Sky Force Reloaded is a really cool navy shooter, which evolves some concepts we saw in Sky Force Anniversary…but unfortunately it also retains some of its biggest problems.
Sky Force Reloaded it starts so much like the previous game that it looks like the same thing. We started the game with a “powered” spaceship and faced an entire stage… until we reached the boss, who is gigantic and invincible, piloted by the new villain, scarlett mantis.
She obviously takes down our little ship without much effort… and that’s where the game really starts, as we take control of a new pilot, with a very mequetrefe ship, who will have to invade the war empire of Mantis to rescue his partner who has been shot down. .
Pew pew pew!
the gameplay of Sky Force Reloaded remains solid and extremely functional. what we have here is a very traditional 2D starship shooter, in the mold of classics like Ikaruga and Sonic Wings. In practice, your mission is to face the endless hordes of enemies, trying not to be targeted by the countless projectiles that fill the screen while trying to rescue allied pilots and engineers.
We started the game with a simple gun, with infinite ammo. But you’ll quickly realize that it’s barely enough to make it through the first phase. Here we don’t have those power ups that automatically improve your weapons: you need to stop by the Hangar to trade stars for secondary weapons (holy missiles, lasers, shields and bombs) that really add fire value to your weapon.
This ends up making Sky Force Reloaded a grinding game: you try, try, try until you get past a level… then you reach the next level and realize that your firepower achieved with a lot of sweat is not enough for the new challenges. So you play some more, die some more and accumulate stars to buy more weapons and power ups for your ship.
That’s not necessarily bad, it just slows progress a little. What’s really annoying is the repetition of the infamous medal system.
The infamous medal system
As a game that was born in a free-to-play format on tablets and smartphones, Sky Force Reloaded maintains a common practice in mobile games on consoles: you need to accumulate medals to unlock the next stages.
Each level can earn you 4 medals on normal difficulty and another 4 on hard mode. The problem is that some of these medals are VERY hard to get, and releasing the last phases forces you to be nothing short of perfect in the previous phases.
In almost every stage, you earn medals for destroying 100% of enemy troops and making it to the finish without taking a single shot. It may not look like it, but this is extremely hard: If a single enemy plane leaves the screen entirely, you lose the 100% medal, and any shot you take automatically cancels the other medal.
This makes the first half of the game an acceptable challenge, while releasing the last stages becomes a real ordeal. This “thought” progression format for smartphones ends up making the game frustrating, because no matter how hard you go — with a lot of sweat — through the stages, will need to replay them several times just to get enough medals.
Coop and audiovisual
The game’s inherent difficulty makes the experience more palatable — and even more fun — if played in coop: 2 players can join forces locally to try to overwhelm the hordes of enemies. Playing as a pair also facilitates the act of saving all the little humans, as there are often several simultaneously on the screen asking for help.
We have 13 stages in the game, plus 2 bonus areas, and all have a giant boss, appeal and stylish at the end. The overall look of the levels looks a little darker than in the previous game, although the game remains neat and well resolved in terms of art direction. It’s just that, while the first game was more focused on archipelagos, forests and beaches, here we have more deserts, military bases… in short, less colorful environments.
The soundtrack and effects maintain the same footprint as Sky Force Anniversary, in other words, a very “90s arcade” vibe, with electronic music, low voice announcer dropping comments like “nice” and “wonderful” according to their performance.
Sky Force Reloaded is a great 2D naval shooter, which unfortunately retains the vices of the first game — which are still the vices of the free-to-play format — to lengthen a journey that could very well be shorter and less punishing without making it bad. .
if you liked Sky Force Anniversary — or are you simply a fan of 2D navy games in general — this Sky Force Reloaded no doubt offers a good deal of challenge and fun. Just keep in mind that if you want to make it to the end of the game, you’re going to need to put in a lot of effort.
Sky Force Reloaded was released on November 28th, with versions for PRAÇA and Playstation 4. Before that, the game was already available for devices iOS and Android.