Sky Shark
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  • Taito
  • Taito
  • Action - Shooter - General, Other
  • 1988
  • 1
  • No
  • 2
  • $6.00
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8  |  Sky Shark: Because It's Cheaper to Buy Than 1942
Scoots , 1/17/2003 7:56:35 AM
For anyone who’s played Capcom’s much revered 1942 or 1943, Taito’s Sky Shark will likely seem little more than a curious case of déjà vu. Why Taito even had the hubris to release a top-down WWII shooter after 1942 had already defined the genre is beyond me.

I know what you’re thinking, “oh, well they must’ve really beefed up the graphics, and added crazy levels, and all kinds of power-ups, and some titillating 8-bit nose art between rounds.” And you’d be perfectly entitled to think that, since your childhood was spent huffing paint fumes in the dilapidated storage shed behind the middle school. You’d be wrong, but you’re still entitled. This is less a unique culmination of programming and design, than the local bar-band’s cover of your favorite Molly Hatchet song. If you’re not a particularly big Molly Hatchet fan, then Sky Shark will certainly fill the bill. It’s raison d'etre is, after all, the essential basis of all human enjoyment, boiled down to its purest form—blowing things up.

You’re the pilot of a WWII-era P-51 Mustang and your goal is to blast everything in front of you: planes, tanks, subs, gun towers, uh…that’s about it, really. You’ve got guns, which can be upgraded, and some bombs. Remember that little sortie of red planes in 1942 that you had to destroy to get the power-ups? Apparently they fell on hard times after that game’s release, because they’re back, reprising their role in Sky Shark. They’ve done away with the between-round score card which would tell you how many enemies you’d destroyed, and how accurate your shooting was. They also jettisoned that rather quaint evasive roll maneuver and given you the bombs instead, which I guess is sort of an improvement… The box art is really nice, featuring a great painting of a battle-crazed pilot amidst an insane hail of bullets and ordinance. C’mon, I’m trying here, folks, work with me.

Sky Shark is a fun game and if you don’t already own 1942 or 1943 it’s definitely worth the couple bucks to own. If, like me, you do already have those games, it’s merely superfluous, though not aggressively offensive. I give it an 8/10.

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