Sonic Wings Special PSN Import Review

Publisher – MonkeyPaw Games – Developer – Video System – Genre – Action – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – Saturn (Japan only)

Sonic Wings Special isn’t an arrogant title that suggests to everyone that this is a really special game, but rather the special of the title is representative of the game being a coming together of content from three games from one series. Please note, not in any way am I suggesting that this isn’t a special game, nor am I suggesting that it is..yet.

First released on SEGA’s Saturn in Japan in the July of 1996, Sonic Wings Special also made an appearance on the PlayStation in the same year. Despite this reviewed version being a part of the PSN import section, the game was actually released in Europe back in 2004, courtesy of the now defunct Phoenix Games.

Sonic Wings Special is a part of the vertical shooter genre, in which you choose your aircraft and are forced to keep on shooting through every single level. There are 10 pilots (including everything from people to, more bizarely, dolphins and robots) to initially choose from, split into teams of two, and bar a secret unlockable team, each pilot has two vehicles – one already unlocked, and another waiting for you to unlock.

The game also has a two player option, although you can’t choose a pilot from another team, which means both players must be in agreement as to what team to go with. Obviously, in multiplayer the extra firepower means that progress is more likely, but it also means that the screen gets more busy and chaotic.

Each of the fighter planes are distinct in their weapons, and finite explosive attacks allow you to blow up enemies to perhaps clear the screen or to damage one of the big bosses. There’s nothing original here, but Sonic Wings Special does the typical very well and will, and would have, already found an audience.

The game has 17 stages, which may sound a lot, but there are actually only 9 playable in each session. Following the completion of the first level, the game then randomly chooses three stages out of five, and there are also branching levels in which you get the opportunity to choose the level.

There’s four difficulty levels – beginning with easy all the way up to pro. Easy allows you to select unlimited credits, so pro is quite a contrast, then, offering you three or less credits to play with. It certainly has enough to appease both the rookie and the pro.

Sonic Wings Special does little to stand out from a crowded genre, but it is most certainly a very playable game. If you can’t get enough of such vertical shooters, and if you haven’t discovered this one yet, you definitely owe it to yourself to give the game a try.

8/10

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