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I bought this game earlier this year as part of an in-store 3 for 2 deal. I thought it looked interesting, and made full use of the Wii's motion sensing capabilities - something which couldn't be experienced on any other platform. Being new to the Wii this seemed very exciting, and indeed it is - you control different types of aeroplanes through real historical battles/missions. You can fly around any which way you like - the sky is yours to make of it what you will - firing guns, dropping bombs etc. I certainly wouldn't say that this game is boring, only that I found it really quite difficult. It's one thing having a nice sweep around the sky, and another to take accurate aim with the guns, take tight nippy corners and drop bombs directly on target. This is all probably down to my inexperience with games like this - so would really only recommend the game to those with some good game playing skills or flight sim experience.
I would say that the controls were easy to pick up but hard to master - they involve both the nunchuck and remote (however there is also the option to only use the remote if you don't have a nunchuck or don't want to use it). There's several different control setups which involve you waving around either controller, however having tried all the different setups to find one which allow me to progress past the first mission, I came to the conclusion that all are reasonably difficult.
Don't get me wrong, I had a blast with this game - and with some skills on your side - I'm sure it would be a very rewarding game. However after an embarrassing number of attempts to clear the first mission, I returned the game to the shop for a trade in for something more in the beginner/intermediate level.
In Blazing Angels you take control of one of 46 different planes from all theatres and sides of war, from the well known Spitfire to the first operational jet fighter, the Me 262. Following a group of American pilots in World War 2, volunteering with the RAF and participating in Dunkirk, the game follows their trials and tribulations, including Pearl Harbour, D Day and the Battle of Berlin.
The most important section of a game of this kind, and in this way it excels. The Campaign mode is where most gaming time will be spent, a wide variety of missions which ease you in, introducing you to different types of gameplay such as dogfights, shooting down bombers, bombing runs and torpedoes. There is a wide variety of places to fly, from the frozen Norwegian coastline to Paris, from Inner city London to the islands of the Pacific.
The ability to use your wiimote sensitivity to control the plane really separates this game from other versions, being that much more immersive. However the campaign mode suffers from a notoriously hard level involving flying through a canyon, and after this the rest of the game is a breeze in comparison. For some this level may persuade them to put the game down and never play it again. However I urge those who feel this way not to do so, as this game has so much more to give after this infuriatingly difficult level.
The sheer vastness of planes present to choose in Blazing Angels is a huge gift to World War 2 enthusiasts, with planes from Britain, the US, Germany and Japan being present. The now famous Me 262 being notable for it's appearance, along with the highly unusual Dornier Do 335 and the Flying Fortress joining the mainstay of World War 2 plane games, such as the Me 109, Spitfire and the Hurricane. This large selection of planes makes it easy to feel fully immersed in the game.
Naturally, Blazing Angels on the Wii suffers from a comparison with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions. However on its own merits the game is very attractive, the planes look remarkably realistic, as do the explosions and the various environments you fly in, with Paris and Norway being especially pretty.
The ground targets may suffer from under representation, often looking rather blocky upon inspection. However all of the planes look excellent and very close to life, with the Me 262 and Ju 87 Stuka coming in for particular praise in the graphical department. On its own the game excels in terms of graphics, and it is clear much effort went into the graphics of this game.
The planes, machine guns and explosions all sound excellent, especially the jet engines present on the four jet planes. The music is immersive but can sometimes overpower the various characters speech, forcing you to read the subtitles which takes your eyes off the main focus of the game, flying your plane. However the voice acting is rather poor, especially the voice acting of Joe, who is over the top, to the point where it is somewhat difficult to take his character seriously.
The campaign mode will take up most of your time on this game, and even when complete you will almost certainly feel compelled to replay certain levels using a plane of your choice, such as flying on the American side in the Battle of Berlin in a Japanese Shinden. Even after the main campaign there are ace duels and an arcade mode for all 34 fighter planes as well as six special bombing campaigns and six dogfight campaigns taking place is the same theatres as the ones in Campaign mode.
Blazing Angels has a lot to give even more so for history enthusiasts, for whom this game is a must buy, despite the occasional historical inaccuracy, such as the P-82 Twin Mustang, present in the game from halfway through campaign mode yet this aircraft did not serve in World War 2, similar to the Japanese Kikka, present in game yet did not get past prototype stage by the end of the war. Despite these niggling inaccuracies, history enthusiasts will have much to take from this game, and even average gamers will enjoy the extra modes.
Value for Money
For any price this is surely a must buy, even more so now you can pick it up for less than £10. The great graphics and superb gameplay which fully immerses you into the game through the highly responsive controls elevate this game to one of the best on the Nintendo Wii, and the plus points more than make up for the terrible voice acting and the occasional historical inaccuracy.
Unfortunately, the multiplayer mode leaves a lot to be desired and is clearly not meant to be the primary playing method. The game does not support multiplayer over Nintendo WFC and only supports 2 players at a time and the split screen makes manoeuvring your plane and targeting enemies difficult.
Though the multiplayer modes are satisfactory, with five separate modes and the ability to restrict plane choice by country and period amongst other things but the whole multiplayer mode feels rushed and whilst a two player dogfight over London may sound exciting, the game somehow makes such a thing feel unexciting. Blazing Angels is clearly meant to be a primarily one player game, and whilst the multiplayer mode is playable it will not make you come back for more.
Blazing Angels is a superb example of a flight combat simulator, and should be a must buy game for any Wii owners who have an interest in this period of history or an interest in aviation. It could only be made better through better voice acting and a much improved multiplayer mode, however the campaign mode is almost flawless, and indeed would be if the difficulty level was notched down on a few of the missions. The game is highly accessible and an amazing example of how responsive the wiimote can be during gameplay.
Thanks for reading, any comments you have will be gratefully received. Also on Ciao.
This is an awful game. It was a gift to me from a family member and I have never bothered to finish it. Why? The dreary dialogue in flight and the SLOW moving aircraft and mission. The first mission is so dull you will struggle to complete it because it takes so long and is such a waste of your life.
The only thing that I like about it is the control. It uses the nunchuck as a yoke. Wahey, thats all that there is that is fun about it. Once the novelty of controlling the game wth the nunchuck wears off, you will be bored and wishing you had bought Zelda instead. But nevermind. Don't buy this game, borrow it, then return it promptly after realising that you should have listened to this review. This could have been an excellent simulator, but has been very poorly executed with the missions in game.
Experience the most gripping and famous battles of WWII through the eyes of a squadron commander and ace fighter pilot. From the Battle of Britain, through the dramatic air combat of Pearl Harbour, the Midway fierce fighting, and way back to Europe, to the battle of Berlin, your pilot skills will create WWII history. Dominate the skies of Western Europe, and the Pacific and bring back alive your squadron of Blazing Angels.