Sky Force Anniversary (PS4)

It’s odd to see so many bullets, explosions, and laser beams treated so leisurely. Sky Force Anniversary pushes along without much energy or interest in the greater events. Sky Force Anniversary doesn’t even carry a storyline. Maybe it’s aliens. Assume it’s aliens.

Dawdling pace does fit this SHMUP, a grinding march toward offensive solvency. In the beginning, the Space Invaders-like pew-pew, teeny shots fired from the player ship seem terribly inadequate. Soon, it’s realized how much so. Sky Force Anniversary is inherently a grind, but that slow push toward SHMUP satisfaction does carry a sense of gratification. Perfect then for the mobile platforms on which Sky Force debuted, if tedious in long form console sessions.

First it’s about gaining more lasers, then missiles, then bombs, then faster lasers. Repetitive, if also a smart prescription for anyone seeking a softened point of entry to SHMUPs. Sky Force Anniversary gently rocks players into the chaos rather than immediately tossing them into a bullet burner. That’s smart, carrying the ideology of early SHMUPs, often forgotten in this era of swelling bullet waves.


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