A different experience every time. I LOVE THIS!!!
It is ALL about the NeverSlow-36D. I've unlocked every plane except for the absurdly priced blimp and the bottom green one's. The Dart-inspired 36D has all of the maneuverability and speed necessary to pull off some Super Ace worthy stunts every time.
The first Steambirds was an absolute favorite for me, and with this sequel, I'm pleased you can enter the battlefield specifically aware of what your plane is and what it's capable of. The wide array of planes could suit any yearning pilot's needs based off of their unique capabilities and readied power-ups. For the longest time before I found my love in the sky, NeverSlow-36D, I stuck with the Looper-P200. Though it looks a little goofy watching a boomerang-shaped flying wing twirl about in a dogfight...exactly like a boomerang...they were refreshingly lethal. Their guns being their primary strength.
Though there were others that didn't make sense...like the Jouster having a short-range...you would think a successful Jousting Knight would have an advantage with reach, not a lack-thereof. It could easily be outrun, outgunned...it was a dispicably poor choice for something you're supposed to survive in.
That's why I liked the 36D. It could SURVIVE. It had powerful guns, strong enough armor, and could outrun all of it's enemy's...flying loops around the hoarde, getting them to fly tight, to lead them in and drop bombs to clean the bulk of them out. It could sweep in and collect powerups, or dash up to newly-spawned enemy's to splash them before they could even turn around to see you.
I play this just about every day. If that's not a testament enough as to how awesome this game is, I don't know what else could convince you.
Once again, the soundtrack is extraordinarily arranged...though this time around, it's less epic, and more depressing. In fact, most of the messages that are accompanied with the "Next Wave" messages are more depressing than they are encouraging. The inspiring or messages of encouragement or reassurance that they're spending my time of sacrifice wisely would be overall received better if I had some music to kick ass too. I would prefer the epic soundtrack over the "Ooooohhhhh-oooooooohhhhhh" moaning track.
The only way I could see this game getting any better is if you could BUY competent wingmen to control as well. What if I had TWO 36-D's soaring around giving them hell? What if I could control what they're equipped with at the start?
I'm happy that the issue of airplanes drifting off forever out the edge of the screen has been remedied by AA gun turret emplacements. That was a good call. However, in my last review, remember how I suggested it would be beneficial if we could visually see the enemy aircraft's firing radius? JUST like the AA gun. Except it's when the mouse hovers over the enemy when it becomes visual...some of those larger planes have an incredible knack of chewing up my fighters, both fragile and heavy. Knowing to plot around their firing radius could extend my play time, as I would die significantly less...maybe...possibly....ehhh I dunno.
I hope you keep this series going. I'd love to hear voices in future incarnations, naval warfare, extended lore...I'm just eager to see what you'll do with it! I'll keep returning to try and out-do my scores each time...I hope one day to get a high enough score to compete with the all-timers for the 36D in time. :D
Voted 5! I finally had to break down and review this thing.