To the fans of anime and flight simulators, your game has arrived. The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces is now available for the Wii for all to play. The game is based off the animated movie The Sky Crawlers released back in 2008. The games combat system is similar to that of Ace Combat, which is no surprise due to the fact that the same team developed both games.
However, does it have the charm and lasting appeal of the Ace Combat series? Or is this one just for anime fans? Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs.
Did I do that?
One of the coolest features of the game is the ability to save and watch replays of missions that you have completed. There can be moments where you pull off some amazing moves or just simply survive a seemingly impossible situation, only to be upset that no one got to watch you do it. In this case, you can save your replay for your friends to see, or simply re-watch them yourself. This is also a great way to get better at the game. Watching your play style and seeing what you did right and wrong can truly help in the game later on. Knowing what is and is not effect in certain situations is key, so it is nice that you can basically study your performance to see what works for you. It is also a cool feature because you have so many different camera angles you can watch the replay on. If something seems amiss, you can turn the camera to view a different perspective and see exactly what it is that you did, how you did it, and see how can do it again.
Just like the Ace Combat games, there is a ton of customization options for almost anything in the game. The biggest things are of course the planes, but also the way you control the planes. There is a wide variety of weapons that you can unlock for all your planes in the game, and the nice thing is they are interchangeable and can be put onto almost any plane you use. You can also customize the look of your plane and its performance ability with special materials that you will gain throughout your game play. The control customization is another great aspect of the game. You can change your control lay to basically anything, allowing you to play as you see fit. This can range from how you do barrel rolls to what buttons work as triggers for your guns. The key here is experimenting and finding what it is that you are comfortable with and will enjoy using. All in all, this is definitely one of the highlights of the game that will keep you messing around for a while.
Flying = fun
The focus here is of course the core game play. Let me say this right off the bat, the flying in this game is simply fun. Doing barrel rolls, dives, sharp turns, even the simple descending and ascending mechanics work great. The planes all control well, and as stated before you can adjust your settings to anything you see fit. The weapons all feel just right for an aerial shooter, even if at times you wish there was a little more variety. The AI is decent and will sometimes give you a run for your money, which is great fun. Hectic dog fights are what make games like this and Ace Combat fun. No matter how many times you play, things will be different and you can of course replay any chapter you complete.
Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces doesn’t have the graphics you’re looking for in a next-generation game. Since this is a Wii game, you should lower your expectation when it comes to graphics. What makes this game good is that the anime sequence it shows you after each mission. Remember that this game was based on the popular anime and novel by Hiroshi Mori on how these people can live off in a war. The voice acting are pretty decent and you can feel the emotion and tension of the game.
I know I know, the Wii is not the system to look at when you want to see a visually impressive game, but Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces simply looks like an average PS2 game, such as some of the older Ace Combats. This is not a terrible thing, but one would hope to see more in a game that is all about flying over different environments and watching explosive dog fights.
The game has a good musical score, but some of the sound effects just seem lacking. Unlike Ace Combat, the plane sounds seem to be stripped down and have a non realistic tone to them. Once more this is not a terrible thing, but after games like Ace Combat, you would think that they could just reuse the sound effects from those games to give Sky Crawlers a more realistic tone.
The main story is the biggest draw here, but it can easily be completed in one after noon. You may find yourself going back to replay some missions after you customize your planes and change the controls around a bit for experimenting, but it is still the game missions that you previously completed. There is a multiplayer piggy-back mode in which a second person can control another gun on your plane. While this is a cool feature that will allow you and a buddy to both enjoy the game together, it is still a simple add on that can be easily passed up as a gimmick.
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces is not a bad game by any means, it has simply been done before and slightly better in other games. The anime story has a nice and unique feel to it, and fans of the animated movie will for sure get enjoyment form this title. The flying mechanics are great, but the game will only last you a few days and you won’t really see yourself going back to play it over and over again. If you have played many of the Ace Combat games and you’re a huge fan, it is worth a pick up, but if you are just in the mood to play a good dog fighting game, renting this one is not out of the question.The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces Review,