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HotRod FAQ

Sky Soldiers - November 9, 1999 by BMan2
Game:Sky SoldiersCompany:SNK
Type:ShooterPlayers:1/2

Vertical shooters are a well worn breed in arcade circles - with the humble player being strapped into planes, trains automobiles and all sorts of paraphernalia just to kill things coming down a screen at you. However, Sky Soldiers by SNK - has been one of my favourites for a long time - and to this day still holds it's head high amongst the denizen of button bashing shooters.
Sky Soldier places you as a pilot of an old style fighter plane - travelling throughout various periods in times to "resolve" famous conflicts as only you can. At your disposal is a standard weapon - which is upgradable n the usual fashion throughout the game - as well as 4 special weapons - which can be obtained at the start of each level. As per usual - there is the awaiting hoardes of enemies waiting to halt your progress - and the ubiquitous end of level meanie at the conclusion of the onslaught.
What happens later on this game? I have no idea - because here is one of the enduring qualities of Sky Soldiers - it's level of difficulty is set perfectly as to attract the new player into the game and give them fair value for their credit - but then increase the boundaries somewhat to challenge the most dextrous of joystick junkies. Objects fly thick and fast on the later stages and with formation flying - bullets that seem to track in on you and other obstacles - this is not a walk in the park even for the battle wearied shmup fan.
Graphically - Sky Soldier is colourful - though maybe a little on the under-animated side. However - much to the delight of the purist - collision detection is well executed allowing for even the finest maneuvres in the heat of battle. Sonically, Sky Soldiers has an annoying hum about it - which is guaranteed to drive you crazy after a while. Music provides clangy accompaniment - but whoever gets the chance to listen?
If I could make ONE criticism of Sky Soldiers - it is one which is all too common in arcade schmups. On passing through several stages and building an impressive weapon arsenal - you are equipped well to take on the onslaught of enemies. However, drop your guard for one second and lose a life - and it's back to the truster "pea-shooter" starting weapon - making later big bosses - and to some extent regular enemies (check the Rocket Planes on the Japan level) - not an easy prospect at all. Leniancy should be shown to the player.
These are all minor details however - because Sky Soldiers is a genuinely fun game - one which varies the weapons AND the enemies depending on the situation you are placed in. Just don't expect to finish it quickly.
Graphics
7
5
Sound
Play Control
9
9
Challenge
Replay Value
8
8
Performance

Screen Shots

Screen Shot 1
Screen Shot 2
1999 EmuViews