Imagine it, it’s our real-world past, another worldly force comes to earth and you’ve never faced such a foe! They start to integrate into our society for their benefit–not ours! Well, Squad 51 starts to take them down and now it’s up to you to strap into the pilot’s seat. You’re going to take them on firsthand with absolutely nothing but your wits! It’s Squad 51 vs. The Flying Saucers (WhisperGames, Loomiarts, Fehorama Filmes–$19.99)!
UFOs! Aliens! Aircrafts! Resistance! SHOOT ‘EM UP! Squad 51 vs. The Flying Saucers is a spaceship shooter with 2D gameplay and 3D environment. Enjoy a smart combination of a fast-paced shooting experience and the 1950’s sci-fi movies aesthetic, with live-action cutscenes.
- Classic gameplay – Squad 51 vs. The Flying Saucers is a SHOOT ‘EM UP! game with four different aircrafts to play and set up with special weapons.
- Cinematic experience – Glorious black-and-white aesthetics, live-action FMV sequences and dubbed voices will tell the story of the battle between the squadron and Director Zarog’s alien supremacy.
- 11 levels – Fight against enemy ships and bosses in many different environments – snowy mountains, forests, cityscapes, and many others.
- Dynamic difficulty – No matter if you’re a rookie or a veteran shooting star, Squad 51 vs. The Flying Saucers supports dynamic difficulty which allows every pilot to enjoy the fight.
- Multiplayer – Feeling lonely against Aliens? Invite a friend! A second player can enter a level any time. Earn points with your friend and unlock together new special weapons and upgrades.
- Gameplay. Let’s start off talking about the gameplay. You’ll have the choice to play by yourself or with a buddy in multiplayer mode. The cool thing is, the second player can just drop in at any time without disrupting the game. This is great when you suddenly have a friend over who wants to join in on the action. But it’s also great that when they leave, then your normal play can continue. The aircraft in the game can be customized with all sorts of upgrades. Secondary weapons and others that make you more resistant to enemy fire.The more enemies you shoot down, the more points you get, seems like a simple concept. As you go, you’ll unlock even more upgrades for you to use. The points you’re accumulating carry over even if you start again. So don’t stress about losing on a level, you don’t lose progress. Funnily enough, if you don’t care about the gameplay and only the story, there’s an option to give yourself infinite lives. It’s nice if you don’t want to worry about dying. The primary downside of dying a lot is the loading times. It’s always within 30 seconds, but it’s never fast enough. You’ll definitely feel frustrated if you keep dying on a level.
- Graphics. The backgrounds during gameplay in this game are incredible. As you’re flying they scroll past and they look amazing as you go. They’re populated with any manner of planes and spaceships. And the way the lasers and planes are shown with this almost glowing effect around them is dope. It’s hard to explain what I mean, but it really does make you think of olden movies. The only downside that I’ve noticed is that sometimes the visual effects used for these glows and shadows can be a little low-res. I played this in handheld mode and docked, so I can tell you that it’s only really noticeable when playing docked. I’m not sure it’s a big enough issue for them to patch considering how inexpensive the game is, but it’s there and may be distracting at times.
- Cutscenes. Right out of the gate, I was so with their ability to capture that authentic 1950s sci-fi vibe in the cutscenes. These sequences have dubbed audio and just the right amount of cheesy acting. I swore I recognized some of the actors within the cutscenes, but upon looking up the cast and not finding one, I realized that that meant that they were not actors that had been in other tv/movies before. But I think that that’s what adds even more to the feel of the cutscenes. If they had big name actors making this, I think that it wouldn’t have that old-timey feeling of seeing a black and white scifi movie with actors that were never in anything else!
- Story. So, there are these aliens that seem all nice and friendly when they come to Earth, but they’re actually secretly taking over everything in the name of some crazy technology stuff. The game is called Squadron 51 and you’re a pilot in this group of rebels who want to kick the aliens out and save the world. The story is told with real actors in live action scenes that are super cool and look like they’re straight out of an old-timey sci-fi movie from the 1950s. The aliens are played by people in makeup and the UFOs float around all weird and wobbly. And even your own airplane has strings holding it up in the cutscenes! Plus, all through the game, there’s chatter from your fellow pilots while you’re doing missions, which really adds to the whole experience.
- Cost. This title will only cost you $20! I love when these handheld titles come out and they’re affordable, meaning you’re not dropping $50 on them. What’s even better is, if you’re reading this review the week I publish it, the game is on sale for $6 off (through April 5th, 2023)! I think if you love shooters and have a $20 bill burning a hole in your pocket, this is a great romp.
Do you enjoy horizontal shooters? Do you enjoy 1950’s scifi movie culture? How about full motion video cutscenes/sequences? Then you’ve probably already heard about this game and own it. But if you haven’t, then this game is honestly a no-brainer. I know I had my complaints, but who doesn’t have complaints about a game? It’s the only black and white game you’ll likely ever see on the Switch, by the way. You’re never going to see Ghost of Tsushima on Switch and you’re probably never going to see Pokemon Black/White on the Switch either! So do yourself a favor and kick these saucers’ asses back to the galaxy they came from!