|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|
The default controls are simply awful. Holding the Wii Remote sideways, you'll tilt it to move the plane around while tapping the buttons to drop bombs and fire machine guns. Simple movements work fine, but any fancy maneuvers require sharp, jostling motions that offer imprecise results. In some instances I attempted to make a hard right turn and ended up in a left turn or a loop-to-loop. This is particularly irksome when you've got half a dozen fighters chewing away at your tail flap with gunfire.
One thing the developers did manage to get right is the fluidity of your plane's basic movements. It's fairly responsive to the tilt controls; the problem is, when you throw the other maneuvers (sharp turns and loop-to-loops) into the mix, the whole thing sort of falls apart. The alternate control variations are not a vast improvement, but they're far more functional. Another control scheme maps the movement, pitch, throttle, and firing controls to the Nunchuk attachment, and the sharp turning and loop-to-loop buttons to the Wii Remote d-pad. With this setup you'll be tilting the Nunchuck to control the plain, fire munitions, and speed up. A third option lets you also control firing with the Wii Remote. The second option turned out to be the least miserable of the three.
Playing missions in co-operative split screen makes the game uglier and chuggier, but it also doubles your chances of progressing far enough along in the campaigns to feel that you're not getting completely screwed out of your $40 investment for the game. The game's other multiplayer options fall flat. There's no simple option to just fly dogfights against a friend. Instead, you can challenge one another to see who can destroy the most enemies or survive the longest, among a few other uninteresting modes.
Some of WWII Aces' killjoys would be overlookable if the game was visually impressive or at least played reasonably well. A long campaign doesn't help if the gameplay itself is intrinsically bad. Poor graphics, partially shoddy controls, boring objectives, and frustrating, repetitive missions make WWII Aces one to steer clear from unless you're a glutton for punishment.
CCC Freelance Writer