to be this hard, but the battles are actually sort of challenging and I found myself getting shot down more than a few times in even the early levels.

I played through a level or two of the campaign (there are no achievements until you get to the veteran diffculties)..and then I went back online. After learning a little about the weapons, I was already better. I leveled up to "nugget" (wink wink, nudge nudge) in no time. That's level 10. Next is level 11, "Wingman". I'm almost there. If you make it to 30, you get a "flying ace" achievement...and then there's something better as you get higher I think.

This game is clearly all about the multiplayer, as the campaign is just an offline version of it. As such, I decided not to chase achievements in the campaign, and just went online to have some fun. It's actually a pretty darn good shooter...and I think it warranted the purchase. So long as people keep playing this online (16 player matches were very easy to find when I played this), I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Overall score? 7.5/10. This game is solid, and has one of the better multiplayer experiences available on Xbox Live arcade right now. Not since Crimson Skies have I had this much fun in a plane game. There are plenty of different weapons and characters to choose from, and getting shot down as your avatar is always fun. :-)

Achievements? I was surprised to find that they're really fucking hard. Online, you have to get 10 "4-kill" streaks before you get one of these, or 25 wins, or rank all the way up to level 30. I am not sure I'll ever do any of those things....but I did get one for playing my first game:

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