Project Sylpheed Review

Project Sylpheed is a game I really wanted to love. Created by Square-Enix, it promised to be a fun space shooter, with what may be an awesome story the likes of which only Square-Enix can craft. Well, at least the story was solid.

Taking its cue from many popular sci-fi series and movies, PS’s story revolves around humans spreading out from the earth, forming their own colonies, and rebelling against the Big Bad Government. (Not exactly that, but you get the idea.) As the main protagonist Katana Faraway (that name really reminds me of something from an MST3K episode), it’s up to you and your group of cohorts to fight your way through 16 missions, and save the day.

If the story can be considered solid in PS, the gameplay can be considered slightly less so. The combat itself is pretty responsive, but really, it’s nothing new at all. If you’ve played Rogue Squadron, Blazing Angels, or a variety of other flight combat games, you’ve likely played Project Sylpheed. While the game does include a few new or differently used controls (which are explained in a nice tutorial), the combat gets fairly boring about 5 missions in.

Mission after mission, you repeat the same process; pre-mission checking or looking at stuff, fighting in the same space environment against usually the same enemies, cutscene, repeat. The cutscenes are really the only reason to keep playing, as the story is the lone driving factor in this game.

In an odd move, there’s also no multiplayer support. This game would have been a blast with a friend to play with you (rather than the idiotic AI pilots), but nope – you’re flying solo. Odd move, and it really hurts the game’s replayability, since it’s such a short title and offers little in terms of replayability on its own.

For a budget game ($40), though, Sylpheed isn’t too bad. The graphics are better than some recently released full-price games (*cough* Vampire Rain), the story is a lot better than most previous major titles, and a few of the characters are fairly entertaining. Sadly, Square is back in their "People love retro!" mode when it comes to the audio, because the sound effects and music are nothing compared to similar titles coming out recently.

If you’re looking for a decent 360 game under $50, Project Sylpheed is probably one of the better non-greatest hits games you’ll find. Its biggest shortcomings are being far too short, no multiplayer, and offering no real reason to keep playing once it’s over. Had any of those been different, this would have been easy to recommend to shooter fans looking for a good story-driven escape. As it is, though, only the truly obsessed Square-Enix fans or people who have played every other flight alternative already should pick this one up rather than rent it.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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