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The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces [WII]





If you are a Jet simulator fan then prepare to enjoy yourself in a World Ware 2 atmosphere.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Underappreciated"

Summary

The Sky Crawlers game is base on a not well known anime movie "The Sky Crawler ". Yes this is a anime based game but its a well made fighter sim that any fan of the genre will enjoy.

The Game is made up of 18 missions. Missions follow into the status quo of jet sims such as escorts, dogfights, protect convey, destroy ships, kill all of the enemy, defeat the enemy ace pilot, and so on. As you progress through the game you are rewarded more fighters, specialized weapons, and fighter colors.

Gameplay takes place in a fantasy world ware 2 time frame. Fighters are all propeller base and weapons vary between different machine guns and bombs. Though there is no missiles per say, the shooting of the machine guns works very well and allows for very nice dogfights. If you are able to stay close enough to a enemy close enough then you can preform and special maneuver which will allow your plane to get in position behind a enemy. Classic rules of leading your targets apply and the shooting reticule works very well to do so.

Controls are really bad for the wiimote and nunchuck. There is a very hard to figure out push and pull control scheme between the wiimote and nunchuck that comes off very strange and unwieldy. Instead of criticizing it though, just move quickly to your gamecube or classic controller and things will feel very friendly. The sad thing is that these controllers have a lack of options for you to change so if you do not like the configuration then you must force yourself through its scheme. The schemes though are very basic and I found no discomfort with it.

As this is a Japanese port over that was first a anime movie, expect a lot of quirky dialogue. Voice acting itself is actually done very well with voices of characters sounding in tune with the attitude of each character. That being said, there is a lot of talking especially during battles that could get bothersome for some. I was pretty drawn off by it but throughout the game, I found myself actually listening to the characters and there attitudes toward the world. The anime cut scenes kept the flow of these characters intact and made things enjoyable to not see a negative in a lot to talking. Music is pretty normal of this genre with techno, to tech-rock in the background. I personally turned the music down and turned the sound effects up. Developer Xceed games really did well on the engine sounds, bullets wisps, and explosions.

Graphically, this game does push the wii. Some spots really shine such as clouds, wind graphic influences, design of your fighters, and terrain layouts. All that said, the lack of a video card to handle anti aliasing in the system really is shown. Once you come really near to objects such as buildings or bridges you will see many jagged edges. Not only that but there are many times where that lack of anti aliasing is even seen on the outskirts of your plane or in cockpit mode. Cockpit mode though does have some nice graphical designs base on your plane. Internal nobs and switches do move and light on as you play which ads a visual enjoyability. Each fighter has its own cockpit design and layout as well. Also you can swivel your camera inside the cockpit which adds a feeling that no other wii jet sim has captured.

Overall this is a great gem that will go unknown except those who are curious for a good jet sim. If you are looking for something equivalent to early ace combats or Tom Clancy Hawks then this will do it.

Gameplay
9/10
Good battles, Good mix of different mission scenarios, nice mix of fighters. It brings nothing new to the table but what it brings is the same experience on the wii that other consoles have enjoyed.

Sound
8/10
You may grow tiresome of the talking but the sound effects of the guns, planes, and voice acting itself is done well.

Graphics
8/10
They pushed the system some and though there are some very nice spots, the lack of true anti aliasing is seen.

Longevity
8.8/10
18 missions, nice amount of things to unlock for this genre (over 24 fighters and a slew if special weapons), and a score system you can improve score ranking which will keep you playing missions over and over. Hard difficulty will keep you in your seat longer as well and there is another difficulty of Ace that can also be unlocked by meeting high ranking on missions.







Not just Ace Combat+World War II

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Worth playing"

Summary

Project Aces makes great games and The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces isn't exclusion. The game takes the best features from the Ace Combat series: their especial pathos, beautiful graphics and very friendly interface.

Story:
I think, not many people watched the animation movie, so at first I'd like to tell about the game universe. Events take place, which looks like Earth in 50th years of XX century. The names of cities and the world map are real, but all the territory is divided on two zones of influence. The first zone is zone under control of Rostock Corporation, the second - under Lautern Corp. control. The movie and the game tell us about life of Rostock pilots, who had the base somewhere in Czech Republic. The game is a prequel to the movie, so I think, that it'll be better to watch movie before playing the game. No real spoilers about the story. After watching the movie, you'll have a lot of questions and the game can give you some answers. Also it was a big surprise for me, that the main character of Innocent Aces is ... stop, no spoilers. Let it be a surprise for you too.

Gameplay:
I played this game using Wii classic controller, because I used to fly using controller with analogs. So the control of the plane is very friendly, sometimes it seemed that the game is too easy even on the highest difficulty level. The plane collection and customization menu is just like in Ace Combat. Also there are more than 25 planes in the game, for every type of 18 missions, which are completing in one breath. There is only problem, that they are so short.

Graphics:
As for me, it's very good. The creators completed their main objective: to show us the beauty of the flight. The sun, the clouds and sky. All these components are amazing. Yes, the land isn't so good as sky and planes, but isn't so important.

Overall:
The game is very good, but short (that's why only 8/10). Also watching the movie is desirable for playing the game if you are not Ace Combat fan. If you don't understand the movie at all, watch it again, because it isn't easy to understand.





Disaster controls make this game extremely annoying.

4.0

Poor
Difficulty:
Very Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Don't believe the hype"

Summary

Don't believe the hype. I bought this game thinking that the user reviews were ok, but doesn't any one remember Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII? Blazing Angels is 10 times better than this piece of crap. The dead zone in Sky Crawlers on the control stick is way too large to be useful, so you are constantly over-controlling the plane to get small aiming adjustments. After you execute a "tacticle maneuver", the control stick centers so you have to re-do your flight movement causing many crashes. Also, there is no padlock view whatsoever so you can't track enemy movement until they are right in front of you. It's like looking through a straw to see your enemies. The menu system is just weird and confusing with many redundant confirm buttons that make you feel like you're a two year old. The music is even more weird and plays the same tune over and over inside a mission. Who cares about the anime cinematics. If I want to watch TV then I can do that...I am playing a video game people. Please help me to rate this game lower than a 5 at least. If this is a 7.5 then I am going to throw out my entire Wii system and get a PlayStation. (You can't be serious.)





Just goes to show what a good developer can do for a movie license.

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Immersive"

Summary

Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces is a game based on Mamoru Oshii's 2008 anime film. With that in mind, you're probably already walking out on this review with the idea that a game based on a film isn't really worth giving any attention. If I told you that Project Aces, the main developer of the Ace Combat franchise, was the developer for the game, would you regain any interest? If you like flight simulators at all, then hopefully you've got some interest in giving Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces some chance. Innocent Aces is after all a game that anyone who is a fan of the genre or the developer that anyone should give a shot.

The plot of Innocent Aces is based on the notion that corporations fight wars in order to keep people under the idea that they have it good because there are people who have to fight in the name of profit for their respective corporations. Though Optimus Prime would like to say otherwise, this is a stalemate that cannot be broken since the corporations keep this with the intent of enforcing world peace. However there is a new twist in development that may soon change the entire course of war as we may know it. New pilots called Kildren, seemingly immortal children who can only be killed in battle and having much more refined piloting and combat capabilities than the average human.

The plot is definitely worth writing home about, though the story is more focused on the combat than it is on deepening the concept it's built on. Just like many other Project Aces games, you assume the name of a protagonist who never speaks and has no characterization. Obviously this is done in order to make players feel like they are actually in the seat of the main character instead of just watching characters react to certain events. The secondary characters do manage to satisfy your need for characterization though, their fractured relationships and pasts, twists, questions of loyalty, all add to well done characters. All of these factors in mind, it's possible that these concepts may make players interested in checking out the animated film that the game is based on, I know it did for me.

Graphically, Innocent Aces manages to portray itself quite well when it comes to the in game visuals be it from the planes themselves, the landscapes, anything else that takes up screen time. There aren't any real frame rate issues to take note of and everything runs smoothly as you continue to shoot down enemy after enemy. The cut scenes are also very well done, and probably taken from the actual film itself just to show how far Japanese animation has come.

If you're looking for good sound factor, Innocent Aces is not one to disappoint be it in terms of sound effects or the soundtrack that Project Aces fans would know was going to be great in the first place. Be it the explosions, the engines, the guns, there are no sound issues or anything of the like. The soundtrack for all intents and purposes simply soars in terms of how well it's done. When you finish playing for the day, you'll be humming the game's epic soundtrack in your sleep, especially BGM 10 or whatever the real title is, just another given when you're looking at a Project Aces game. The voice acting is there, but it doesn't really reach the same heights as the musical score or the sound effects for that matter. There's nothing that will make your ears bleed, but there's nothing there to give the voice actors A grades for.

Finally onto how the game plays, you might be wondering if a flight simulator can actually be done successfully on the Wii, if you really need an answer Sky Crawlers is good enough to give a solid yes to anyone wondering this. The gameplay consists of holding the Wiimote in your dominant hand and the nunchuk in the other. The Wiimote is used as a throttle to accelerate and decelerate your plane's speed while the nunchuk is used to control the movement of your plane and trigger with the Z button. The setup might sound a bit awkward on paper, but in practice it actually works pretty well and you have the option of using the classic controller or the Gamecube controller if the setup doesn't work for you. The game also has a new element for a flight game, the maneuver bar that appears once your plane starts to chase down the enemy plane and the more it fills up, the more killer moves you will be able to pull off to get behind your enemy. All of this is done with the simply press of the A button, and as a result it may make some players feel as though maneuvering in this game is a tad too easy. Overall, for a game based on a film focused on flight battles and dog fights, Innocent Aces has the right stuff in mind in order to make sure that you feel that you're living the feel of the concept behind it.

Innocent Aces clocks in at about 9 hours or so, and once you manage to complete the game there really isn't much reason to go back to play it again unless there are specific missions that you really enjoyed playing and want to play again. This might not sound like such a good deal, but at the budget price of $30, this isn't a very bad deal at all. The factors that put this game out into existence will most likely put off a lot of potential buyers, be it the game only being available for Wii owners or the notion that it's a movie licensed game to begin with at a $30 price tag. If you do manage to come across this game at all though, it is worth playing at least once, and with further price drops, there's very little reason that flight sim fans shouldn't pass up on this gem.





Great flight simulator. Great motion controls!

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Innovative"

Summary

Ok, first I completely disagree with Gamespot or anyone else that disses the motion controls. The default settings are great to learn on, but after a while you will see their limits. This doesn't mean you need to pick up your classic controller though. No, it means you need to use the advanced motion controls. From there, things just get awesome. At least to me it does, but then again, I used to fly planes in real life too. Once you learn to use the left and right rudder with the flight stick, you'll have enemy planes dropping like flies. They went for a realistic flight simulator and they nailed it. It takes some time to learn, but once you figure it out it's awesome.

Graphics: The planes look great. Can't ask for much more. As do the environments for the most part. The landscapes and skies are beautiful. Some of the backdrops are a little bland, but you'll probably be too busy shooting down planes to care. For the most part, it rocks.

Story: I don't get the whole staged war by coporations scenario part of the story. It just doesn't make sense. if it was just a war, that would work better. Most of the custscenes from the movie are of little interest. It does best telling the story between battles with out the movies, where it just has the planes flying around and the characters talking. Or the parts of the story you get during mission briefings. The extra custscenes look like they are just thrown in because they are from the movie and I'm guessing the movie wasn't very good.

This game is great, has tons of action, and rocks some awesome motion controls if you take the time to learn them.
7.5

Great
7.4
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