The Air Combat series built up a reputation for fast paced, over the top dogfights. Now the Project Aces studio attempts to replicate that magic on the Wii with The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces.
Those PlayStation and Xbox 360 Air Combat games were entirely less-than-serious arcade style dogfighters, with players pulling off incredible death defying maneuvers, firing off a near-unlimited supply of missiles, and taking down enemy fighters, ground installations, and ludicrously gigantic flying bombs.
Like the Air Combat games, Innocent Aces takes place within an alternative reality, this time stuck somewhere between World War I and II flight technology, using propeller powered planes rather than jet fighters.
Innocent Aces has it's own stylized presentation, fitting in with its origins first as a Japanese graphic novel and then an animated feature film.
In terms of controls, the team have taken advantage of the Wii's motion sensors: the nunchuck is used as a flight stick, while the Wii remote is held just as a throttle control would be on a conventional real world WWII-era aeroplane.
Not only that, but there are also special stunt maneuvers that can be accessed, the kind of turns, rolls, and dives that only an ace pilot could string together.
As with the Ace Combat series, Innocent Aces' missions promise fun and variety, appealing to those who are after an enjoyable action game, a diverting storyline, or a lightweight flight simulator.
Upon its North American release, IGN said there was no better flight game on the Wii, in doing so rating it above titles such as Blazing Angels, Heatseeker, and even the Up! movie tie-in. Gamespot were less effusive but still recommended it as a formidable, action-filled games.
As well as the game, there is also a DVD and Blu-Ray of the feature film already available in North America, which has an anticipated UK release of early June 2010, and a subtitled French/Japanese version that came out in late January.
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (Wii)
Release: Europe, February 26. North America, released January 12.
Price: €39.99 / $39.99
See Innocent Aces' review scores at GameRankings.com