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Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
From: Ubisoft
For: Wii
Genre: Flying, Warfare
ESRB Rating: Teen (13+)
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
Ubisoft's newly-released Blazing Angels: Squadron's of WWII for Wii does constitute a step up from the Xbox 360 version released last year. Unfortunately, improving on a generally lousy game still leaves lots of room for lousiness.
Posted April 26, 2007
A World War II dogfighting game, Blazing Angels' most notable advancement over its Xbox 360 counterpart (released last year) is found in the game's implementation of Wii remote control, allowing motion-sensitive interfacing through either the Wii remote controller (the "Wii-mote") or the likewise motion-sensitive Nunchuk attachment. The game offers several control variations where you can hold the Wii-mote like pitching, rotating, gyrating handlebars or magic want, or using the Nunchuk similarly while the Wii-mote is just used for its buttons.

Alternately, you can also play it without motion sensitivity, classic gamepad style. Flight control settings also include "arcade" mode where much of the mechanics of flight like rolls and banking turns are automated -- but such a scheme makes for the same sickly, underachieving effect that made the original Xbox 360 version such a flying-bathtub joke.

Unfortunately, the "simulation" option doesn't fair much better, for though it feels a lot more like simulated flight with smooth handling of pitch and roll, it still lacks manual rudder control. Instead, the ailerons and rudder are controlled together by a single roll/bank movement, turning right as you would the steering wheel of a car, which puts the plane on it's side, then you pull "up" to actually make the right turn. As such, you spend a lot of time on your side or even upside down, even though you're just trying to draw a bead on an enemy who's just a little past one o'clock but otherwise dead to rights. In real life, a rudder used on its own allows you to control sideslipping or “yaw” independently, thus allowing you to keep a plane level while nudging the nose to one o'clock (or wherever). Though rudder and ailerons are often used in conjunction with each other, rudder-only control is sorely needed, yet flagrantly missing here in Blazing Angels.

Without such nuanced control, gameplay is darn frustrating, and leaves what is already and unremarkable game with serious continuity issues (knock out an enemy ace out in the first minute and you'll still have to fly around for another three while your buddies call out clearly wrong warnings as if the ace was still around) and really bad voice work with little to say for itself beyond "better, not best."

As a World War II flying game, it neither simulates nor stimulates with any semblance of veracity. It totally blows a spoon fed opportunity to make a great flying/dogfighting game with more than enough motion control options, opting instead for a scant step up to motion-sensitive inexactness.

That said, Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII for Wii is the better bathtub flyer.
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Bang for your buck:
Great Rental 
Ok New Purchase 
Ok Pre-played 
Good Bargain-bin Buy 

Score:  2.75  (out of 5)