Review: Who’s That Flying?!
Minis seem to always get the short end of the stick. No one ever seems to care about them and they get overlooked a majority of the time. Well I am here to let you know that you should care and the reason is that there are some developers doing really good things on the platform. Case in point is Mediatonic with their second minis title Who’s That Flying.
Who’s That Flying is a side-scrolling shooter with a lively visual style. It reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon for some reason. Everything really pops off the screen, whether you are playing on PSP or a PS3. You take the role of the “Guardian of Earth” who is on trial for showboating too much and not protecting his planet. You play out four different retellings of his actions on your way through the story mode. There is also one final set of levels but I won’t spoil that for you. Take the time to read the cut scenes by the way, the writing is rather funny.
Each level in the story mode throws something new at you. While the gameplay is nothing really new, the different monsters keep each level fresh. The progression tends to go like this. The first stage of a level usually introduces a new enemy to you, while in the next stage has a mutation of that enemy that is slightly larger and more menacing. The final stage of a level has you going against the final big-boss version of the enemy. When you get to fighting the boss the camera will zoom out and it gives you this awesome sense of scale. The bosses are really well designed just like the levels. Like I said before each city offers something new, so you will always have to be switching up your tactics. Pro-tip: get behind the “bulls” in Mexico.
When the game was first announced Mediatonic described the game in the following way, “a side-scrolling shooter meets tower defense (with courtroom drama and intrigue!) doused in sheer awesomeness… AND THEN SET ON FIRE.” While it is a side-scrolling shooter, the tower defense comparisons are really a stretch. Each stage has a “life bar” for the lack of a better term and if an enemy gets past you it decreases. I wouldn’t really call that tower defense, but it is a nice take on the old formula. There are different medals that you can earn for stopping certain amounts of the baddies. If you stop them all, you get a perfect medal, otherwise it is gold, silver, or bronze. You can also get “trophies” for completing certain tasks. (Editor’s note: I really wish minis had legit trophies, Sony do something about this!)
This brings me to the game’s difficulty. I consider myself a fairly good gamer, but man getting those gold and perfect medals is tough. As I write this review I have only one perfect and it is from the very first level. Getting golds will unlock a magazine in the extras section of the game, but it doesn’t seem that I am good enough to unlock it. If you are wondering I have seven gold medals in story mode. But there are two of magazine to unlock and I did unlock the one from challenge mode.
Challenge mode opens up after you finish the main game and it twists certain aspects of levels up just enough to keep me coming back to the game. There are 24 challenges in total and I have beaten about half of them. But I don’t know if I will be able to clear them all because Sudden Death levels are just kicking my ass. You have to beat a level without having an enemy get past you, and holy crap are these brutal. The turbo challenges are my favorite though. I just really like blazing through levels guns blazing. There is also an infinite mode for you to go high score crazy in, if that is your thing. This also unlocked after beating the main story mode.
One of the downsides of the game has to be its price though. It seems par for the course, but I am one of those people who thinks minis are overpriced a majority of the time. But the amount of content in the title seems enough to justify it. The production values are also top notch, but if you have played Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess you know that already. So if you like shmups at all, even just a little bit, pick this game up. Who’s That Flying is really a showcase of what minis can and should be.
For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Portable version of the game.
What I Like:
- Great writing and visuals
- Variety in enemy types
- Challenge mode
What I Dislike:
- I found out I am not as good as I though I was :(