Score: 7.0 / 10
All it takes is the release of another flying game to get the old school gamers all teary-eyed over the days gone past; I still get a little bit hazy thinking about the many lost hours playing Wing Commander and any chance to strap into a bird is a good enough excuse to bring out my flight glasses and scarf.
a very topical view of the technology of World War II, Blazing Angels follows the tour of a flight of pilots
(optimistically called a “squadron” with 4 members) who get sent into the
hotspots of the war to turn the tide in the skies. Definitely not going the
“tactical” route, it is possible to attain double-ace in any mission.
Therein lay the lynchpin: people who want a realistic simulation of flying
during this era should look elsewhere, people who are looking to blow stuff up
are going to be more satisfied with the game.
Sorties will vary from the basic air-superiority missions to the escort/protect and interception missions; the one thing that they all hold in common is that you are going to be severely outnumbered in the skies and you are going to have to send a lot of people back to earth if you intend to complete your objectives. Most of the time, you will be accompanied by your 3 wingmen – Tom (your shadow), Frank
(your team psychopath), and Joe (your mechanic) and each of which has a special ability that you can use sporadically. Tom can taunt an enemy away from you, Frank can be sent off to kill a group of enemies that you target for him, and Joe can initiate repairs on your plane in-flight through a series of button presses. Try not to wrap your mind
around the improbability of fixing a fighter in mid-air, it’s just
better that way (kind of how Rocky IV is more watchable if you don’t consider
that Mr. Lundgren could kill Sly Stallone with just his haircut). With those
wingmen and the massive deficit of the opponent AI, it makes for a slaughter of
combat is actually quite heated, there are a lot of bullets and bombs whizzing
in every direction and it is easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of
dog-fighting (not the Michael Vick kind). Most times, mission failures have more
to do with you getting distracted by an enemy group rather than being
overwhelmed by enemy numbers. The hardest missions will usually only hang up a
gamer for about 3-5 passes through and most will get the tricks after a single
pass. I would estimate that most gamers will get about 10 hours of gameplay from
the single player campaigns. There is a fair amount of replay in trying to get
all of the unlockable content for the game – success on missions yields a
greater number of playable planes which you can modify. Everyone wants to get
their grubby mitts on the Me 262 or the Komet.
The game is definitely cross platform. It doesn’t look significantly superior
than the Xbox or the Xbox 360 despite the superior horsepower, as a matter of
fact I almost feel as though it was a PS2 game in a smaller case. Sound is
pretty standard, voice acting is dialed into the task and the combat does sound
much like one would expect. Nothing negative or positive, pretty much okay.
one big highlight has got to be the inclusion of the six-axis controls scheme
for the game; using the rotational and tilting of the controller, you can adjust
your plane’s orientation. It certainly makes for a fun time, especially for
spectators who get to watch the vicious grinding of one person’s wrists trying
desperately to stay on the six of their target. It’s fun for a while and
certainly adds a level of difficulty to the campaign mode; I personally never
quite got the hang of it, especially when the game required pin-point precision
on bombing ground targets.
in all, Blazing Angels is a reasonable
distraction from the real world, fun to just pick up and play without too much
investment of time or focus. Definitely recommended for the casual gamer instead
of the more hardcore enthusiast.
is alive in our hearts, in his music and in a trailer park outside of
– Yakko (Animaniacs)
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