|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Arcade Moon||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destineer||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 21, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
A World War II flying game on the Wii sounds like an exciting prospect full of serious potential due to the system's range of unique control options. If the thought makes you envision gloriously tense, Wii Remote-driven dogfights amidst swarms of enemy fighter squadrons and dangerous bombing runs against tanks, ships, and artillery, then you're not alone. It's really all the possibilities of what could have been that make the reality of Destineer's WWII Aces so much more disappointing.
You'd think by now publishers would have finally caught-on to the tiny little secret that the bulk of Wii owners who actually like to play the thing aren't going to voraciously consume just any piece of crap that has motion controls tacked onto it and call it yummy cake. Ok, that might be a bit harsh; the gameplay in WWII Aces isn't complete crap, but it's pretty close.
The game lets you play key air battles from WWII through three expansive campaigns across a total of 72 missions. You'll play as the British Royal Air Force, German Luftwaffe, or Soviet Air Force. Some of the scenery, crummy voice-over accents, and back-story will change from one side to another. However, much of what you'll be doing remains the same in each campaign. It boils down to a whole lot of "machine gun this" and "bomb that" over and over again. Admittedly, the dog fights are cool at first, and it is occasionally satisfying to nail every single target on a bombing run, but the formula grows tiring quickly. That's when the frustration begins to creep in.
Any temporary fun you might derive from flying around and blowing stuff up is quickly sucked away by the inexplicable, asinine difficulty of certain missions. Escort and protection missions tend to be among the worst since the skies tend to get so chaotic at times that just trying to stay alive yourself takes a front seat to defending whatever hunk of junk you've been assigned. Occasionally, you'll be working away at mission objectives only to find yourself suddenly surrounded by dozens of enemy planes all swarming around you like bees with little warning of the reinforcements. More often than not, you'll be harassed by gaggles of fighters that all take to ganging up on you viciously to ensure that even the best fancy flying to dodge their fire will still amount to your plane being splayed across the countryside in a heaping wreck of twisted, charred metal. This frequently happens just after you've completed your objectives and are given orders to return to base. There's nothing quite as infuriating as surviving long enough on a mission to complete your objectives only to get shot down seconds before reaching the safety of your hangar. Now I understand why they put the warning screens reminding players to ensure the Wii Remote is securely fastened to your wrist during play: so you don't accidentally throw it through your television screen in a fit of seething rage.
Given the kind of game it is, WWII Aces features some agonizingly long load times. More than 40 seconds seems like a long time to wait, but when things finally do get underway, it's hard to understand what the wait was for. Graphically, it barely holds up to early Game Cube standards. The load times would be excusable if there were actually something exciting to do or look at when they conclude. The game lacks detail and polish in pretty much every area, from the bland level design to generic-looking enemy units you'll run up against.