One of the best multiplayer games on the marketplace
Unfortunately, a large portion of the Xbox Live community will dismiss this title right off the bat. Primarily being based on the popular comic series “Peanuts” and using its animated style for its graphics. The saying “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” has never been valid , as “Snoopy: Flying Ace” is currently one of the best titles available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Snoopy Flying Ace is an aerial combat game, but doesn’t fall in as a flight simulator. Flying Ace is more of an arcade-like in the vein to the popular “Crimson Skies: High Road To Revenge” on the original Xbox; using very similar simplistic flight controls.
The game features an offline campaign, which is playable either by your lonesome, with a buddy on the couch or across Xbox Live. It will take you about 5 or so hours to complete, and an hour or so more to obtain all of the gold medals for each mission. I played the campaign both by myself and with a friend, and I will admit that if you are looking for a single player experience, you should look elsewhere. But, the campaign is great fun with a friend.
The heart of Flying Ace is on the multiplayer. As I am not the only person who enjoys playing video games in my household, so as a result co-operative gameplay is a huge plus in my book. Flying Ace does what I wish every competitive game does, it has split-screen online multiplayer.
The game has four multiplayer modes, Dogfight (Free for All), Capture the Flag, Dog Pile (essentially Oddball from the “Halo series”) and Pigskin (aerial version of Football). All multiplayer battles are fast-paced and enjoyable with up to 16 players online in a single match. There are a wide range of secondary weapons in the game, as well as a large number of planes to choose from. My only qualm with this game is that each plane’s statistics (Speed, Health and Handling) aren’t varied enough; there are about 4 presets which exist in over 10 planes. But this is a very minor flaw.
The multiplayer has a levelling system, in which you gain experience for shooting down enemy planes or completing objectives. The rate at which you level up is perfect, you don’t ever feel like you are not making progress or levelling up so fast that it seems to be pointless. The game also has killstreaks, at four kills “Woodstock the bird” will sit on the tail of your plane with two pistols ready shoot anyone who flies behind you. At nine kills you take control of the red doghouse. I managed to gain control of the elusive red doghouse through the overuse of mines; I just spammed mines in busy areas of the map and watched my kill count rise to the sky.
The controls for this game are rock solid, you use the left stick to navigate, right stick to perform manoeuvres, A to boost and the triggers to fire. The plane moves as you expect it to, and there is never a point in time where you failed a mission, or got killed because of the game. Every time that I failed in the game, was due to my own mistakes, not a glitch in the game.
The game looks excellent, as bright vibrant colours are used to create a beautiful contrast in the environment; the cartoony style is nice and clean but, fitting with the source material. The menus are easy to navigate and it’s extremely simple to get into a game with your friends. The HUD is well made, it clearly displays any enemy planes within range, your ammo and the time left in the mission/match.
The Enviroments vary from Sandy Egyptian Ruins to Cold Snowy Mountains.
The game also has avatar support for competitive multiplayer matches, which is a great addition; as it is hilarious to see a smiling Vault Boy parachute down from his wrecked plane.
Snoopy: Flying Ace is a fantastic package, priced at 800 Microsoft Points. With splitscreen online and offline multiplayer, a wide range of multiplayer modes, maps, planes and secondary weapons. Combined with a well realised controls and gameplay mechanics, this game is a bargain for any multiplayer gamer. Well done Smart Bomb Interactive for creating a excelent title.