Hello everyone and welcome back to Xperia PLAY week. Our next game is yet another game that came pre-loaded on the device for all to see, and it is called Star Battalion. Unlike Asphalt 6, I’m fairly sure this is an Xperia Play exclusive for now, as I can’t find links to buy the game anywhere for other Android devices. Although, it is available on iOS, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, and it will likely be around $5.
The game itself is a simple flight simulation and combat game, like an Ace Combat in space, or a Star Fox without the furries. You play as a resistance group called Orion, I think, and you’re rebelling against generic galactic oppressors 17B. The story and dialogue does actually have some effort thrown into it, and it can make for a nice distraction, but that’s not why we’re here.
After choosing a level and your ship, you are thrown into a sandbox with some AI squad mates and given various objectives to complete. It’s usually just to shoot at everything with a red arrow above it, but there is some variety to the missions, and they actually don’t get stale.
You can steer using the PLAY’s touch sticks or the D-pad, and the D-pad was much easier to use. There is an auto targeting system for your main gun which only requires you to point in the general vicinity of the things you want dead, which is actually fantastic because it would be impossible to aim otherwise. Each mission gives you a limited amount of special ammo in the form of different missiles, and unless you find more ammo pick-ups on the battlefield, once they’re gone, they’re gone, so you should, a-hem… “Use Bombs Wisely!” Speaking of Peppy Hare, you can pull either of the shoulder buttons in order to, a-hem… “Do a Barrel Roll!” I don’t think there is a greater mantra for virtual ace pilots to live by. If you pull both shoulder buttons at the same time, you will pull a 180 turn instead, though it was kind of touchy.
There is also an online mode which allows you to play through the campaign with real friends instead of AI friends, though I couldn’t find a match with anyone each time I tried. All together the levels are fun and the difficulty rises steadily, slowly adding some challenge. The graphics and art look great, and the games soundtrack is pretty decent as well. This is definitely a great indicator of what a fun mobile game can be on the Xperia PLAY.