B a s i c   I n f o

Title: Project Sylpheed

Platform: XBox 360

Release date: 2006/2007

Developed by: Game Arts and SETA

Published by: Square Enix

 

 

C o v e r   A r t

Japan

         

 

USA

         

United Kingdom

         

German

         

 

O v e r v i e w

Project Sylpheed: Arc of Deception is often seen as an spiritual successor to the Silpheed series.

Developed by SETA's team under supervision from Game Arts, the originally named "Project Sylph" took the Silpheed universe into a new direction. Gone are the fixed path and "on-rails" experience, giving now freedom to the player to move in any direction. Think of the gameplay as an "Ace Combat in space".

But those aren't the only changes. The game has also Square Enix's touch, giving this time a greater focus on the story, which is developed through anime style cutscenes and have that same clichéd characters typically seen on Square's RPG series. Prepare yourself for melo-emo-drama - cheesiest to the 11th level.


Above: Meet the pilots. Rly!

The game has been received with mixed opinions. I never played it (I'm on Playstation 3), but John Szczepaniak (2012) wrote an extensive article about it, which I'll quote (but you really should read it all):

"(...) for consoles, even despite its age, Sylpheed has yet to be matched for enormity. The play area for each mission has limits, obviously, but is as convincing a representation of the infinity of outer space as is practical. Not only will you need to use your afterburners to move at reasonable speeds between skirmishes in a vast, cold vacuum, but don't be surprised to find hundreds upon hundreds of spacecraft all independently flying around."

Sounds exciting, but things starts going downhill just as John enters the game's mechanics:

"Given the description of how the game functions, you can be forgiven for thinking it sounds like the best space-sim experience available on a console. It is, unfortunately, horribly broken almost to the point of being unplayable."

Since Topaz Squadron is mostly my personal thinking about the Silpheed series, I'll give you my two cents from what I could read, see and watch on the internet (including John's lastest article): bring back the original gameplay and leave the anime style for another genre or game! (thinking about it, at least they changed the name from Silpheed to Sylpheed, but this may be just a translation error).

Maybe in 2006, with the new generation consoles promising once again whole new experiences, the development team though that they could breathe new life to the space shoot genre. I think it's a valid idea to try to do an Ace Combat in space (by the way I'm a huge fan of that series too, buying a PS2 just to play it), but if you are going to change this much you should create a new series. Maybe, back in 2006, people were expecting so much of the new generation that they weren't sure if staying truth to the older and classic genres was a good idea.

Well, it's 2010 now. The videogame industry took notice that oldschool gameplay still appealing. Just look at the quantity of remakes and updates to classic games the consoles are getting, and you will see that there's still a public devoted to those classics and "limited" genres. Look at the recently released Thexder Neo (from Game Arts and Square Enix, by the way) or After Burner Climax to see how cool those games are without ever trying to do anything else than having an esthetic update. They may be shallow, but not one is expecting anything more than just to have fun.

I really hope that Game Arts will reunite again its talented artists to bring old school Silpheed back to life. This time, staying true to its roots and expanding the arcade-but-immersive-rollercoaster shoot'em up experience that Silpheed once was.

Anyway, if you would like to know more about Project Sylpheed there are lots of reviews around the internet. You can start by visiting MetaCritic.

Overview originally written in 2010. Updated in 2012.

 

T r i v i a

- You assume the role of Katana Faraway (that boy with blue hair), and pilots the Delta Saber - a ship that remotely resembles the SA-77's design.

- Project Sylpheed takes place in 2632. Silpheed (Sega CD) in 3076, and The Lost Planet (PS2) 31 years after that. If Project Sylpheed is supposed to be a prequel it's unclear, but I believe that the previous games dates (and storylines) were just throw away. The story on the original Silpheed (PC) says that mankind found an alien spaceship in 3032, and only after that it started exploring the space.

 

S c r e e n s h o t s