Crisis Wing Review For PS5

With the choice of vertical or a horizontal setup, Crisis Wing is an old school shmup catered to many (just don't look for the difficulty settings).

I was pretty excited for Crisis Wing, having hyped it up myself when writing a news piece, but first impressions weren’t all that good. First impressions count, sure, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll stick with them.

It was the slightly dated feel about it that got to me first. Anticipation of visceral, chunky scanline-infused visuals with a banging track was at the back of my mind, and I was mildly disappointed with this expectation. But after a few waves and sub-bosses, that shmup instinct kicked in, and I forgot myself.

We’ll skip all the story elements as they’re non-existent – this is simply the red and blue ship heading into space to repeatedly blast stuff and avoid getting hit. Make a note: you’ll be playing the evasive game if you wish to get anyway in it.

Crisis Wing PS5 Review

There wasn’t anything striking about the PS5 version I played, nor any notable difference when playing it on the PS4 in another room. To be brutally honest, Crisis Wing PS5 is a little generic, but after you’ve had a few attempts, you take a look at the other features and settings.

Crisis Wing out this week
Source: Eastasiasoft

I love classic shoot ’em ups (that’s what us oldies called ’em). R-Type1941Xenon 2Defender… you’ll note that they’re a mix of vertical and horizontal shooters, as I don’t have a preference. So, when looking under the hood in the settings, you can switch the gameplay from vertical to horizontal.

This sounds like the placebo effect, but Crisis Wing feels like a different game. You can even add those gorgeous scanlines in CRT mode or widen the screen as most of us (all?) have widescreens for modern consoles. It genuinely did change up the game, despite being exactly the same but in a different direction.

Two Can Play This Game

That helped to bring in other players. Still on the tail end of lockdown, it’s not often that we entertain as much for local play, so I rope in the kids. My dad (Space Invaders pro) would lap this up, but the girls didn’t like the vertical scrolling. Why, I don’t know.

After switching the scrolling method, playing as a co-op is fun. It has that classic pick-up-and-play arcade touch where it’s pure mayhem in bursts, have a breather, then do it all again. While I wouldn’t shoehorn Crisis Wing into a bullet hell type game, it’s not without its challenge. Actually, it’s bloody hard, but in a good way.

Crisis Wing - Boom boom
Boom boom. Source: Eastasiasoft

First of all, it’s pretty easy to get hit and lose a life. Aside from the typical overpowering boss who employs bullet hell tactics, the waves of enemies aren’t thick. Still, the way it’s designed means you need a bit of precision to both avoid their projectiles and potentially get the power-ups as your default weapon is a bit poo.

Bombs Away!

Fortunately, you have a special that fires a neon skull into the battle, and you have three of these. They’re good for crowd control, but if you can last long enough, perfect for spamming a boss – especially if there’s two of you. Secrets revealed!

Besides the seven stages in arcade mode, there are Time Attack and Boss Rush modes. There’s even a practice mode which… I don’t know. It’s not complicated to play as my co-op experiences were with a four-year-old, and she was occasionally better than me.

As this is an Eastasiasoft game, it typically has some early rewards with a few easy trophies, but scratch all the trophy hunting – Crisis Wing PS5 is a fun game to play as a solo experience or co-op.

Crisis Wing PS5 Review - Crossing the streams
Crossing the streams. Source: Eastasiasoft

It doesn’t break any new ground, so there aren’t any gimmicks such as colour-coded enemies (good!), nor are they any customisations (sad). But the most important element is the enjoyable gameplay, tight controls, and it is probably one of the most balanced, albeit challenging, experiences.

If you’re an old school shmup fan – vertical or horizontal, then for the price, Crisis Wing is a good addition for your growing catalogue, and it’s not one of those pick-up and play, then dismiss a week later. Improving your score is an endless ambition!

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