IndieTrials
Allied Assault Squadron
Developed by Aeternus Studios
Released on March 21st 2011
Sold on XBLIG for 240 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on March 24th 2011 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art for Allied Assault Squadron is very nicely drawn and captures the setting of the game perfectly. I do feel it's slightly let down by the title text however as it's a little hard to read as smaller sizes (and therefore tell what the game is called from the box art alone).

The first few screens of the game are nicely designed with some retro war-era looking graphics. The music is nice too and the menus and interfaces have great use of screen space filling the entire screen while keeping important elements within the safe area.

First impressions are great, this looks like a pretty polished flying game.
Trial experience
Upon starting a new game you're presented with a mission briefing, this is made to look like an old file that's been typed up on and old-fashioned type writer. While the look and feel is amazing, the text is pretty hard to read, even playing at 720p. It's only a minor niggle but it did take me a little while to read the whole thing.

After reading the briefing you're dropped straight into the action. Almost as soon as the level starts hordes of fighters start to fly down the screen towards me. The movement of my plane feels very smooth and responsive and the plane banks realistically when moving around the screen.

The graphics are nice, the rendered terrain below looks good and the clouds you see going by are a nice touch. The planes themselves all look very well made and each wave of planes moves in formation which looks really smooth.

As I play one thing I notice is that many of the planes fly past so fast that I can't get over to shoot them. I also notice that almost every single shot they take is aimed directly for me. I take a lot of hits during this level.

I finally make my way to the boss (a blimp) at the end of the level and start shooting the main body before realising I was doing no damage. I then began to shoot the mounted weapons but unfortunately due to the massive number of bullets it was sending towards me it shot me down and it was game over for me.

I started the level again and did even worse than the first time, I was purposely trying to get lined up to shoot down more of the planes but they kept shooting me and I was quickly going down. I quickly lose all my planes and have to start the level again.

This time I'm doing a little better, at least I'm trying to dodge out of the way of most of the planes rather than shoot at them. I just make it to the blimp again by the time the trial ends.
Overall thoughts
Allied Assault Squadron is a stylish shoot-em-up in a World War 2 setting featuring a wide range of fighter planes from the period.

While I found the game enjoyable I also thought the first level seemed ridiculously hard. Almost every plane that took a shot at me managed to hit me while most of my bullets missed the planes or they flew past so fast I couldn't even get a shot at them. I've never really got into any of the fast paced modern console shoot-em-ups and that might explain why I did so badly during the trial however I can only imagine plenty of other players would not fair well either.

In my opinion the first level should be a little easier, the enemy planes should perhaps be slower as should their bullets so you at least have time to try and dodge out of the way of them. Also, the number of bullets the blimp was firing at me was crazy, I was looking for gaps to fly my plane through but simply couldn't see any and never even managed to shoot it down.

The game is good and it looks great, but for me the trial would've been much more enjoyable if I didn't keep getting shot down all the time and the enemies stayed on screen a little longer so I could shoot them down.
Rating