Blazing Angles have an angel in their corner...and
his name is Joe. If you want a decent challenge, leave
Joe alone. by
28, 2006 - Blazing
Angels: Squadrons Of WWII is filling a void on the
consoles right now, nevermind that it's just expanded
the somewhat meager X360 library by 1. While flight
sim/air combat games were the rage of yesteryear on
the PC, the same can't be said for the consoles and
that remains true today. Apart from Crimson Skies
(Xbox) and the ever popular Ace Combat series on the
PS2, air combat fans haven't been able to get their
dogfighting joneses (should that be pluralized?) for
quite some time. Ubi Soft was smart to jump in and
deliver but the game isn't without its faults.
off, I have to say that if you're just looking to
shoot some floating red cursors in the sky and take
in some sites - Paris, London, Pearl Harbor, Berlin,
North Africa (make sure to wave at the Call of Duty
2 boys down below as you pass buy) - maybe Blazing
Angels will suffice. The recognizable landmarks and
cities really look great, but it appears that the
artisitic budget was blown on getting them to look
that way as other areas of the game aren't nearly
as appealing. While in flight, the enemy planes you'll
be required to take down are very tiny, but have no
fear, the red cursor will show you exactly where they
are while completely blowing the arse out of the reality
of the game. I thought my grandfather had become senile
when he was telling me stories of shooting down floating
red brackets in the sky over London during the war.
It appears he was telling the truth. Sorry for putting
you in the old age home Gramps. My bad!
so I'm being a tad facetious. Blazing Angels attempts
to be nothing more than an arcade shooter with some
level objectives and multi-player options. In that
sense, it does succeed. You will have to put up with
some cut corners (cockpit view = removed), repetitive
missions, lowgrade models, lack of difficulty and
the most hilarious/offensive voiceovers I've ever
heard. I honestly don't know whether to be offended
or laugh my ass off at the German, British and Japanese
dialogue. You have to hear it to believe it. Instead
of speaking their native tongue, the enemies converse
(and taunt) in broken English with voices that would
have be toned down about 50% to be considered caricatures.
It's like listening to a Dean Martin Roast and the
guests of honor are Japan, Germany and Britain.
the single player campaign, you'll start off training
as the lone Yankee helping out the British but that
soon gives way to the real reason you're learning
to fly. The front lines! Blazing Angels is a team
based shooter although you will find yourself flying
solo on a few missions. Once you do have your squadron,
comprised of real classic meat and potatoes 1940's
names such as Tom, Joe and Frank (can you imagine
having to fly with Kyle, Tyson and Jarred?...I mean,
come on! Those guys would get you killed!) you can
command them to attack, defend and regroup. Each squadron
member has their own unique "special attack or
power" and this is where reality takes a flying
leap out of the plane without a parachute. Joe, the
resident mechanic, has a special meter that fills
as you go along (as do they all) and when you're in
big trouble, Joe can be called upon to give you advice
on how to fix your plane as it's divebombing into
the ground or ocean below. Joe will give you a series
of buttons to press (on the Xbox 360 controller) and
you'll magically save yourself from imminent disaster.
And you can do this over and over and over - which
as I mentioned, completely eradicates any sense of
challenge from the game. Therefore you will coast
through most of the missions in Blazing Angels and
find yourself becoming bored by the repetitive nature
of the design since you'll rarely die or have much
trouble picking the red brackets/red lines out of
the sky. Naturally you can always make the conscious
decision not to repair your plane and let the chips
fall where they may. In doing so, you will wring far
more entertainment value out of the game and you'll
even find some missions downright nasty such as Berlin
and the Battle of Rabaul. Ouch.
the arcade skew of the game further dumbs down the
experience by granting your squadron virtual invincibility.
I already exposed Joe and his godlike button commands
that will keep you in the air almost indefinitely,
but there is also Frank and Tom. Frank can be called
upon to break formation and unleash hell on a few
pesky enemies. And he does. Without fail and without
any danger to himself. Frank just doesn't fall out
of the sky. Tom, on the other hand, can pull guys
off you like a bouncer on Wet T-shirt Wednesdays.
He just somehow manages to fire up the enemy (even
though technically he can't speak their language)
to the point that they'll stop chasing you and go
after him. Maybe he's mooning them... Without fearing
for your comrades or having to protect them, there
is no connection made to them at all. I was more emotionally
attached to Slippy from StarFox 64.
not to say Blazing Angels is complete drudgery. The
dogfighting can be quite invigorating and even intense,
especially the first few missions when everything
is new. After you've experienced what the game has
to offer, you'll simply look forward to new planes
and new territories to engage the enemy. Of course,
no pilots during WW2 did as much continent jumping
as the Blazing Angels do in this game, but you'll
be happy to substitute reality for a change of scenery.
Once you head into the heavy battles, you'll be facing
a lot more threats and you'll find the challenge quite
welcome after so many cakewalks.
you've been frightened off flight sims since the early
PC days, Blazing Angels won't give you any headaches.
It's pure arcade action. You will have to take off,
but that's accomplished by rotating the R analog stick
to get the propellor spinning, while pressing up or
back on the R analog stick provides speed adjustment.
The L analog stick pitch and turn, R analog provides
roll/speed, R trigger fires machine guns, R analog
press drops bombs, buttons B & X switch targets
and the d-pad provides squadron commands with an up
press (Attack, Defend, Formation) and the remaining
three directions call on Joe, Tom or Frank to use
their special moves. Your plane will handle just as
well when its in fine physical condition as when its
on fire and that's just plain silly. It wouldn't have
taken much to include control problems depending on
the type of damage sustained and that would have made
things more challenging and to say the least, more
you've cut your teeth offline (which will take all
of 10 minutes) you're highly advised to play Blazing
Angels online where you'll undoubtedly find the game
far more entertaining as there is much more hanging
in the balance. 3 single player online modes await:
Seek and Destroy, Aces High and Dog Fight. Up to 16
players can partake of the action online and I'd highly
recommend it. You can also play in team battles and
4 player co-op that will allow you to go through the
single player campaign with three other teammates.
Personally, it's the only way to play it as far as
I'm concerned as there is at least a decent amount
just have to know what you're in for with Blazing
Angels (if you haven't already played it on Xbox).
It's much in the same vein as Crimson Skies although
I'm sure there will be endless argumnents as to which
one is more realistic. Let me just say "neither"
and end it already. BA is best played online, but
the single player mode can be fun for awhile; it may
not capture everyones attention span for the entire
most epic and famous air battles.
Experience the greatest air battles of World War
II in famous locations from across the globe. Whether
its the invasion of the Philippines, the fierce
fighting for the desserts of North Africa, or the
battle of Britain, the player and his squadron will
be tasked with turning the tide of war.
AI-controlled wingmen will obey player commands.
As the pilots skills improve, so will the
skills of his squadron. The pilots heroism
and leadership will grow during the course of the
campaign as players fly with their squadron and
evolve together into an ace fighting force.
large variety of realistic-looking WWII aircraft.
Pilot 40 authentic WWII aircraft including the famous
P-51 Mustang, the P-38 Lightning, the B-17 Flying
Fortress, the Luftwaffes Messerschmitt, the
Spitfire of Britain and the Japanese Zero. From
the wing rivets, to the nose art, to the detailed
cockpits, these planes are just like the real thing.
heart-stopping missions in a compelling storyline.
Pilots will begin as untrained recruits and evolve
through battle experience into ace combat pilots.
WWII missions will take place around the globe in
places like England, Germany, France, Morocco, Midway
WWII atmosphere. Fly in close to Germanys
industrial terrain for a bombing raid, strafe the
islands of the pacific, or emerge from the cloud
cover over London and engage the enemy. The environment
looks so real youll feel like youre
the pilot in a famous WWII movie.
are easy to handle and fun to fly.
No need to attend the Air Force Academy to pilot
these planes; players can jump right into air combat
Live for up to 20 players online.
Engage in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative
team play between squadrons on huge maps with large