Snoopy Flying Ace

Platform: XBLA
Price: 800 MS Points
Rating: E 10+
Release Date: 2nd June 2010
Published By: Microsoft Game Studios

Developed by Smart Bomb interactive Snoopy flying Ace is a sequel to the 2006 game Snoopy Vs the Red Baron released on Playstation 2, Playstation Portable and PC.

Once again Snoopy and the Royal Air Corps are taking to the war torn skies of World War 1 and engaging the Red Baron and his forces. With 16 World War era planes customizable with 13 over the top weapons. 3 types of powerups and even earn kill streak bonuses.

Choose from 3 types of plane,

Light – Low health, good handling, good speed.

Medium – Medium health, handling and speed.

Heavy – Good Health, low speed, low handling.

Each plane is equipped with a regular front firing machine gun. You can choose 2 additional weapons that can be switched and recharged on the fly. Your plane is also capable of barrel rolling left or right to avoid fire and to shake off homing weapons, looping behind a pursuing enemy and a spilt S move which will loop your plane around to face a pursuing enemy. A boost and break system is also included which you can use to shorten or lengthen a stunt.

The story missions are short but sweet and it while it is clear it is not the main portion of the game it certainly packs in a ton of fun. With 18 missions staged from Egypt to Paris. There are varied mission types such as Bully Fight – Fight 3 waves of enemies led by the Red Barons lieutenants and a final wave led by the Red Baron himself. Reconnaissance – Protect a reconnaissance zeppelin from enemy fighters as it scouts out an enemy base. The story is playable in single player and local/online co-op.

On a normal playthrough (not trying to achieve all medals) I completed the single player story in 2 and half hours. A Charlie Brown t-shirt avatar is award is awarded for completing the story.

The Story is fun but the 16 player online multiplayer is where this game shines.
12 playable Snoopy pilots, you can also use your avatar as a pilot, 8 maps, and 6 game modes. The 6 Game Modes are –

Dogfight (Deathmatch)

Team Dogfight (Team Deathmatch)

Dog Pile (Comparable to Oddball from Halo 3, Grab the bone and hold it for as long as possible)

Team Dog Pile (Team variant off Dog Pile)
Capture the Flag (Capture the enemy’s flag and defend your own)

Pigskin (Comparable to American Football)

Literally hours of fun! Snoopy Flying Ace has a brilliant online ranking system where you unlock gamer pictures at certain levels and eventually reach the best rank (Flying Ace) along with unlocking a Red Baron Avatar costume award. You also join a unique Flying Ace rank only leaderboard to determine who the true Flying Ace is.

After 5 hours of online play I have experienced no lag issues.

A few issues I have with the game –

During the Story missions I find it hard to see who the enemy pilots are sometimes. When you are within a certain range a marker will appear above an enemy but is faded and quite hard to see at times. This is not an issue with the online play as the small symbols are replaced with coloured gamertags.

Two of the story missions are called birds of war, and the mission requires you to navigate through mines and collect Woodstock the bird’s friends. I think these missions pull you away from the action and slow down progressing through the story.

At points the graphics suffer from fuzziness and what seems to be a problem with lines being too sharp which results in some lines looking spiky.

Overall I think this is an enjoyable game for all ages. Whether you are familiar with Snoopy or not. It is priced at a deserving 800 Ms Points, it easily could have been priced at 1200 MS points with the other titles at this level of quality. Although the game has a few minor issues they don’t stop this game from being one of the few must have XBLA titles.

Overall Score = 8/10

Please check out the Trial for 30:00 minutes of multiplayer gameplay.

See you in the Battlefield

Tom Warz

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