Snoopy Flying Ace Review

The sales numbers are taking off on LIVE Arcade with the much anticipated release of Snoopy Flying Ace from Smart Bomb Interactive.  Is it worth taking the flight or does it deserve to crash and burn? Read on to find out!

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Snoopy Flying Ace brings players a single player campaign, accompanied by a very solid multiplayer aspect.  Players can go head to head in all-out dog fights, literally speaking, or they can work together in co-operative team-based modes. In addition to that, any campaign mission can be played in local co-op or LIVE co-op, and you can take part in local dog fighting matches of course. Xbox LIVE gives you 6 modes which include Dog Fight, Team Dog Fight, Pigskin, Dog Pile, Team Dog Pile, and Capture the Flag. Regardless of the mode, you’re going to be fending off other planes, so let’s talk about that first.

As soon as you jump into the campaign in Flying Ace, you’re put through a basic test of flying through rings and taking out some basic enemies. Once you’ve got the controls you’re comfortable with, you can take to the skies and become an ace pilot. The flying controls are very smooth and you should be able to pick up the basics with no trouble at all. Barrel rolls, flips, and somersaults can be performed easily with the right analogue stick, helping to break weapons locks on your plane, or shake off unwanted leech bombs or poison clouds.

The game controls extremely well, the battles are fast-paced and if you’re not used to flight games, you can get turned around easily. Still, with the radar, you can confirm the location of all enemies planes and re-join the battle quickly. To help you out a little more, you have self-charging meters for both your boost and for your aerial maneuvers such as the barrel rolls. Enemies will always be indicated by a red cursor once you’re close enough, or by the more obvious fact that they are firing at your plane. Generally speaking, all enemies are the same, some missions feature more experienced pilots such as Lieutenant Linus. If you go head to head with them, you might find your plane exploding quickly, so you’ll want to incorporate a trick or two to avoid being hit, and maybe take them down in two passes.

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The campaign is made up of various mission styles, including enemy wave-based missions, escort objectives, follow the leader, and more.  A light plot is tacked on, but don’t expect anything in-depth as this title is more about the gameplay over all other factors.  The mission variety is nice, and the levels in the campaign are quite stunning. While you’ll encounter two missions that are regarded as boss battles, they’re essentially identical aside from the level itself, which leaves you slightly disappointed. On the normal difficulty, you’ll find yourself finishing the campaign in approximately 2.5 hours. It’s a short-lived experience, but Xbox LIVE holds the bulk of content for Flying Ace.

Jumping onto Xbox LIVE gives players a whole new experience in Snoopy Flying Ace. The aforementioned co-op mode is available from the start, allowing players to play through the campaign with a friend over Xbox LIVE. However, most players will spend their time with basic dog fighting, sometimes with a twist. Flying Ace feature six game modes over eight maps, all renditions of the campaign locales. You have the option of player match or private, and joining an on-going player match takes only seconds.  Prior to starting the match, you have the option to choose a plane, its pilot, and two weapons for the match. Planes vary from light to heavy in terms of armor. Lightweight obviously offers more speed, but with 16 players firing weaponry, we suggest you think about that carefully. In addition to that, you also have your choice of pilots, and are able to choose from a variety of Peanuts characters. My personal favorite, aside from Snoopy, would have to be Schroeder.

Aside from the obvious dog fights, some online modes offer other objectives as well. Dogpile/Team Dogpile throws players a bone, and the person or team that holds the bone the longest wins the game. Pigskin is extremely fun as well, and it places a digitized football field over a map, and offers players a Capture the Flag type mode. Players must take control of a ball and fly it through their goal posts to score.  Generally speaking, the LIVE portion of Flying Ace offers many hours of enjoyment, and includes a leveling system to compare against other players. Also, if you achieve the rank of Flying Ace, you’ll unlock both a Red Baron costume for your avatar, and you’ll score a well-earned achievement as well.

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Visually, Snoopy Flying Ace is quite stunning, and it’s technically impressive as well. The levels are quite large, featuring beautiful icy backdrops, a brightly lit evening in Paris, and much more.  Lush forests or rocky mountains offer you great camouflage or just a spectacular view when you’re flying around the map. When you’re online, you’ll see debris and constant explosions all over the screen, plus numerous smoke trails from other planes littering the screen. At times it may even be a little overwhelming, but you get used to it, and you’re able to spot your enemies amongst the chaos.  With everything going on, it’s amazing that the game has not appeared to drop its frame rate at all, we’re officially impressed.

When it comes to sound,  if you’re playing on a proper system you won’t be disappointed. The game music is very fitting for the image it produces, and it really helps to put you in the game. In game, you’ll hear constant gunfire, and the “swish” of missiles flying by you.  Pounding explosions can be hear throughout the matches, whether they are nearby you, or echoing in the distance. There’s not really a full memorable soundtrack featured in the game, but there’s enough to get you by and keep the atmosphere sounding fulfilled.

After the battle is said and done, Snoopy Flying Ace is surely a fantastic title for the 800 :MSPoints: price tag. The game offers a short campaign, online and offline co-op, and LIVE multiplayer with a good number of maps and modes, offering more than enough variety to keep things fresh. In addition to the standard game content, there are two avatar awards, and the achievements are sure to keep you playing for quite some time.

Old review system import, no comments available
Old review system import, no comments available
Old review system import, no comments available
8.5Final Score


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