Rodea the Sky Soldier is a taxing game. If you’re playing it on the Nintendo 3DS or Wii U, which I don’t recommend, it will push you to your limits. Part of it is the targeting system, which takes so much time to adjust to. The other is the limitation on flight, which the Nintendo Wii version of the game lacked. There’s one way to make it a little easier on yourself, and that’s to spend as much time on land as possible.
I realize how horrible and counterintuitive that sounds. Rodea the Sky Soldier is supposed to be a spiritual successor to NiGHTs into Dreams. It even has “sky” in the title! Such things would encourage you to soar and glide around stages. It may sound strange, but sticking to the ground is a good way to keep yourself from throwing a GamePad or Nintendo 3DS in frustration.
I eventually learned how to get around in Rodea the Sky Soldier. It wasn’t easy. I basically learned to play it safe, which meant keeping Rodea’s head out of the clouds as much as possible. It seems like a game that encourages exploration. There are nooks and crannies to investigate, upgrades to earn, and even some out-of-the-ordinary enemies. The problem is, going after all of these things brings out how tedious the Nintendo Wii U version of the game is. It’s so easy to run out of air time and see Rodea plummet to the ground.
Though honestly, sometimes I was happy to see Rodea fall. I was playing Rodea the Sky Soldier in 2 to 3 hour blocks. Do you know how many times Rodea can die in an hour? I kept track during my first hour of play, because one of my best friends was nearby when I started his adventure and was amused at my frustration. He fell to his doom or was blasted by bosses a total of 8 times. That was almost once every 10 minutes, for those of you who don’t like doing the math. By the end of that initial session, I wasn’t shaking my head when he suddenly ran out of air time and went flailing into the abyss. I was happy about it, because that’s what Rodea deserved for putting me through all of this aggravation.
Flying is overrated. It’s after that first hour that I decided I’d only fly when it was absolutely necessary. Who cared about how much the upgrades could or couldn’t help me. My mission was to beat Rodea, not make him a better person. Well, robot, but you get the idea. Besides, I liked the characters and the ambiance. So, I recommend you do the same.
If you’re in an area with a lot of ground, walk on it. Take your time. Enjoy the view. Maybe even explore a little. Only send Rodea off to another platform if you have to. Make frequent stops along the way if you do, because objects are usually further away than the really are. That threw me, initially. Gaps that seemed easily bridged were actually a little too far to reach.
Don’t be a hero. You’ll see a lot of enemies flying around. It will be tempting to defeat one as you fly from one platform to another. Unless the platform is really close by, you have over half of the flight gauge left, and you’ve already spent an hour or so learning how to properly direct Rodea, don’t take the chance. Attacking takes away from your time spent in the air, and it’s all too easy to see a series of enemies in a row, send Rodea to attack them one after another, then somehow wind up winded and, you guessed it, watch as he falls to his doom.
This strategy works for the bosses too. In fact, I found it was a little more helpful when avoiding projectiles. Dodging in air can feel inaccurate sometimes. Rodea may not feel like he’s flying fast enough to get out of the way or you won’t have the same sort of precision you’d expect. Keep him on the ground until you’ve lined up a good attack, then send him into the air to properly position himself to damage the opponent.
If you keep at Rodea the Sky Soldier, you will eventually get the hang of it. Things will click, you’ll find your own coping mechanisms, and he’ll be able to safely take flight when he has to. But you should also remember that there’s no shame in staying on a solid surface. Rodea the Sky Soldier can be unnecessarily tedious and difficult on the Nintendo Wii U due to its control schemes and flight limitations. Staying on the ground whenever possible will save you a lot of frustration and might even help you clear the game quicker.