It was the appeal of guiding a World War II plane as gracefully as a conductor guides an orchestra that prompted our eagerness to try WWII Aces' Wii Remote-only control scheme. Visions of smooth, intuitive dog fighting danced through our heads, only to be shattered by the control scheme's harsh reality. Furiously waggling the Remote rarely prompted a response, and when one occurred, it was almost never what had been instructed: bending a wrist to the right sometimes caused the plane to go left, while flexing to the left caused the craft to bob up and down in short bursts. Broken control scheme? Uh, yeah.
Fortunately, two other control layouts are available, both of which are outstanding. After connecting a nunchuk to the Wii Remote and selecting control scheme two or three, fighter pilot hopefuls will have no trouble flying the unfriendly skies. Navigation is controlled via the Nunchuk peripheral itself rather than the analog stick and is wonderfully intuitive. Actions such as firing machine guns, dropping bombs, and barrel rolls are mapped to buttons that are all within reach.
Most missions in WWII Aces' three campaigns revolve around bombing specified targets or eliminating attackers. Such objectives cycle endlessly, but playing co-op reduces some of the tedium, as the A.I. presents enough of a challenge to encourage teamwork.
Fun co-op gameplay extends to Aces' multiplayer modes, which tasks players with destroying a certain number of enemies or surviving for as long as possible. Competitive mode challenges two players with being the first to complete all objectives. It's entertaining, but deathmatch-style competition would have been nice.
The presence of a second player in any mode is accomplished through split-screen, which reduces WWII Aces' already simple graphics to those of a slightly high-resolution PSOne game. This doesn't prevent spotting any objectives, though - all targets are denoted by red triangles, making them easy to spot even at great distances.
WWII Aces is a decent title that is meant to be played cooperatively. So long as you have another friend close by, the $40 shouldn't sting your wallet too much.
Apr 2, 2008