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 Review: Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter (3DS eShop)

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PostReview: Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter (3DS eShop)

Soaring High Amongst the Competition
Raise your hand if you have ever heard of the original Thorium Wars? It's ok if you haven't, the DSiWare game launched back in 2009, and sported a 1000 Nintendo Points price tag. At the time, this was the first game to go above 800 points on DSiWare, and was rather controversial. Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter is available for $7.99, and while the price drop compared to the original makes the sequel more favorable, is Attack of the Skyfighter an improvement over the original?

Perhaps the biggest surprise about Attack of the Skyfighter is that you can't pilot land based vehicles as you could in the DSiWare original. This restricts all gameplay to the skies, although, with this installment of Thorium Wars' title, it would be odd if you didn't spend a fair amount of time in the air. The story in the Thorium Wars games is that a group of aliens called the Thorions are invading, and you must fight to defend your planet and repel the invasion. At your disposal are three aircraft to choose from, a small craft with low attack and defense but can drive circles around the competition. This particular craft reminds us of the Snow Speeders from Star Wars Episode V. Following the light armored vehicle, we get an average all around fighter, and a heavy jet, heavy on offense and defense but sacrifices speed for power.

Picking the vehicle best suited for you is important, perhaps even more in this game than others. Attack of the Skyfighter handles more like a flight simulator than a futuristic space fighter. If you fly straight into the wall, chances are you will lose most of your health, if not dying upon contact. Same rules apply to enemy fighters too if you collide with them. Surprisingly the enemies don't also die upon contact, apparently the Thorions make better armor than we make on earth. Despite the way the aircrafts handle, this game is actually fairly easy to control, with a fair tutorial level that makes the game much easier than if you had gone without it. 

Each mission takes anywhere from five minutes to thirty minutes to complete, with completion times dropping as your skills go up and learn the ins and outs of the levels. These missions can be summed up as search and destroy, yet all feel different. Each new level also adds more previously unfought enemies to do battle with. With every new enemy comes a new form of strategy to use, getting outgunned by a fast craft? Find a way to outmaneuver it. Ground troops causing too much of a problem? Try barrel rolling away and get a new vantage point to fire. These options become even more expansive when you experiment with all three classes of aircrafts.

Attack of the Skyfighter lives and dies on replaying levels to attempt to get a higher medal and faster clear time than the medals and times you have earned upon previous runs. Completionists will definitely be playing through all three of the difficulties to earn all of the medals, and while this might sound like the game is rather lengthy, there are only 9 missions, including the tutorial level. 

Conclusion:
Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter is a difficult space shooter that carries a heavy aspect of realism into the dogfights of the sky. While the overall package might seem small, the time put into finishing the missions greatly extends its flight time. Once one gets an understanding for how this game plays, really the only enemy in the game that needs to be overcome is your own pilot skills. Don't let the difficulty curve scare you away from this flight for freedom.

Overall: 8/10

Review Copy provided by Big John Games
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Review: Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter (3DS eShop) :: Comments

So is it like SF64 3D? I've never tried that game, but they both look good... but this one much cheaper as an entry point.
Solid review~
 

Review: Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter (3DS eShop)

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