Space Elite Force 2 Review: One (Small) Shmup For Mankind (Switch)

The space shooting sequel was just released on Nintendo eShop and improves on much of what made the first Space Elite Force great. Strap in for the second chapter of the Space Elite Force and learn more about what is attacking humanity in this review.

Space Elite Force 2 Review: One (Small) Shmup For Mankind Cover

Space Elite Force 2, like its predecessor, has released on the Nintendo eShop. While the games were originally released on Steam two years apart, Switch owners can now quickly drop in and annihilate alien ships in both titles from the comfort of a handheld. I really enjoyed the first Space Elite Force title, so now it’s time to see how well the story has continued in the next chapter.

Space Elite Force 2 is available now on Nintendo eShop and Steam for your regional pricing.

Space Elite Force 2 | Nintendo Switch


SEF2 picks up right where the first game left off: an exploratory crew was sent to learn more about the nearest galaxy. In this sequel, we learn that they mysteriously disappeared, and the alien species Klyvu are once again to blame for wiping them out. With important data missing from the human wreckage, the Space Elite Force is reformed, and players take control of this superior crew once again to shoot the heck out of all sorts of enemy ships.

We see more characters and set up in this sequel than we did in the last game, which is a welcome addition for the second title in a series. The developers at Moraes Studio have fleshed out the narrative a bit more to make Space Elite Force 2 a more well-rounded package right from the start.

Battles are once again large and in charge, with players avoiding shots from all over the screen.

Battles are once again large and in charge, with players avoiding shots from all over the screen.


Space Elite Force 2 has done a great job of improving where the last title was lacking. Controls are the same, as with most other shoot ’em up games. You will be flying a tiny ship through a level destroying enemies with your initially weak weaponry, and as you progress you may upgrade the ship and weapons accordingly. The upgrade system got an overhaul. Rather than using a money system as in the first title, this time around there is a more streamlined point system. Every enemy ship drops energy cores, and those build up over time, with bosses dropping larger cores. These are then used as upgrade currency. It looks a lot better, and it’s fewer numbers to deal with than in the first SEF game.

There are a few new upgrades and weapon options, many of which are worth a try. Skill trees are meant to be explored, after all, so the more than you play Space Elite Force 2, the more combinations you’ll be able to try. With a longer campaign, there’s more room to play around with different loadouts.

The main campaign is definitely longer than the first title, and even beyond that, there’s still a good reason to keep coming back. Endless Mode returns as the renamed Arcade Mode, and there are difficulty options throughout the game to keep the challenge alive. And once again, 2-player local co-op is supported. Bringing a friend along on your mission as easy as pushing a button.

The battles get bigger and the enemies grow in number in this sequel.

The battles get bigger and the enemies grow in number in this sequel.


Some of the problems with repetitive objects return from the first game. There are more enemies, but mostly they all shoot in the same manner. There are more bosses, but they tend to be completely identical. The level backgrounds are slightly more varied but remain nothing more than a picture in the distance.

But the art style is still blocky and colorful. Nothing clashes with the gameplay to cause confusion. The UI and menus have been revamped to be easier to navigate. There are clear upgrades from the first Space Elite Force, and those include changes to the visual package. The audio is once again great, but it’s similar to the previous game. How much more arcade sounding can you get?

Space Elite Force 2 was reviewed on Nintendo Switch. A review key was provided by QUByte Interactive.

Space Elite Force 2 shines where the first title sparkled. The good parts of the series are still there, and the weak parts have been adjusted. This is an incredibly solid shmup that is absolutely deserving of your time. Just don't expect a revolutionary experience. It's small, it's fun, and it's exactly the type of distraction to chill out with at the end of the day.
  • More story and characters
  • Longer campaign
  • A variety of upgrades and loadout options
  • Enemies become repetitive without variety
  • Most additions are quality-of-life, not content

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