Sky Stage Review
While I was in Hey Akiba and Taito in Asakusa, I threw a few hundred yen into this game. It’s quite fun, but the difficulty curve is steep!
The controls were fairly straightforward, apart from the Japanese instructions telling you that there are two systems to choose from. One seemed to be the standard shoot+bomb controls, the bomb giving you invincibility to get you out of those bullet filled corners. You could also charge up your bomb, at the expense of not being able to shoot. It was all very KOF like, with SDM type bombs, and lots of speech quotes from the characters.
I remember being able to pick from Kula, Terry, Kyo and Iori, each character having a different spread of fire and bombs, like most shooters.
Flying over the screen with Kula and chucking ice everywhere was quite a blast but I was a little baffled at the generic humanoid fighters that would appear every so often but I suppose in a world of clones and the need to shoot down fighters (not planes) I shouldn’t complain. I saw a few bonus icons to shoot including Geese and Ryo, which was a nice touch.
Coming up against the bosses you get the cut scene dialogues that you all must have seen by now and don’t understand like the rest of us. Still, it piqued my curiousity, it seems Athena and various characters get cloned or something. Getting to fight her, and the other stage boss KOF characters certainly hits you with excitement, if you’re that kind of KOF fan. Their attacks and specials all pay homage to their character and don’t seem to offend.
After reducing Athena to a wailing poof of smoke, the bullets increased in velocity to a point where gameplay seemed more like tetris at high speed: tap left, a bit to the right, up a bit, lure the bullets this way, down, left, right, BOMB. It is at this point where I would probably throw my PSP at the wall. It’s really bloody hard. You can continue, but I felt quite ashamed in an atmosphere where most players were only playing one coin at a time. Arguably you get more out of the game this way… uhhh….
I’m still wondering how this is going to look on a widescreen hdtv. It’s got to go horizontal, otherwise there’s going to be one hell of a border on each side of the playing area…
The jury is out on this one, to be honest. I’m a fighter, drawn to a shooter because of the content, not the gameplay. I did like Gigawing… but this is… a tad too much for me. I might well pick it up, but really just for the collection.
I would have liked being able to punch anything that came too close, didn’t some shooter have that kind of feature?