Skies of Fury DX (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 13.04.2020

Review for Skies of Fury DX on Nintendo Switch

The Great War was over 100 years ago, yet video games and movies still turn to this world wide event for inspiration, lest people forget. How far does Skies of Fury DX dig into the lore of WWI, and discerns itself from its mobile game counterpart, Ace Academy: Skies of Fury? Read on to find out, as Cubed3 takes a look at it on the Switch.

Booting up Skies of Fury DX illustrates its core theme. It is a military style war game that centres its gameplay around aerial battles. Every single one in here is featured in a generic sky, either during the day, dusk, or night, stylised and illustrated in comic-book-esque graphics. From afar, or to those not overly familiar with WWI planes, each of the planes look relatively similar to one another. To remedy this Illumination Games has included a number of customisable skins to adorn each of the playable planes. In the mobile title, these skins and customisable crosshairs are unlocked through paid loot boxes, but the Nintendo Switch version does not have any of this. Instead customisable elements are unlocked through playing through the campaign mode and by opening loot boxes earned through in-game currency.

Screenshot for Skies of Fury DX on Nintendo Switch

The campaign mode features 100 missions to plough through, although they are centred on three different mission types; eliminate all enemies, fly through the rings, and escort your allies. These missions are often rotated to keep things fresh and progressively get harder throughout the campaign, which is split across five chapters, half of which are played as the British, and the other half are played as the Germans. The story is loosely told through a set of comic strips that is unlocked at the end of each chapter.

Each type of mission is enjoyable and satisfying, with clever AI on enemy planes, good use of clouds to create areas of cover, and a fast-paced fly through the rings and smash the targets mode to change things up. New planes are unlocked as the campaign progresses to help with the increasing difficulty, each have their own level of durability, performance, turn speed and weapon damage. On top of this, there is a skill tree of abilities that can be applied to the pilot, fixated on increasing defences, accuracy, reload speed, and weapon damage. These are all underlying elements that are evidence that Skies of Fury DX was born on a mobile platform, but aren't exactly out of place in modern day gaming for consoles.

Screenshot for Skies of Fury DX on Nintendo Switch

Graphically Skies of Fury DX impresses. Sure the background, or in this case, ground, looks a little generic, with green fields and blurry textures, yet the cel-shaded stylised planes and clouds do look great. The music is what you would expect it to be for a war-based title with an upbeat, charged tempo, and the sound effects of planes, guns, ricochets, and bullets are all greatly represented. Even using the battering ram on the front of the plane to finish off opponents creates a satisfying crunch.

The Nintendo Switch version of Skies of Fury DX fixes the finicky controls from the mobile port, with the twin sticks being able to speed up/slow down and tilt/roll the plane. Loop-the-loops and barrel rolls are executed by pressing buttons on the dpad; both are effective methods to get out of a sticky situation when the enemy is hot on the player's tail. Plus, there is nothing better than executing a loop-the-loop, slamming the breaks on, and catching an opponent off guard.

Screenshot for Skies of Fury DX on Nintendo Switch

To mix up the gameplay, Skies of Fury DX also features a Versus mode that pits up to four human players in enigmatic dogfights against each other, with CPUs making up any additional allies. There is also a Survival mode, which can be played alone or with three others, and this features wave after wave of enemies, which progressively get harder. Utilising all the skills of barrel rolling and evasion is the key to survival here.

Thankfully, Skies of Fury DX can be played with a single Joycon, but doing so does change up the control scheme, which maps the throttle and brakes to the face buttons and the evasion manoeuvres to the SL/SR buttons. This isn't the most intuitive set up, but the fact that Illumination Games made the effort to include it as a possibility should be lauded.

Screenshot for Skies of Fury DX on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Simple, yet satisfying. Skies of Fury DX is a mobile title that belongs on the Nintendo Switch. A quick pick-up-and-play experience that has appealing audio-visuals, can be enjoyed in short bursts, and has flexible multiplayer options. The only downside is the lack of variety in the types of stages and missions that are on offer, particularly for the current, £14.59 price tag.

Developer

IlluminationGames

Publisher

IlluminationGames

Genre

Shooter

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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