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So an Ace Combat game came out for the Wii this week. For $30.
Well, more or less. It's not technically an Ace Combat game but it's a arcadey flight combat game made by the Ace Combat guys so pretty much yeah. It has a really stupid name, though: Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces. Apparently it's based on some mediocre anime.
It got a little discussion in the weekly game release thread but it was mostly "Is this good should I buy it?" Apparently it is!
The thing is, no one is talking about it. Almost no one has reviewed it. And as far as I can tell, no one has played it.
Some talk from the reviews.
If you're right-handed, Sky Crawlers forces (or at least strongly encourages) you to use the Nunchuk in your right hand and the remote in the left. The Nunchuk, apparently because its curved shape is more joystick-like, is used as the stick of the plane. And you use all of it, meaning you're pulling back and twisting it freely in the air, which can be disorienting at first. The remote, meanwhile, is used primarily as the throttle: pull it up to accelerate, and tilt it down to slow down.
Hey that sounds kinda cool!
The overall presentation for Innocent Aces is pretty impressive, though it won't rival what players have already gotten with the best of the best Ace Combat offerings on even PS2. Many of the concepts return, and they've got their own style, but there's also a simpler overall look to it all. Still, what's there is great, including mission briefings with full voiceover, a pre-launch map where all the friendly and enemy forces can be seen on a flat paper map as if they're playing pieces in a board game – you can zoom around and check out the overall mission before deploying – and then post-mission replays that were a huge hit in the Ace Combat series. During your debriefing you can watch the mission from a half dozen different camera settings, and even watch flight lines of every friendly and enemy unit in the mission in high speed mode, showing little colored lines loop and intertwine over the mission map like streamers. Replays can also be saved and watched over again, which is a nice touch.
It's almost like the developer put actual effort into making a game on the Wii. Weird, right?
What really matters is the flying, and it's simply awesome. Sky Crawlers has always had a sort of over-the-top feel to it, with pilots pushing uncanny flight paths and maneuvers out of their aircraft that seem truly impossible even today. And while most of Innocent Aces looks and plays like a typical Ace Combat game, its got its own series-influenced additions that make you feel like a complete badass when in the air.
Yeah so this sounds pretty fantastic. But it seems like this game was sent to die because there has been zero hype. So has anyone actually bought this thing?