Snoopy Flying Ace is a surprisingly fun arcade flying shooter. Think of this game as a cross between Crimson Skies and Starfox, you have fun dogfight action and there are turrets on the ground that you can fly into and employ for ground to air warfare. So while the game can attribute to the arcade like feel, can it possibly win the best Xbox Live Arcade game of the summer? The answer may surprise you.
When you first start out in Snoopy Flying Ace you are greeted with a basic menu which includes either single player or xbox live game play. The main focus of this game is the Xbox Live and online multiplayer part, but first let’s touch on the single player mode. The single player mode appears to be in place for one real reason, to prepare the player for online battle. There is no true progressing story and most of the time the missions are set in place to provide the player with a new set of instructions or weapons. Think of the single player mode as boot camp. That’s not to say the single player isn’t fun as gamers who enjoy earning gold medals and beating time trials will undoubtedly have a blast collecting the best times, but once done there is no true replay value to the single player. The single player is also very short and can be finished in a few hours.
The multiplayer is where this game shines. Once you get online you will have the option to pick a quick player match to get the hang of things or jump right into the ranked play. As you shoot down other players or complete objective points throughout the multiplayer you gain points and rank up. Ranking up rewards you with extra goodies such as new planes or pilots and trying to max out your rank will keep you playing for days. The leader boards are also used in full effect here and players can rank themselves against their friends or the entire world. There is also a very creative game type called pigskin that plays a lot like football where you grab a ball and try to put it through the up rights. Interestingly enough the multiplayer will never dry up as there are computer controlled bots who can fill up rooms, and are replaced by human players when they enter the game.
The graphics aren’t anything special, but it’s an arcade game so high end graphics aren’t exactly expected and honestly, this game doesn’t need spectacular graphics to be fun. This game is all about a fun online experience that will keep people playing for a few months and with a section on the main menu for DLC we can only hope that some more content will become available down the road.
As the game stands it is a great arcade air plane shooter that doesn’t try to be too technical and what that results in is a fun easy to pick up experience. The controls are simple enough with right trigger and left trigger shooting different weapons and the left analogue stick controlling your movement. The online has a bit of a learning curve, but it’s nothing a few rounds won’t take care of. I highly recommend this game if you were a fan of Crimson Skies, or any airplane shooter.