Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII Review: Is It Worth Buying?

blazing angels screenshot of planes and battle

Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII Review: Is It Worth Buying?

Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII is filling a void on the consoles. This game was published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii in 2006. 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 fix for quite some time. Ubisoft was smart to jump in and deliver but the game isn’t without its faults.

Similar to an Arcade Game

Blazing angels screenshot
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII battle sceen.

 If players are just looking to shoot some floating red cursors in the sky and take in some sites – Paris, London, Pearl Harbor, Berlin, North Africa maybe Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII will suffice. The recognizable landmarks and cities really look great, but it appears that the artistic 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 players are required to take down are very tiny, but have no fear, the red cursor will show them exactly where they are while completely blowing the arse out of the reality of the game. Blazing Angels attempts to be nothing more than an arcade shooter with some level objectives and multiplayer options. In that sense, it does succeed.

What Players are Getting Into

Screenshot of Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, with a plane flying above a ship on the water. Black smoke is rising from the ship.
It’s easy to tell who’s who with the onscreen system.

Players will have to put up with some cut corners, repetitive missions, low grade models, lack of difficulty and the most hilarious/offensive voiceovers. Instead of speaking their native tongue, the enemies converse (and taunt) in broken English with voices that would have been 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. In the single player campaign, players will start off training as the lone Yankee helping out the British but that soon gives way to the real reason they’re learning to fly. Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII is a team-based shooter although players will find themselves flying solo on a few missions.

What Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII Offers

Blazing Angels battle
Joe is the guy for the job if planes get hit by a missile.

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 players go along. When they are in big trouble, Joe can be called upon to give advice on how to fix their plane as it dives bombs into the ground or ocean below. Joe will give players a series of buttons to press, and they’ll magically save themselves from imminent disaster.

Players will coast through most of the missions in Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII and find themselves becoming bored by the repetitive nature of the design since they’ll rarely die or have much trouble picking the red brackets/red lines out of the sky. Naturally players can always make the conscious decision not to repair their plane and let the chips fall where they may.

Character Backstory and Controls

blazing angels screenshot
Warfare within Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII.

Joe and his godlike button commands that will keep players 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 players like a bouncer. He just somehow manages to fire up the enemy to the point that they’ll stop chasing and go after him. 

If players have been frightened off flight sims since the early PC days, Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII won’t give them any headaches. It’s pure arcade action. Players will have to take off, but that’s accomplished by rotating the R analog stick to get the propeller 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 and the remaining three directions call on Joe, Tom or Frank to use their special moves. 

Last Thoughts

Players can also play in team battles and 4 player co-op that will allow them 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 of challenge. Players just have to know what they’re in for with Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII. It’s much in the same vein as Crimson Skies although I’m sure there will be endless arguments as to which one is more realistic. Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII is best played online, but the single player mode can be fun for a while; it may not capture everyone’s attention span for the entire 20 missions.

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