Sky Force Reloaded Review
When you first load up Sky Force Reloaded, the game throws you right into the action, with no menus, no options, no instructions, no nothing. You’re playing a stripped-down, military-themed shoot ‘em up with crisp graphics, tight controls, and a pretty catchy electronic score. The gameplay is intuitive; there’s nothing to do other than hold down the fire button, collect points, and dodge bullets.
My assumption at this point was that I was experiencing an introductory level; that this was the game at its most simple, and most slow. Unfortunately, upon completing the game’s introduction, I found out that this was Sky Force Reloaded at its most complex. This introduction left a bad taste in my mouth. Like Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, Sky Force Reloaded starts the player all souped up, and then strips everything away going into the meat of the game. This means that Sky Force Reloaded is not going to appeal to shoot ‘em up veterans, and doesn’t do anything to parade itself to casual fans.
“Sky Force Reloaded starts the player all souped up, and then strips everything away going into the meat of the game.”
That being said, Sky Force Reloaded is a well-constructed game. Controls are tight and graphics are crisp; it’s hard to believe that this is a port of an iPhone game. There’s also a lot of game: 15 levels, each of which has subgoals, like destroying 100% of enemies and taking no damage. Stars collected in levels can be spent to buy ship upgrades. They’re the usual health, gun, shield, missile, etc. upgrades. Unfortunately, there’s nothing unique to be found.
I really liked the odd characters that popped up to give the game a narrative. And levels have one semi-unique mechanic, like rescuing people, which is accomplished by hovering over them for a set amount of time.
It’s a little sad when the best thing you can say about a game is that it’s well-made. At this point, video games need to do something unique in order to justify their existence, and unfortunately, Sky Force Reloaded does not. Rescues and level subgoals add a lot of additional meat and challenge, but this is a very simple shmup. There is no interesting key gameplay mechanic, no waves of bullet hell, no fast speeds, and no interesting setting. In a world where Bug Princess is 13 years old, Ikaruga is 16 years old, and 1942 is 33 years old, there is absolutely no reason to play a shmup so basic.
*** PS4 key provided by the publisher ***
- Tight controls
- Crisp graphics
- Lots of game
- Too basic
- Too slow