Publisher: Square Enix, Inc.
Developer: Game Arts and Seta Corporation
N Amer - 07/10/2007
Project Sylpheed Review
It has been more than 500 years since humanity left Earth’s solar system and started colonizing other planets. By terraforming planets to make them become inhabitable they have been able to colonize 11 different star systems. To help protect them all (as well as the imperial government), the Earth has the Terra Central Armed Forces (TCAF). Even though the Earth’s rule benefits the entire galaxy, but as history has taught us, everyone wants independence. Four systems have banded together and became the ADAN Freedom Alliance and have declared war on the TCAF.
There is a training facility that helps young and gifted pilots prepare for the war, and there are three rising students: Ellen, Katana, and Margras, who become best friends. Recently there was a suspicious terraforming accident destroyed the planet Acheron, Margras home planet. Furious with what happened, Margras joins ADAN and vows to take revenge and destroy the TCAF. Now Katana and Ellen must fight against their friend in order to restore peace to the galaxy. The enemy knows how you fight and they use the latest technology available to them. Are you up to the task of defeating Margras and the ADAN?
To help get players ready for the rigors of space battle, this game has a pretty decent tutorial mode. This mode will teach you everything from the basic moves to some pretty nice special moves that will help you take out the enemies in no time. Once you finish up the tutorial mode the only other option is to get thrown into this game’s story mode. It is such a shame that this game has a total lack of multiplayer modes. This game would have been a good game to play co-op (either online or off) with your friends as each of you can take a place in a squad in order to destroy the enemy.
So much going on
There are three different control configurations for players to use: simple, normal, and professional. The controls that were default on tutorial and story mode are the normal so I will go over those. Moving your fighter left or right you use the left thumbstick, while the right controls your view or enters you into padlock (target) mode. Pressing the left trigger once will make you decelerate while twice makes you stop; the right trigger makes you accelerate if you hit it once or boost if you hit it twice; and if you hit them both at the same time you can match the speed of an enemy you have locked on. The left bumper makes you fire the main weapon and the right fires your nose weapon. To change the main weapons you can hit the X button. The A button switches targets, the B will let you do special maneuvers, and the Y button will allow you to do special moves. You can give orders to your squad with the help of the d-pad. If you are close enough to a re-supply ship all you have to do is hit the back button to resupply.
My biggest complaint with this game is how repetitive it was. This is the flow the game. You get thrown the Ready Room where you can choose to change up your weapons on your ship and view a briefing of what you will be doing. Then you will view a cutscene, go kill a myriad of enemies (and hear some radio chatter that continues the story a bit more), then see yet another cutscene of what happens next in the story, and finally get placed back into the Ready Room to do it all over again. It would have been nice to have a little more variety than this continuous routine.
Ramming into the ship is bad
The game itself plays out nicely. After you do the tutorial mode (which I highly suggest to learn some moves that will save you on numerous occasions) you will find that your ship is highly responsive to controls, which makes it easier to take down your enemies faster. One complaint I have is how stupid your squad AI really is. In the tutorial they tell you how your squad can take down enemies that have missile locks on you and it works flawlessly in there, but if you try it in the real battles it seems to work less frequently. The enemy AI provides some challenge but you can overcome it if you make sure to use all of your resources and pay attention to your briefings. One last complaint I have is that many times you will be doing two or three mission between saves, which makes it highly inconvenient, especially if you don’t have enough time to play the entire set of missions, or if you are shot down later in the missions due to a mistake of not knowing exactly what to do.
One thing that I really liked about this game is the high level of customization that the players get, which is great since there are four different places where you can mount weapons on your Delta Saber. After each mission you are awarded points depending on how well you do. You can then spend those points to purchase and develop new weapons to use in combat. Each weapon is rated in four different categories: range, speed, weight, and damage. Before you go into each mission you are given a brief outline of what you are going to be doing, so from that information you decide on which weapons to take to make sure you do the best job possible.
The graphics for this game are decent. First off the pre-rendered cutscenes that Square Enix is known for make a fine appearance here in this game. You will be treated with a cutscene before any given mission which helps progress the story and give players a fine sense of what is going on, and might even give you more will to fight, depending on how attached you might gets to the characters.
Shocking isn't it?
The in-game graphics engine also does a nice job since there is so much going on in the game at any given time, from the hordes of enemy fighters, lasers and missiles coming at you, as well as the huge war ships in your wake, you will have a graphical overload at times, because there is so much going on in the screen. The problem that I have with this game is that even though you are fighting in space, a little variety of where you are fighting at would be nice. It seems like you are in one constant level as it never really changes that much. The bright side of things is that even thought there is so much going on in the screen I rarely found any slowdown, which is extremely good considering this is a fast-paced game.
The sound for this game is decent, but could use a little work. First off the voice actors in this game do a good job by not sounding too cheesy and quirky. The music for this game is a very fast paced, which helps players get adjusted to the game. The only problem with it is that it gets really repetitive and annoying after a listening to it for a long period of time. The sound effects are on par with what you expect to hear from a game like this.
Project Sylpheed is rated teen and contains fantasy violence, mild language, mild blood, suggestive themes, and use of alcohol.
Review Scoring Details for Project Sylpheed
The game is extremely repetitive, but for what it offers it is nice. The controls are really tight and after you get acquainted with how to fly the ship you will find yourself flying like an ace in no time.
The graphics have a very anime style to them. As always the Square Enix cutscenes are something to behold. The only bad thing is that there is little variation of backgrounds in space; everything looks the same, and it seems like you are doing the same level over and over again.
The sound is decent and the voice actors do a respectable job. The music to this game is fast paced, and gets repetitive quick.
When you first start playing this game you will find it to be pretty intense and difficult. The more you play it the easier it becomes since you will be more familiar with what weapons to equip your ship with depending on the situation.
The developers at Square Enix really didn’t add much new to this genre.
Project Sylpheed is a decent game that could have been better with some more refinement. Fans of this genre will want to pick up this game since titles in this genre are few and far between.
Interplanetary war is brutal
Reviewer: Michael Knutson
Review Date: 07/18/2007