Also On: PS4, PS3, PC
Publisher: Infinite Dreams
Developer: Infinite Dreams
Players: 1 (PS3/PS4: 1-2)
Online: Yes (PS3/PS4 only)
As I wrote a little over a year ago, shmups generally don't hold my attention for too long. There are undoubtedly some exceptions (like Shutshimi), but for the most part, I find they get repetitive pretty quickly.
There's nothing in Sky Force Anniversary that makes me think I need to rethink that position.
That doesn't mean it's a bad game or anything. It's perfectly fine for what it is. In fact, I have no doubt that if you're a shmup fan, you'll find it to be perfectly adequate. The controls are simple, the objectives are straightforward, and it looks about as good as it needs to.
The thing is, that's all it has to offer. There's not a whole lot of variation in the enemies, nor in the environments — it's lots of planes over water, and a few boats and islands to mix things up. The weapons are equally bland, unless you're a really big fan of…well, boring weapons. In every respect, this game is merely serviceable, without doing anything good (or bad) enough to merit strong feelings one way or another.
There are a few minor annoyances, mind you. The on-screen text is pretty small, which means that it's easy to lose track of how much health you have left at any given time. The objectives may be straightforward, but they're also (say it with me) highly repetitive, as each level asks you to do more or less the same thing. And on a related note, the game only unlocks new levels once you reach a certain number of stars (which are obtained via achieving objectives), which means that you'll probably have to do those early levels over and over again if you want to achieve much in the way of progress.
In the big scheme of things, though, none of these are horrible, game-breaking flaws. They're run-of-the-mill flaws, which makes perfect sense: Sky Force Anniversary is, above all else, a run-of-the-mill game.