Review by SR71halo
"Crimson Skies: Peanuts Edition is here at last"
It's too bad that we don't have a Crimson Skies sequel for the 360 yet, the original was a lot of fun in both single and multiplayer. Now that Xbox games can't be played online anymore, that only makes matters worse for fans of the game. However, now we have something just as good for only 800 microsoft points ($10) on the Xbox Live Arcade, Snoopy Flying Ace. Don't let the Peanuts theme fool you, this isn't your typical half-baked licensed game, it's actually a very solid and fun arcade flight simulator......in multiplayer.
Unfortunately, there is virtually no story in the single player mode. The only info you're given is that you are Snoopy, a flying ace in the British air force in World War I. Inspired by the famous "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", Snoopy is ordered to take down the red baron and the German army. There are other characters to like Woodstock who acts as your wing-man and Schroeder who is your captain. The Red Baron even has characters on his side like Linus, Lucy, Rerun and Pigpen.
The thing is, however, although these characters make an appearance, this barely feels like a Charlie Brown game outside of the fact that you're Snoopy. Charlie Brown is barely even in it, you just follow him for two missions and he doesn't say a word. My big complaint with this game is the whole single player itself. It's ok overall, but at the same time, it's kind of boring. You have your usual missions such as defending a blimp, attacking a blimp, ring races, taking on waves of enemies, etc. but you do each type of missions at least twice and you can beat the game in 3 hours. It's not a bad single player, it's definitely a good way to get used to the controls and combat and it's worth playing, but you'll probably never touch it again when you're done (unless you love to collect achievements). There's a co-op mode as well, which you can play offline or over Xbox Live.
I hate to start this review with negatives but the rest of the game is where it shines, the multiplayer and the overall gameplay. This game is often seen as the true successor to Crimson Skies for the original Xbox, and with good reason. It controls and plays just like it. You can choose your plane in both single and multiplayer mode, each differing in stats (health, speed and agility). Next, you can choose two of many weapons to bring with you. There is a good variety of weapons to choose from and everyone will have a different strategy in multiplayer. The controls, like that of Crimson Skies', are very responsive and fluent. You can do barrel roles, u-turns and flips like most arcade flying games and you've got your machine gun and two secondary weapons, in which you can only use one at a time.
Speaking of which, the multiplayer in this game is the real reason to buy it. You can choose between your favorite Peanuts characters like Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally, etc. or you can even play as your avatar. The maps are large, varied and very well designed so not one strategy will work on every map. You and up to 15 other players, online or off, can play one of 6 games total including Dog Fight, Team Dog Fight, Capture the Flag, Dog Pile (hold the dog bone as long as you can), Team Dog Bone, and Pigskin (fly a football into the other team's base). No matter which game you play, the multiplayer can be very hectic when there are a lot of players but it's a blast. If the chaos wasn't enough, 4 kills in a row will get you Woodstock with two giant revolvers on the back of your plane who shoots as people tailing you and 9 kills will give you Snoopy's dog house (you don't keep it, though). There aren't too many people on but I haven't had too much of a problem find a game online. Don't have Xbox Live? This game can also played offline with up to 15 friends (no 4 player split screen, though) or you can also play against bots.
Snoopy Flying Ace is pure simple fun that gives you plenty of fun for just $10 on the Xbox Live Arcade. The game is a simpler Crimson Skies but there is no arguing the amount of fun it offers for such a cheap price. The single player is a little weak but what the game lacks in its campaign, it makes up for in its addicting and chaotic multiplayer which makes the price worth it. If you're looking for a great arcade flight simulator or are waiting for Crimson Skies 2, like me, there is plenty of fun to be found here in Snoopy Flying Ace.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/19/10
Game Release: Snoopy Flying Ace (US, 06/02/10)
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