It’s Demolition, Man!
Parkour and Freerunning have had their day. There now exists a new breed of thrill-seekers looking for a more extreme way to get their kicks! Running, jumping, grabbing and climbing over walls is all well and good but the four playable characters in Ground Shatter Ltd’s SkyScrappers want to take it to another level.
SkyScrappers is a classic, arcade-style, platform-fighting game where the players start at the bottom of skyscrapers that are planned for demolition, then they run, jump and fight one another to reach the top before the building hits the ground. From the very first ‘how to play’ screen that tells you why you are making your way to the top of the collapsing building (simply because… videogames) you can tell this game is going to be very tongue-in-cheek and fun. Even the four characters Phileas, Solène, Jessica and Kichirou are over-exaggerations of the usual types found in fighting games; a rich posh toff, a military trained professional killer, a mysterious American and a Japanese fighter all of which are kings and queens of prefight banter and trash talk.
The game has two modes; single player campaign and a couch mode multiplayer for up to four players. To be victorious in both modes you can either make it to the top of the collapsing building first or defeat your opponents. If you chose to race your way to the top of the crumbing building there is falling debris such as beams and girders to run up which help your ascension. You can also bounce off smaller falling objects. If you prefer the fighting approach you can perform ground pounds and super attacks as well as launching the smaller objects in a ranged attack. What makes SkyScrappers different from other arcade fighters is that you cannot rely on one approach alone as both have their own drawbacks. The race approach leaves you vulnerable to ranged attacks unless you are keeping an eye on all the other players’ movements whereas the fighting approach will make you lose energy if you linger at the bottom of the screen too long. So you must find a balance between the two to succeed.
SkyScrappers goes for the classic “stick and two button” approach for the controls with cross used for jump, double-jump and bounce, then either square or circle for attack. This means that anyone and everyone can easily pick up and play it. The hand drawn approach to the graphics and the 90’s arcade style soundtrack really suit SkyScrappers. You can clearly see that it is the 90’s Neo Geo era that Ground Shatter Ltd are drawing their inspiration from.
Now for the trophy talk – SkyScrappers is going to be a sure-fire hit for all the trophy hunters out there as it has seven gold, nine silver, six bronze and best of all a Platinum for the taking. None of the trophies are hard to get and you can have a shiny new Platinum in about an hour or so. I managed to obtain 17 of the trophies within my first half an hour of playing the game without even trying. You can get all the trophies by playing the single player campaign mode with the exception of the “Falling with friends” trophy which is awarded for completing a four-player multiplayer game with all human players.
SkyScrappers is such a likable game that ticks all the right boxes for so many people. Those looking for a brilliant couch multiplayer game will enjoy it. Gamers who spent the nineties playing arcade fighters that didn’t take themselves too seriously will enjoy it. Trophy hunters looking for one of the easiest and quickest Platinums on the PS4 will enjoy it. Even if your gran is visiting at any point stick SkyScrappers on, hand her a controller, and I bet she’ll enjoy it too. It’s fair to say that the single player campaign isn’t one of the longest (it takes about twenty minutes to complete) but I can forgive that because the multiplayer part of the game is such fun. It speaks volumes that even though I’ve got the Platinum I’ll still be keeping SkyScrappers on my PS4 for future gaming nights with friends.
NelMaNo Rating 8/10