What’s It All About?
The developers of the Ace Combat series have worked on a number of flight combat titles that are spread out over the Xbox 360, the Playstation 2 and 3, and the PSP Consoles. The number of flight games for the Wii remains relatively small, but The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces adds an additional flight title to the Wii's library of games. Anime fans will love the cartoon clips included on the game disk.
The game is based on the anime The Sky Crawlers. The back story for the movie and the game revolves around a series of mock conflicts that are fought for the entertainment of the public in order to maintain the peace. Do not worry if the idea does not make much sense, the back story does not affect game play at all.
The Sky Crawlers Innocent Aces starts when new recruits join the Riosoko corporation as pilots. The elite pilots of Cougar Squadron are joined by a series of young pilots who can only die in battle.
The Sky Crawlers anime calls this group of pilots, “Kildren.” You do not need to have watched the two-hour long animated film to play the game.
Graphics Rating (3 out of 5)
The Sky Crawlers Innocent Aces graphics are not memorable. The developers decided that it is a good idea for the player to be able to distinguish the horizon from the actual ground. Other flight titles for the Wii have suffered from this problem. You cannot expect the Wii to show the same level of graphics capability that the original Xbox used for Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. The graphics are on par with most Wii games.
The designs of the planes, give the game a dieselpunk feel, even though the game takes place during some unspecified period. While the planes are not the same as the actual planes flown in World War II, there are aircraft that look a lot like Zeros, P-38s, Messerschmitt, and the British Hurricane. The graphics get 3 stars out of a possible 5.
Voice and Sound Rating for This Wii Dogfighting Game (3 out of 5)
American voice overs of Japanese video games and cartoons usually leave something to be desired. Poor voice acting can turn a show with a serious plot into a silly cartoon suitable only to be shown for children. The typical voices used for the English translation always seem to be chosen to appeal to children. This does not cause the game play for Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces to suffer, but the voice acting could have shown more emotion and depth than it does.
The best that can be said for the voice acting is that the voices are clear, and the background noises do not interfere during the briefing sessions. The music in the game seems to be done in a thin Japanese style. It does not add from the game but it does not detract. The voice acting earns a three out of five. The music does not linger in the memory for very long, making it difficult to give an actual rating for the sound track.
Game Play (4 out of 5)
If there is one area where Sky Crawlers Innocent Aces soars above its competitors, it is in how the developers decided to implement the controls. The native Wii controllers do not give the player the greatest flight combat game experience, but the Wii motes work almost as well as they do in the mini games in Up!.
If the controls relied on the Wii remotes alone, the game play would not earn a four out of five rating. The developers of the game, who developed the Ace Combat series recognized the problems with using the Wii mote and decided to let the player use a Game cube or classic Wii controller. Switching from the Wii mote to a more traditional joystick type makes the planes you fly much easier to control. The controls earn a 4 out of 5 and are the high point of the game.
Overall Rating (3 out of 5)
Those who have seen the anime or those like the work of the director of Ghost in the Shell will love this game. Sky Crawlers: the Innocent Aces can sit alongside the Phantasy Star titles in your library of anime-inspired video games. What about those who bought it because they wanted to play a flight game?
Innocent Aces is an ambitious title for the Wii, but it is simply not memorable if you are not a fan of the anime off of which it is based. If you do not use the Wii controls, the game becomes much easier than it otherwise might have been. The ability to switch the controller used makes this Wii title stand out above many of its competitors.
Sky Crawlers Innocent Aces: the Video Game