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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Ubisoft

 

Developer

Ubisoft

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q1 2007

 

 

- About as pick up and play of a flight game can get

- Accessibility is a big feature, not going to be limited to only WWII fans

 

 

- About as deep as a puddle

- Not particularly challenging for hardcore gamers

 

 

Review: Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII (360)

Review: Rainbow Six Vegas (360)

Review: Armored Core 4 (PS3)

 

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Blazing Angels

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.

 

blazing angels          blazing angels

 

Taking 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

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(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

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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 epic proportions.

 

The 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.

 

Graphically? 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.

 

The 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.

 

All 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.

 

- Tazman

(July 3, 2007)

 

“Elvis is alive in our hearts, in his music and in a trailer park outside of Milwaukee .”

           – Yakko (Animaniacs)

 

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