Snoopy Flying Ace Review
Snoopy Flying Ace is a game more suited to gamers who enjoy multiplayer arcade shooters than to fans of the comic strip and its famous beagle’s imaginary exploits in the seat of a Sopwith Camel. The Peanuts gang does make appearances in the game’s single player story mode and as playable pilots for the multiplayer dogfights, but by and large the game doesn’t share much with the iconic comic strip. That being said, on its own Snoopy Flying Ace is fun and frenzied little aerial arcade shooter that is certainly worth the asking price.
The flying in Snoopy Flying Ace is quickly and easily mastered because anything vaguely sim-like in regards to biplane piloting is completely absent in the game. Basic flight is handled by the left stick and there are only two speeds available, the constant regular speed and a faster speed tied to a turbo button. The right stick can be used to pull off some canned maneuvers such as a barrel roll to shake other planes or weapons off of your tail. The triggers are used to fire your guns, and each plane is equipped with a special super weapon tied to the B button. It probably took me longer to write this than it will take you to figure it all out in the game.
The single player campaign is a series of missions that are drawn from a pool of mission types. There are pure dogfights, base defense, zeppelin defense, and zeppelin attack missions, with a sprinkling of air races tossed into the mix. Enemy planes put up a decent fight, and in some missions you’ll run into planes flown by other Peanuts characters or the Red Baron himself which will take some work to bring down. While the defense and attack missions have definite goals which can result in mission failure if not accomplished, being shot down is not an impediment to success because you essentially have infinite lives in most missions. Most of the missions can be completed relatively quickly, and overall you’ll get a couple of hours out of the single player campaign.
The campaign is enjoyable enough, but the multiplayer game is where you’ll get most of your mileage out of Snoopy Flying Ace. You begin by selecting your plane and its weapon loadout, and while the planes are based on WWI fighters they’re purely fantastical cartoon versions bristling with weapons. The primary weapons are standard shooter fare such as machine guns and shotguns, but the special weapons are all over-the-top. Some are anachronistic such as homing missiles while others are straight out of a cartoon such as one which dangles giant steel weights below your plane to use to smash through enemy planes.
The multiplayer mode of course includes dogfights, both team-based and free-for-all, but there are a couple of other modes as well. Capture the flag makes an appearance and is played as you’d expect it to be. Pigskin is football in the sky, with the two teams competing to move the football into the other team’s end zone. Lastly Dog Pile is similar to a mode that often appears in shooters that amounts to a game of keep away, in this case players compete to hold onto a bone the longest.
The game’s maps tend to be a bit crowded and to feature some sections that require a bit of deft maneuvering, so multiplayer games are never left wanting for action. The battles are pretty chaotic and the skies target rich, but you’ll also find that it’s near impossible not to find your biplane going down in flames multiple times per match. The game does extensive stat-tracking, and includes plenty of leaderboards and a player rank progression system. All in all, if you’re looking for some chaotic arcade shooting in the skies, Snoopy Flying Ace delivers a pretty good experience for an Xbox Live Arcade game.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 86%. Snoopy puts the "dog" into "dogfight" in this fun and frantic aerial shooter.