Skies of Fury DX (Switch eShop) Review
There’s a bunch of mobile phone ports on the Nintendo Switch, some of them are downright offensive keeping their portrait orientation, microtransactions left in and more. Then you have something like Skies of Fury DX at the opposite end of the spectrum. An already solid game made better on the Switch by taking the time to adapt it to the controls and all that the system has to offer.
Set in WWI and a loose story based on real history, Skies of Fury allows you take on the war from both sides over 100 missions. There are three types of missions, deathmatch, escort missions and timed courses, of course, none of that is authentic to the time period – but let’s just overlook that for the minute. Deathmatch is you against the rest, the escort missions aren’t as horrible as you think escort missions would be. Timed courses see you take on a route either flying through rings and/or shooting down targets.
The 100 missions are spread over five chapters, each with 20 missions – ten missions each for each side. The problem with them is that after a while they’re all pretty much the same. The ‘campaign’ of the game is pretty thin, you battle, you unlock things and so forth – it can get very repetitive after a while. At the end of each chapter, you get a comic page which tells the story of Bloody April, and that’s about it for the story. Skies of Fury DX shows its mobile past in this aspect, playing hours upon hours of this game in one block (at least singleplayer) is laborious, but to come back and play it bit-by-bit and it’s way more fun.
The flight combat on offer is pretty tight. The controls take a little while to get used to, the left stick controls the throttle and yaw, the right stick the pitch and roll. The old WWI plays aren’t super maneuverable, and there are no arrows on the side of the screen to tell you where to go, there’s instead camera targeting system which pans the camera around to your nearest enemy (or you can flick between them with L or R). This mode is removed when you play with the Joy-Con on its side as well.
There’s more to the game than just picking a plane and shooting. Different planes have different abilities and they can all be upgraded as well. Upgrading your skills on one plane upgrades them on all, and there’s a lot of planes in the game so this is a welcome inclusion. There are three categories of skills, Sniper, Gunner, and Survivor. The Sniper skills improve accuracy and critical hits, Gunner boosts firing range and damage and Survivor mode is all about your health. There’s an ultimate ability which fills up over time as well, it boosts your firing rate, damage resistance and can stop the clock on timed courses.
Each mission in the campaign also has the ability to turn on some extra challenges. If you fulfill the requirements of the challenges you’ll get some extra XP and it gives you extra loot boxes. Oh no! A bad word! Fear nor as despite being called loot boxes there’s absolutely no pay to win in this game, the boxes are given out liberally as well and only contain skins for planes and other cosmetic changes. You’ll get experience as a refund if you get duplicates, but this could take a while there’s plenty of skins to unlock and you can’t use a lot of the skins on plays you haven’t unlocked yet.
It’s not all campaign, there’s also a survival mode which sees you take on waves of ever increasing enemies. You can do this yourself, with a bot or with up to four other players in split-screen. There’s also standard versus for taking on your friends and the game supports a number of controller configurations including the Pro Controller. Sadly at this stage, there’s no online multiplayer, but the split-screen is a ton of fun.
The cel-shaded style of Skies of Fury DX isn’t something you see much in 2018, the early 2000s was filled cel-shaded games and it’s great to see it here again. The game not only looks good, it’s also presented well and performs great on the Switch both in handheld and docked. The game’s soundtrack is decent enough, but there’s something lacking with the lack of an announcer or quips and barbs from the pilots as they take things out or have a victory.
Skies of Fury DX is a tidy little shooter that’s a ton of fun, just remember to spread it out a little or it can get repetitive. The game has been brought over from mobile, updated and adapted to live on the Switch with fun multiplayer and co-op modes. There’s a ton of fun to be had with Skies of Fury DX.
- Tons of content
- Splitscreen is still super fun
- Cel-shaded graphics
- The campaign can get repetitive
- Could with voices to add character