"This game is pish!"
Skyhawk is a game that was just doomed from the start. Piss-poor
graphics, drab level design, useless weapon upgrades and ~the~
number one cliched storyline (Stop the alien invasion!) make
this game nothing short of breathtaking in its patheticness.
There is no intro to speak of in this game, quite possibly because
there's no plot either. Yes, I know, shmups aren't required
to have a good story. But this one doesn't even try. All you
know is you're supposed to blow up stuff, pick up a few scientists
along the way to build a big gun, and then destroy the alien
invasion. Which takes us to the various missions...
Missions 1, 3, 5, 7 -
Destroy Enemy Base. Basically, you fly through the level and
once you get to the end you've got this diamond with domes at
each point, and another dome in the center. If you get in front
of any of these, they will shoot at you, otherwise you just
sit and stare at each other. As you progress the cannons fire
a bit faster, but it is still a pretty mindless fight. In missions
3 and 7 the action is considerably faster, and your plane flies
at breakneck speed through the level until you've died once.
Missions 2, 6
- Drop Off Supplies. For whatever reason, you must fly through
these levels and at two marked locations you drop supplies out
of your plane like a bomb, trying to hit a hole in the ground.
Vaguely interesting is that if you miss, the level loops until
you get it right. So if you're looking for points or credits,
this is probably the easiest route.
Missions 4, 8 -
Pick Up Scientist. These are amazingly similar to all the odd-numbered
levels, except in this case when you get to the end, you see
the scientist being held prisoner by... Four pyramids with cannons
on them! Oh, the horror! Destroy them just as you destroy the
bases, then blow up the pyramid-like cage the scientist is in
and you're done here.
Mission 8 (Part 3) -
Destroy Alien Mothership. A very bland game ends with an equally
bland final boss, a big red mass of missile launchers on stalks.
Just destroy all the outer eyes (One shot kills each one), then
the central one opens up, and the attack is exactly the same!
15-20 shots into the middle eye and you've completed the game.
No ending, either... You get a quick "Congratulations -
Alien Invasion Destroyed" message on the mission screen,
then Game Over. Truly pathetic.
Each mission has three parts actually, and except for the final
mission the second and third parts of each mission are the same.
After the first bit (what I detailed above), you have to survive
about 30 planes in a Top Gun (or Afterburner) type of plane
shooter. As you go through the game, the enemy planes go from
firing no missiles at all to more or less every one getting
a shot off on you before you take them down. Even so the enemies
only come out of six places or so, and the missiles are easily
Part three is rather simple, you simply fly back up into space
and have to dock with your station. It rotates, so you have
to time your approach to match the station's speed, or you'll
crash into the side. Really, that's making it more complex than
it is. Fly up level with the entrance, and hit the dock button
when the rotating station lines up with your plane. Simple as
that. Once you dock, you get the chance to spend credits you've
picked up along the way for upgrades to your plane. You can
buy two types of missiles and some bombs, but I find them totally
unnecessary. Just worry about your cannon. 40 credits (which
you should have in two missions) will take you to level 5, and
you can take the rest of the game in automatic. =)
One of the most frustrating things about this game is despite
small changes in the play, it all seems so very much the same.
The enemies are amazingly similar, in fact it seems like all
they did to change them around was to switch the sprite and
change how they moved a bit. All their shots are the same, unfortunately.
The scenery is amazingly similar as well, and almost unbelievably
bland throughout. Simple pyramids with a stick make up trees
(nevermind that they're the same color as the ground under them),
and the whole battlefield is essentially a grid with a few areas
elevated so you can't go absolutely everywhere.
The sound in this game is fairly laughable as well. Music is
totally nonexistent while you're actually playing, and the few
simple ditties during the screens in between do little to satisfy.
The sound effects fare a touch better, but not much. Your engine,
your gun firing, the sound of your bullets hitting stuff, and
the sound of the enemy firing back are going to be 90% of what
you hear. The other 10% is comprised of the sound the planes
make as they pass you by in part two of each mission.
The actual control of the plane is passable, but nothing to
write home about. You can change your altitude, which seems
totally pointless because you can hit ground targets from anywhere.
So crank it up to the maximum and you'll have a few less obstacles
to deal with. Otherwise, the steering of the plane is easy enough.
Are you turned off yet? Would you like some more? =) This is
perhaps a bit nitpicky, but you ~never~ see the cannon you spent
8 missions getting together in action! Once both halves are
ready (Thanks to the scientists you rescued), all that's left
is one final plane fight and then the mothership battle. But
you still just use your regular gun for both of those. It just
leaves you feeling like you could have saved 30 minutes or so
getting to the end just by taking on the mothership from the
All this is not to say the game is a total abomination. I have
seen worse efforts, although this is coming pretty close. Despite
it all, the game is actually somewhat fun to play about halfway
through, and then the monotony of it all just ruins it. It's
certainly not worth any amount of cash for the cartridge except
to the most die-hard collector that ~has~ to have one. There
are far better NES shmups to play. The true shame, I think,
is knowing that Rare had a hand in this mess, even though they
usually cranked out much, much better titles then (Battletoads,
anyone?), and they still do now. This is just an ugly blemish
on their track record.
didn't gave a score to game, so I refrain of putting any number
here, unless Brian tells me to.
"This game rules!"
CAPTAIN SKYHAWK IS DA BOMBEST!!!!
is entitled to their opinion, least of all me! So I'll
give it to you . I truly love this game...not because
it's all serious "I am the earth's last hope" type
gungho game but because it is corny and whacky. The game
is a blast to play in my humble opinion, its like one of those
over the top B movies that I just love for some reason.
Actually when Captain Skyhawk was originaly released it had
the best graphics available for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Not to mention it had a style so uniqe that Layer Selection
2 was the only game that ever really duplicated its style.
And as for music...pshht...who needs in-game stuff...hell its
not really an issue for me on the NES, since the last NES game
I reviewed got 9/10 and it only had one in-game BGM.
my book, a 9/10 NES Shmup dont get any better than this :-)
course I like to review Shmups as comparing them to the system's
potential and the other games in the same catagory. Thats
why I gave Macross NES high marks...and why I'll do it with
this one and continue to do with other Shmups.
to Brian...dont expect much from NES games nowdays, cause you'll
get a whole lot less.
who has ever seen the box to this game can attest to its wackyness.
He He He...geez, even the box was wacky...hahahaha...GOD I LOVED
ya later aviator