The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces Review
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Namco Bandai (Project Aces) 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: XSeed Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 12, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Innocent Aces uses an unconventional control scheme that attempts to mirror a flight stick setup. The Wii Remote is held in your left hand, and it handles the throttle, special move triggering, and targeting systems. Using the Nunchuk in your right hand, you'll tilt to turn it and dive. Firing and weapon selection is handled by the Z and C buttons, respectively.

The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces screenshot

Once you get over the initial awkwardness that comes with switching hands, the controls do begin to feel natural. It's possible to engage and Expert style control mode that allows for a lot more control over the plane. There are other options too for folks who have a rough time of things. If you can't adjust to the Wii Remote and Nunchuk mixing and matching, it's possible to plug in a classic controller or even a Game Cube controller to play that way.

The only major problem with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk setup is with the ships themselves and the inability to adjust tilt sensitivity. Every ship handles differently, depending on its type and how it's equipped. Making hard turns and maneuvering isn't too difficult in the smaller, spunkier planes, but the controls feel painfully unresponsive on missions where you're piloting hulking bombers that fly like a beached whale. The real kicker is when you're then required to attempt to dogfight in these sluggish beasts while protecting other slow-moving friends from swarms of fighters. If you can push through these few highly irritating missions, you'll find the ships get easier to handle.

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Innocent Aces' anime style and unrealistic premise won't appeal to everyone, but the game is loaded with some really intense and challenging missions. The story and tone give the game some extra legs if you have the patience to let them get cooking, and the fancy flying and air combat are fun enough to merit strapping into the cockpit and firing up the engines.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The aerial maneuvers and anime presentation are polished, though not everything is quite as sexy on closer inspection.
3.8
Control
The creative flight stick imitation setup works well most of the time, but there is some awkwardness to push through.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Dramatic music and tons of voice acting bring the characters and story to life.
3.7

Play Value
It's easy to get sucked into the story and find a lot to enjoy in the game's 18 action-packed missions.

3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Fully utilize the unique features of the Wii controls to simulate flying a real fighter jet using the Wii Remote as the throttle and Nunchuk as the control stick. All maneuvers are performed by tilting the controllers.
  • In-depth story told via beautiful anime cutscenes follow an engrossing sci-fi tale of deception and betrayal in a world where humans are being cloned to be pilots.
  • Exhilarating game play by the premiere developer of flight simulation games in the industry developed from the ground up for Wii by the same team behind the Ace Combat series.


  • Screenshots / Images
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