What's becoming increasingly evident is how much PlayStation Minis developers are in need of a good composer. Doodle Pool's music was bad, but at least it was original and catchy. MiniSquadron takes things to a new low, opting for a series of irritatingly flat, MIDI rehashes of classical tunes. Urgh.
Once you've turned the music off though, MiniSquadron comes together as a fairly enjoyable dog-figher mini-game. Using the analogue stick to control one of many aircrafts — and there are seriously loads to unlock — feels great, and the game is enhanced by a number of cool cartoon effects, such as smoke-trails and fancy clouds.
In fact, for all its simplicity, MiniSquadron is a really good looking game. Contrasting heavily against its awful music, this game has a bouncy, cartoonish look to it that's super simplistic but really pops on both the PSP and PS3. Testing the game on our PSPgo was a particular treat, as the game's hard edges and stark contrasting colours really lit up the device's super sharp screen.
The crux of the gameplay is slim but satisfying. You shoot down waves and waves of planes in increasingly difficult dog-fights. It sounds monotonous, but it's bizarrely compelling. The enemy space-crafts get increasingly more bizarre, and you're constantly unlocking stuff which makes the whole affair quite moreish. It's certainly repetitive, and most definitely best sampled in short bursts, but there's a mindless attraction to swirling around in your space-craft picking off foes.
The pacing could be better. While there are checkpoints to plot your progress, 12 waves per stage often felt like too much. We'd prefer it if each stage was broken down into four waves to be honest. That would really accelerate progression and make the whole package a touch more immediately gratifying.
But block out the music and you'll be guaranteed a good time with this one. No doubt about it, MiniSquadron is a throw-away time waster. But it's a good one.