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Blazing Angels Review

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the dogfighting-without-dogs dept.

138

Fun is the end goal of constructing a game. The hype, graphics, and back of the box features mean nothing if the game doesn't deliver the fun. Ubisoft has chosen to unburden itself of many of the clunky parts of the action genre by focusing on a formula that works. Blazing Angels is a WWII airplane shooter with minimal interface elements, a satisfying physical experience, and an ignorable plot. It's not a game for the ages, but Angels manages to deliver an uncomplicated and entertaining experience. Read on for my impressions of very grounded flying game.

  • Title: Blazing Angels
  • Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft
  • System:360 (Xbox)
As a Yank in Britland, you're going to get razzed a lot in Blazing Angels. You're one of a few Americans attached to the RAF, and the war of the Greatest Generation is on in full force. Along with a bumpkin of a mechanic and a pair of taciturn flyboys, you'll be taking on the largest aerial battles in the war. Starting with the clash at Dunkirk, you pilot craft around the world on the side of the Allies. Aside from the scenery whipping beneath your plane and the 'flavour' of the missions you're given, there's not much more to the plot of the game. Angels takes you through a Cliff's Notes version of the war, which I actually appreciate. I'm more than a little tired of WW2 games trying to teach me about that period in history, so it was nice to set the brain on autopilot during the dramatic cutscenes (all of which are skippable).

Autopilot won't help in the combat arenas, which move at a brisk clip. Each battle is broken down into a series of objectives. Your wingmen keep you appraised of the situation with audio cues and a great 'objective lock' feature. By holding down a button, your camera turns to focus on whatever you should be attacking. It makes three dimensional dogfighting a manageable (and enjoyable) experience. The focus of the controls seems to be entirely about putting you in the moment as much as possible. There are almost no HUD elements to clutter your view. Weapons have unlimited ammo, and a simple on-screen indicator tells you when you've got a good aim on a target. The controller's vibrate function, which in many games I find annoying, emphasizes the danger of the moment as your vintage craft shudders to greater speeds. While the sometimes necessary confusion of aerial combat can make for disorienting moments, the control scheme is intuitive and useful.

The missions themselves, unfortunately, don't live up to the moment-to-moment action. Once you're diving and wheeling against a pilot in the Luftwaffe, you're going to tend to forget the reason you're there. The distinct mission segments are utterly forgettable. They mostly consist of 'take out that unit' or 'keep that vehicle/building intact'. Mediocre setting elements could have been saved by good voice acting, but that's sadly not the case here either. Almost universally the voice actors go full out for 'recognizable stereotype', and sometimes don't even manage to get where they're aiming for. Probably most annoying are the extremely chatty enemies. As you shoot down opponents you'll be constantly bombarded with insulting commentary and annoyed exclamations. You'd think that the opposing forces would be running on different radio frequencies.

Visually, Blazing Angels is a competent success. The 360's power is put to use creating a seamless and smooth combat experience and expansive observable vistas. The game's art direction has something of a softness to it, giving the appearance of flying through an old-timey photograph. The specificity of the art direction coupled with the title's speed results in a fighting experience that feels something like an homage to another Xbox title.

That title is Crimson Skies. One of the original offerings for the first Xbox, the alternate history flying shooter is a solid and enjoyable gaming experience even three years later. In comparison, Angels comes up short, but certainly not for lack of trying. Blazing Angels is ultimately an uncomplicated flying experience that aims for style over substance. It succeeds at simplicity where Full Auto failed. It does what it does very well, without technical hiccups, and backs that technical prowess with simple and fun gameplay. The brevity of the experience and the corny voice acting keep the game from being a long-haul title, but this one is definitely worth a rental. Rent it, play online, grab your achievements, and then move on to weightier games. With some of the hotly anticipated titles slated for later this year likely to run to epic lengths, this dime-store war story will feel like a nice change of pace.

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controls for the Wii? (0, Offtopic)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239522)

It seems the Nintendo Wii (nee Revolution) might be an interesting system for flight sim or pilot games. The controller would be used as a dynamic control stick, complete with twist, bank, attitude, roll, etc.

That said, this game looks interesting. I like the idea of a bit of "grit" back in the games -- too often it seems that studios are going for this ultimately high-res "too clean" look. Give me rain, give me poor visibility. Give me dirt!

Re:controls for the Wii? (1)

Volanin (935080) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239564)

It seems the Nintendo Wii (nee Revolution) might be an interesting system for flight sim or pilot games.


Pilotwings Wii?

Re:controls for the Wii? (0, Redundant)

kleptonin (901871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15241860)

Pilotwiings!

Re:controls for the Wii? (1, Offtopic)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239904)

Give me rain, give me poor visibility. Give me dirt!

Hallelujah! May the game-creating gods hear you! Seriously, I LOVE bad weathers in games, it adds to the end of the world type feeling you can have in an action game. We need more.

Re:controls for the Wii? (0, Redundant)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240293)

Nintendo Weenie Revolution? What?

Re:controls for the Wii? (-1, Flamebait)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240647)

It seems the Nintendo Wii (nee Revolution) might be an interesting system for flight sim or pilot games

To bad it's name is GAY! I don't care what the hell is on the box, I'm still calling it the revolution.

Re:controls for the Wii? (1, Insightful)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240994)

To bad it's name is GAY!

Yes, it's too bad its name evokes such a juvenile response. Perhaps you should pay more attention to your lessons, and concern yourself less with the sexual orientation of a gaming console's name?

Re:controls for the Wii? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15241112)

Yeah, because being a grammar nazi on a "juvenile" post isn't juvenile in its own respect at all. Whether I'm being juvenile or not, most people are in agreement with me. Hell, look at penny arcade if you don't believe me. Honestly, I don't even use the phrase "that's gay" that often, but if it were possible for a console's name to be gay, Wii would be the name.

Re:controls for the Wii? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15241978)

Cry more nub.

'Blazing' Angels (4, Funny)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239530)

Maybe they should have talked to this guy [ittoolbox.com] before writing that review.

Re:'Blazing' Angels (1)

hackiavelli (672464) | more than 7 years ago | (#15241006)

It takes a special kind of person to be a jerk who causes a huge scene and be proud of it.

Re:'Blazing' Angels (1)

gravy.jones (969410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15241208)

Unfortunately the policy doesn't cover unopened defective titles. The man really shouldn't have been allowed to get away with the refund by causing a scene and personally embarassing the clerks and managers. He'll get negative karma points for that. Ubisoft is a decent company and he could RMA the merchandise to them for a fixed copy of a crappy game; he could have then taken that title back to the store and claimed it as unopened.

Re:'Blazing' Angels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15241464)

What makes you think Ubisoft would honour his exchange request ?

So in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239532)

This is the game that Black tried to be, but wasn't?

Don't care (-1, Flamebait)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239580)

Don't care about XBox 360, sorry. It's nothing more than Microsoft's attempt to spread Windows to the living room. The more game developers depend on DirectX and other Windows-only technologies, the more tied they are to that platform, ensuring Microsoft's survival. Given the thread they're hanging on lately, they're desperate for any help they can get. Why give them free publicity?

Even the PS3 is using OpenGL and other open standards. Go ahead, call me a zealot. I recognize a monopoly push for what it is. Microsoft does not belong in the console market making gaming machines. They make operating systems and office software. Just about everything else loses them money.

Re:Don't care (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239675)

Oh, so the 360 is Microsoft's attempt to ensure that most computers run Windows.

Yeah, like that'll ever happen!

p.s.- You're an idiot.

Re:Don't care (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239710)

"Even the PS3 is using OpenGL and other open standards."

Well that isn't really accurate, but it is much, much nicer than being stuck with the Xbox DirectX mess.

The 360 is a developers nightmare. One just has to look at the games to see what a nightmare the thing is to work with. Low framerates, screen tearing, no affine filtering, jaggies everywhere, crashes/freezes. The system was never designed to handle 720p resolutions. If developers just gave up trying to run games at 720p on the 360 their lives would be much easier. Almost all of the graphical problems we are seeing with 360 games is due to running at a resolution that the system simply isn't powerful enough to handle.

No one wants to work on the 360 when the PS3 is a massively more powerful of a system and an utter dream to program on.

Re:Don't care (1)

Homestar Breadmaker (962113) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240442)

"Well that isn't really accurate"

Yes it is. The PS3 uses opengl, as well as other open standards.

Re:Don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240519)

"Yes it is. The PS3 uses opengl, as well as other open standards."

Uh, let me guess...you read that on teh Internet?

Unless you can reach over and touch a PS3 devkit with your own hands you should keep your mouth shut about PS3 development.

Re:Don't care (1)

Homestar Breadmaker (962113) | more than 8 years ago | (#15241787)

Yeah, you can't believe sketchy sources like sony about stuff like this. How the hell would they know?

Repetitive missions need not be boring (2, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239584)

Take Aces of pacific for example - it did a splendid job of taking the player into the atmosphere with reasonable missions that were repetitive but realistic.

Re:Repetitive missions need not be boring (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15241745)

For anyone that might be interested, Aces Of Pacific is the second in a series of Simulations from Dynamix, an old sierra subsidiary.

Game came right after Red Baron, and its unprecedented success. Now speaking of which, this game also does an unparalelled job of taking the player to WWI atmosphere, it is a must-have for anyone who have played at least a computer game.

Back in 92-93, Aces of pacific came, which was an implementation of the principles invented in red baron (immersive career concept, a high number of repetitive but very varied missions, timeline that relates directly to the actual events etc) to the ww2 pacific. Graphics were good then, even in today's standards it is still playable, beautiful vector graphics.

Later came Aces over Europe - reasonably an europe backgrounded version. Which was made a little bit more realistic in flight dynamics and war realities, but lost nothing from the 'will get you into the atmosphere' concept.

Last in series would be Aces Of the Deep, a still unmatched ww2 sub sim that is way too successful in implementing ww2 german sumbariner life. Being a sub sim, it is much different than the previous 2 titles though.

All three games would be obtainable in bundles from sierra, or if they are in abandonware status they could be obtained from sites that serve abandonware.

looking at the screenshots i wonder (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239585)

Do they not realize that life was not actually in shades of brown at that time, but rather that that was an artifact of the filmmaking process of the time?

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239752)

Gee, you think? The review even mentions it, that it's a nice effect, like flying through a historical photo. It's just a method for lending some 'historical' feel to it, rather than looking 'too clear'.

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (2, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240119)

The review even mentions it, that it's a nice effect, like flying through a historical photo.

Historical photos from that time were not color. So basically it just looks odd. Color photos don't tint yellow, they use different chemicals that decay in a different manner.

Maybe something was wrong with the sun in those years and noone noticed.

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240553)

It's England. What sun?

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (0, Troll)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239950)

Do they not realize that life was not actually in shades of brown at that time

What do you know, where you alive back then? If things were in colour back then, nobody would have went to the movies to see black & white movies, it's only common sense...

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240237)

If things were in colour back then, nobody would have went to the movies to see black & white movies, it's only common sense...

Weeeeeeeeeee're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz!

KFG

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (1)

Phiu-x (513322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15242414)

Umm no thanks' i'll stay and play with my wii...

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240290)

Untrue. The world was indeed in shades of brown and yellow at that point in time. Prior to that the world was in black and white. Only recently did it evolve in to good color. The reason that artists were able to paint in color was that they were insane. Their paints were also in black and white at the time, but gradually evolved to color, with the rest of the world. /come back, Watterson.

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240385)

Oh wow, good thing you pointed that out, or they'd never have realized! I'm sure they'll fix that in the next patch.

Re:looking at the screenshots i wonder (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15241827)

Well, my point being it looks sucky. So I wondered if they were accepting sucky for the sake of 'realism' without realizing it was wrong.

PC upgrade vs 360 (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239596)

I am glad I didn't make the mistake of spending 400+ dollars on a 360 when I decided to spend 300 bucks on a new GPU for my system.

The more we hear about the 360 and its graphics system, the more it sounds like ATI botched things badly. I was hoping we would start to see 'the true power' of the 360 by now, but it is clear that the machine is roughly on par with a mid-range gaming pc.

A year from now the 360 is going to be humiliated by mid-range gaming rigs.

Re:PC upgrade vs 360 (1)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240407)

And those mid-range rigs will still cost significantly more than a 360.

simliar (2, Interesting)

Chimera512 (910750) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239606)

experience for PC? I've been looking casually for a simple flight sim ever since Red Baron II disappointed me, granted I haven't been looking too hard. Does anyone know of a solid flight sim that doesn't require 12 hours to learn how to fly the F/A18 on ala Jane's?

Re:simliar (1)

c41rn (880778) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239702)

According to the Blazing Angels web site [blazing-angels.com] , it will be available for PC as well. As the article mentioned, I'd highly recommend Crimson Skies for the PC if you like simple (as in not entirely realistic and easy/intuitive to learn) flight sims.

Re:simliar (3, Informative)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239850)

Blazing Angels is not a flight sim. It's an action game, and if you have even minimal expectaionts of how a plane should fly, this game will annoy you. When rolling the plane, it feels as if it's rolling on the inside edge of a cylinder, like that old vector arcade game, instead of rolling on it's axis. This aspect wrecked both Blazing Angels and Heros of the Pacific for me. Not that they aren't good games, but the fact that the planes flew wrong made the game's controlls counterintuitive for me.

It's not nessisarily a huge thing, but it is something to be aware of. Your best bet would be to try a demo first.

Re:simliar (1)

Firehawke (50498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15241843)

Exactly my impression. I was expecting something a bit less *LIMITED* on the control. I'd expect to be able to pull off certain aerial maneuvers and the controls would just.. well.. up and decide I couldn't do it at the critical point.

Thank heavens it was a Gamefly rental. I sent it back the next day. It really wasn't any good.

Re:simliar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240461)

I'd like to ditto c41rn's advice to Chimera512: Crimson Skies is the game to get if you want arcade-play that feels like flying but isn't too simplified.

Quite sadly there's been nothing else in that niche, leaving the PS2 lineup with a void. Download the PC demo for a taste.

The reviewer saying Blazing Angels feels like a homage to Crimson Skies is a very good sign, though again PC and Xbox only.

As someone else commented, I dunno about all that sepia though. I remember the constant drabness of the original Sturmovik release eventually stopped me from playing it despite overall excellence.

Re:simliar (2, Informative)

gravy.jones (969410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15241278)

Ubisoft's Pacific Fighters package. In it's unrealistic arcade mode the plane flys like a video game. In it's most challenging 100% realistic mode, it fly's like a plane. There is a huge online community dedicated to Pacific Fighters that join in through a lobbying software called 'Hyperlobby'.

WTF? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239609)

So you're fighting for the RAF but your character is American? WTF? Why? Wouldn't it have made more sense to have the character be of UK origin?

Wings of Glory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239709)

Are you too young to have played Wings of Glory? Released by Origin in 1994, this game was one of the best WW flight sims out there - it was so realistic you actually had to fight with the control let alone try and stay alive :) Oh it featured you, the player, as an American (or was it Canadian?) flying for the RAF! ;) The first American Ace of WWI! :P

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/wings-of-glory [mobygames.com]

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239740)

It would make more sense if you had read a history book. In WWII there were Poles, Czechs, Americans, Canadians and many, many more fighting in RAF.

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240040)

Technically the Poles (and maybe Czechs, I can't remember) fighting in the Battle of Britain were an independent force. Although logistically absorbed and attached to the RAF after the fall of Poland, the Polish Air Force was an independent, Polish trained and financed entity with its own units commnaded by its own officers. After the war the UK billed Poland for the materials Poles expended defending Britain. The Polish Airforce attached to the RAF was the fourth largest allied air force in the war. During the Battle of Britain, the Polish Air force accounted for 18% of German air-to-air losses and produced 40 aces.

Amazingly, the Polish air forces even mounted a reasonably effective defense during the German invasion of Poland. Flying 158 woefully obsolete PZL P.7 and PZL P.11 fighters [xs4all.nl] they managed to destroy between 100 and 200 German aircraft.

Incidentally, the highest scoring US ace of the European theatre was a Polish-American who served in the Polish Air Force. Francis Gabreski volunteered for the 315th (Polish) Fighter Squadron "Deblinski." Later he founded an exchange program between the Air Corps and the Polish Air Force and flew for the US. He ended the war with a total of 30 kills. In Korea he added 6.5 more.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239751)

Before the Yanks got pulled into WWII, it was common for Americans to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, get flight training, and head to Europe.

Re:WTF? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239784)

What's wrong with the RAF flying ace being an American, just like the famous American Winston Churchill? [imdb.com]

Seriously though, I wonder if they'll even bother releasing this one in the UK.

Re:WTF? (1)

ccmay (116316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15242141)

just like the famous American Winston Churchill?

Funny you should mention that; Churchill's mother was the American Jennie Jerome [wikipedia.org] . Churchill was proud to be half-American, and bragged that one remote ancestor was an Iroquois Indian, though there is no genealogical proof of this.

-ccm

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240254)

Off the topic of the game, but on the topic of the parent:

It was not unheard of for Americans to volunteer for the RAF in order to see combat against the Nazis. America, as a country, was officially isolationist and "neutral" (as far as the military goes) in the years before WWII (before Dec 7th, 1941). There were reports of American pilots that went to Britain to help the RAF and also to mainland China to help fend off the Japanese. I know of at least one movie that deals with each of these two cases, although that is hardly proof - I know.

To my understanding, the Nazis developed the first combat ready jet fighter within a year or two after the US entered combat. Before the jet was deployed, the dogfighting in the sky was a much more level playing field. Just my $0.02.

Re:WTF? (4, Informative)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240538)

in the years before WWII (before Dec 7th, 1941)
You're an American, right? World War 2 began on September 3rd 1939 (or the 1st if you were Polish). Your country did not join in officially until Japan attacked it, but many Americans did fight in the RAF before you joined in. See for instance Eagle Squadrons [wikipedia.org] .

In the context of this game, it's probably just a device to let the game designers start the action beofore 1942 and still have an American protagonist.

To my understanding, the Nazis developed the first combat ready jet fighter within a year or two after the US entered combat. Before the jet was deployed, the dogfighting in the sky was a much more level playing field.
It's fair to say the advantage went back and forth. The British had the edge on equipment with the exception of a short period after the Fw 190 [wikipedia.org] came out but it was marginal. The Me 262 [wikipedia.org] actually had little impact mainly for strategic reasons.

Re:WTF? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240891)

I'm guessing that they needed an excuse for the same pilot to be in the Battle of Britain and the Pacific during a single career, and that's about the only reasonable way it'd happen.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15241298)

7 Americans flew for the RAF in the Battle of Britain.
Along with many Poles, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders.

The lack of US pilots is party due to the fact that since the US was neutral, it was illegal for their citizens to take part in the war against Germany.

Of course Blazing Angels has a contrived and unbelievable plot of how you team of 4 US pilots appeared at every major WWII air battle and won the war. History be damned.

hmm old... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239632)

Yeah, umm why exactly is this worth posting, esp. on the main page of news?

Mediocre title at best (3, Interesting)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239647)

No technical hiccups? That's not what several other reviews claim. There're graphics glitches like "tearing" appearing in when doing a high speed turn and there're some mission glitches that prevent some missions from getting completed depending on how you approach the mission.

The missions are repetitive and ultimately boring. And the voice acting is VERY annoying.

The title had so much promise.

Re:Mediocre title at best (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239747)

But it does make excellent use of Comic Sans for the subtitles.

Re:Mediocre title at best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239800)

"No technical hiccups"

You just have to translate that 360speak to English.

Just like when someone says "My 360 works perfectly" means "My 360 crashes all the time and I have the power supply suspended from the ceiling to avoid overheating and the main unit is sitting precariously on top of a stack of books in the middle of the room with a fan blowing on it and no one is allowed to speak over move while the system is turned on to make sure the drive doesn't rip to shreds my 60 dollar games"

Re:Mediocre title at best (2, Interesting)

GameEngineer (961102) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240045)

"There're graphics glitches like "tearing""

360 developers are making games that the system can't handle - thus the bad framerates and tearing and all the other graphic problems people are seeing.

It seems that 360 developers are not writing to the actual hardware but to what they envision the 360 hardware should be. Hopefully 360 developers will face the reality of the underpowered 360 hardware and start toning down their engines. Lower resolution or less detail or both. Console gamers will not put up with the mess 360 game graphics have turned out to be.

If the 360 can only handle 480p games then that is what developers should target for the system.

no-buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239737)

There is no way to play this game with joystick (not to mention other bugs). Check the game forums before buying.

The PC version is infested with the SF.virus! (1)

Mishtara2001 (678818) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239741)

I played this on the PC, nice fun game. Be careful of that ultra-hard "Rabul" mission, immediatly followed by another difficult "Fjord" mission. But it's great fun. Only annoyance was bloody SF - didn't want to play on my system until I disconnected my optical drives - go figure. At least UBI realised this and dropped SF from future releases.

Re:The PC version is infested with the SF.virus! (1)

B_Realll (957738) | more than 7 years ago | (#15241078)

Starforce is the reason I consider my consoles to be antivirus hardware. If a SF infected game is PC only, then it doesn't exist to me.

Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (3, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239742)

Ok, there are lots of titles like this out already (I'm looking at you LucasArts & EA). Whatever happend to good flight sims with real physics and realistic combat problems (i.e. can't engauge enemy because if you do you won't have enough fuel to make it home).

A good friend of mine used to play WarBirds (http://www.totalsims.com/ [totalsims.com] ) and used to tell such invigorating stories about how he'd be up all night with a map, a ruler and a caclulator trying to figure out the best route to bomb a historical target with his flight wing.

Wouldn't it be more fun to learn how a real WWII plane handled and what all the instruments did and get closer to the real experience?

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (2, Insightful)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239878)

Wouldn't it be more fun to learn how a real WWII plane handled and what all the instruments did and get closer to the real experience?

For some, I'm sure it would be. Others don't want to spend all the time having to learn about how read an altimeter or how the payload affects fuel consumtion. They'd rather have a simple arcade-like flight game where the only things you need to worry about are either crashing into the ground or getting shot down. I like sim-like games, but sometimes I'm looking for something where I can just jump into the cockpit and blow something up while attempting to pull some cool maneuvers.

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239974)

Absolutly, however there are far more "arcade" flight combat games than hardcore flight combat sims.

I enjoyed playing games like Crimson Skies, but when I wanted to go to the next level I found that most of the sims out there were aging, buggy and that had community level support (which was not enough).

If there was a serious flight sim out there today that delivered decent graphics and a good physics engine I'd be checking it out, that's for sure.

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240213)

"Absolutly, however there are far more "arcade" flight combat games than hardcore flight combat sims."
And there are far more first person shooters than Barbie dress-up games. What's your point? What comes to market is influenced by many factors but one very important one is how games in a particular genre have sold in the past. There are more arcade-style flight combat games because historically those have sold better than more realistic flight combat games.
"If there was a serious flight sim out there today that delivered decent graphics and a good physics engine I'd be checking it out, that's for sure."
I have awful news for you. The world does not revolve around you. $YOUR FAVORITE GAME will not be emulated, copied, licensed for a movie, or made into a franchise based on your purchase of the game or not. It is all about market numbers and in those, you as an individual, don't count.

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15241427)

For modern aircraft, check out "Falcon 4.0" and "MiG-29 Fulcrum".

Both have a relatively simple mode that starts you off in the air and minimizes reality, all the way up to hyper realistic physics mode where you get to see yourself screwing the pooch in many innovative ways.

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (2)

BillPosters (823347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15241565)

You should look at IL-2 Sturmovik and it's expansions.

Graphics are exceptional for a 4 year old title and the physics model is second to none. The AI is passable but still limited as it uses the same flight model as the player.

The only area where it falls down is the somewhat limited dynamic campaign system (which is developed by a 3rd party). Online play is, however, supposed to be stellar.

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

rizawbone (577492) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239880)

Wouldn't it be more fun to learn how a real WWII plane handled and what all the instruments did and get closer to the real experience?

Some people get off on realism, some people are busy and like to jump in a plane and blow shit up going as fast as they can.

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239910)

Wouldn't it be more fun to learn how a real WWII plane handled and what all the instruments did and get closer to the real experience?

No. This is like asking "I'm not interested in how a flower smells or looks. Wouldn't it be more fun to learn how a flower reproduces and absorbs nutrients from soil, water and sunlight?" I mean, sure, go ahead and figure out everything you can about the flower, you'll be smarter for it. Now can I just go back to smelling the flower and admiring it for its natural beauty?

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239920)

Wouldn't it be more fun to learn how a real WWII plane handled and what all the instruments did and get closer to the real experience?

Fun? Yes. More fun? Well, that's the magic of different games for different tastes. I'd love a return to the days when there were multiple flight simulators released every year. Unfortunately, I think the development costs have gotten too high compared to the size of the target audience. The action/arcade flight games have much broader appeal and so that's what we're getting. Personally, while I miss playing multiple "realistic" flight sims every year, I still have fun with games like Crimson Skies. So, I'll probably give Blazing Angels a try, too. After all, not buying these games isn't going to encourage anyone to develop the games I'd prefer. :)

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (2, Interesting)

kisrael (134664) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239970)

I'm not a big fan of realistic flight combat games.

A video game is never going to have the stakes (your life) that real combat has, nor the months of flight training. So it makes sense to distill a game into the "interesting bits"

Interestingly Gamers Quarter [gamersquarter.com] #2 had a review of Steel Battalion that seems to indicate it's taking this approach; about as "hard sci fi" as you can get, with that giant dashboard accesory, and then heightening it by having "real character death"... you can't restore if you get killed (and don't yank the memory...)

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240059)

Ok, there are lots of titles like this out already (I'm looking at you LucasArts & EA). Whatever happend to good flight sims with real physics and realistic combat problems (i.e. can't engauge enemy because if you do you won't have enough fuel to make it home).

It's out there, and it's called Aces High [hitechcreations.com] . It is "massively" multiplayer though, I don't know of any single player games like that.

Wouldn't it be more fun to learn how a real WWII plane handled and what all the instruments did and get closer to the real experience?

No.

Longer answer: Most of us just want to blow stuff up. Simulated gun jamming is not all that fun when you're trying to make the bad guys erupt into fireballs. If there were a substantial market for the game you describe, it would exist (and for multiplayer, it does.)

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (3, Interesting)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240793)

I've been very disappointed in the lack of good simulators the last few years. There are a few fixed-wing PC sims that are good, but nothing like the heyday of the late 90s where it seemed every month had a new realistic fighter/bomber/helicopter sim.

I would happily pay $150+ to be able to play Longbow II in a high-res 3D environment with current graphical features -- it was engrossing enough in the primitive Voodoo-optimized version, and the game mechanics/AI would barely need to be tweaked at all. Sure it's exciting to fly an F15 at Mach 3 with your pants on fire, but for my money nothing was as fun as 30 feet off the ground at 300 mph, popping up over a hill to engage 12 hard targets in 2 seconds while jinking to avoid small arms fire. Or the thrill of flying a fast, vulnerable Kiowa scout, hovering just behind the trees painting targets for the Apaches and then getting the hell out of dodge before the Iranian air force realizes you're in the neighborhood.

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#15241521)

300mph? In a Longbow?

*eyebrow*

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240832)

IL-Sturmovik and its multitude of expansions sounds up your alley. There are both European (mainly Eastern front in the first one) and Pacific.

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240991)

They're all on the PC. Exhibit 1 [lo-mac.com] , Exhibit A [f4hq.com] . Ok, they're not from WWII, but that just makes them better, doesn't it ;)

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

Mittermeyer (195358) | more than 7 years ago | (#15241269)

Got one WWII for you, MMORPG www.battlegroundeurope.com .

Physics model, check. Hardness, check.

1/2 scale Europe, one continuous playing field (you can fly from UK airfields to West German targets or vice versa), and there are 'unfilled' areas that are accessible but don't have anything to shoot (a squad I play with recently went to the Swiss alps and parachuted down to them finishing in an apparently disastrous landing attempt).

Player-driven High Commands with all the good and bad that can imply.

Relative to the air game, you have specific fields you can fly from which are known to the enemy so you have to be careful, a naval game that includes patrol boats, freighters and destroyers as potential targets (but they are human-driven so watch yourself), lots of ground targets (tanks and trucks and AA guns and AT guns and infantry), and a strategic bombing campaign that affects supply, including equipment going to the front which could include your own planes!

Several of the more organized squads (BE speak for guilds) plan out missions with similar detail, although the fuel issues are a bit fudged IMO.

The game requires a high-end PC or Mac, no console version (constant updates so it's not exactly static).

Re:Good Combat Flight Sims; why not? (1)

podperson (592944) | more than 8 years ago | (#15241706)

Wouldn't it be more fun to learn how a real WWII plane handled and what all the instruments did and get closer to the real experience?

Not for the XBox 360's target audience.

"very grounded flying game" (2, Funny)

adisakp (705706) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239917)

Who'd want to play that!

Other platforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15239946)

Is there a reason the review doesn't mention that this game is also available for the PC and XBox-1?

Uhmmmm.... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239961)

Someone better tell them that the fact old movie reels tint yellowish doesn't mean the real world was all tinted like that.

I agree... (2, Informative)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 7 years ago | (#15239977)

I agree almost entirely with this review, except for this one bit:

Visually, Blazing Angels is a competent success. The 360's power is put to use creating a seamless and smooth combat experience and expansive observable vistas.

Yes, the game looks great, but it's not quite smooth. There is a, somewhat annoying, graphical glitch that looks not unlike the effect you get when you point a camera at a computer monitor and the two aren't on the same refresh rate. There's a band that scrolls across the screen that I can best describe as "off whack". Probably some variation on tearing. There's no excuse for that in a console game.

Other than that, though, it is a fun, albeit mindless game.

Holy Cow! (1)

Landlocked43215 (901301) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240029)

Someone actually says something nice about Microsoft (well, sorta) and they are completely off base. This is perhaps the best concept/worst delivery of all of the 360 games. It tears something fierce on every level; the character voices and insulting repeat the same phrases over and over. I was really hoping this would be my new favorite game, but I completed it just for the very meager gamer points and shelved it. Landlocked

ubisoft and rootkits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240056)

All from the company that brings us rootkits, incompatabilities and a general unwillingness to refund to those who didn't agree nor never would agree to having a rootkit installed on their computer.

_Blazing_ Angels? Oh. (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240174)

Here I thought /. was going to review Burning Angel [burningangel.com] .

Re:_Blazing_ Angels? Oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240597)

Geez at least give us a NSFW warning, most of us are at work, and not all of us are Network admins!

Blazing Saddles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15240198)

I hope someone makes Blazing Saddles the Game...... it would just be great to head someone off at the pass....

                                                             

Jake disagrees again . . . (2, Informative)

Rowan_u (859287) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240218)

Sorry Zonk, I'm going to have to disagree with you again. The controls in this game aren't even in the same ballpark as Crimson Skies. Flying the planes in Blazing Angels is like flying a greasy pig on skates by comparison . . . with no wings. Also, the "ripped from Shadow of the Colossus" camera lock on feels pretty useless, tending to block your view with your own plane. The voice acting is done by the criminally insane, and the missing vertical sync causes frame tearing issues left and right.

I will agree with you in the graphical department though. Aside from the tearing, the graphical presentation is fantastic, especially the cityscapes which seem to stretch on into infinity. Now . . . if only we could have Crimson Skies with these graphics, oh well.

New tagline (2, Funny)

carambola5 (456983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240313)

Blazing Angels
An Ubisoft joint.

It smokes the competition!

Biplanes for Intellivision (2, Funny)

everlong (804799) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240361)

My favorite fighter sim is definitely Biplanes, one of three games on the Triple Action cartidge for the Intellivision. Like a two-player 'Asteroids' on earth, this game's many short dogfights callused my thumbs more than any other game.

Kudos for uniqueness! (1)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240418)

The World War II genre really hasn't seen much play (no pun intended) in video games recently. Nobody has really explored FPS games in this time period recently, so I give major Kudos to the publisher for going out on a limb and making a game set in World War II. This kind of uniqueness and individuality is what makes the Xbox 360 a truly innovative gaming platform instead of just a "Me Too" cash dump.

Re:Kudos for uniqueness! (1)

Tripster (23407) | more than 8 years ago | (#15242209)

Speaking of that kind of thing .. if you're really into WWII FPS games then Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 might interest you.

RED ORCHESTRA LINK [redorchestragame.com]

Although it is Windows only and requires Steam installed it is a great shooter, especially if you dislike the run and gun play that other games have. This game has an infantry side and an armoured tank battle side to it, both focus on realism as much as possible while maintaining a great gameplay. It requires teamwork and tactics to win.

Also of note it is takes place on the Eastern front of WWII, so it is Allies (Soviets) against Axis (Nazis) with realistic choices of weapons, classes and vehicles. The game does NOT have crosshairs on the screen either and requires the use of the gun sights to aim effectively.

It is a whole lot of fun once you get used to the gameplay, frustrating at first but worth the $25 entry fee.

Doesn't anyone ask who wrote the review? (0, Redundant)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 7 years ago | (#15240610)

Wtf, was this just emailed to /. directly from the publisher?

slashdot, we post anything for a few bucks.

OK, CAPTCHA fans, check out the word for this post:

please type the word in this image: despair verification text - if you are visually impaired, please email us at pater@slashdot.org

F18 Hornet on the Amiga... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15241002)

if only they'd remake that. Great missions, tough carrier landings and the ability to fly under the golden gate bridge. That was one awesome game.

Demo used Starforce, so... (2, Informative)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 7 years ago | (#15241072)

I assume the shipping title does too.

No thanks. Even if it isn't as harmful as people say (I hadnt had problems with it on a game that used it - Still Life; but that doesnt mean it wasn't causing problems I wasnt aware of), they have shown their true colors by deliberately promoting piracy of products that don't use it (Stardock's Galactic Civilization II).

I refuse to purchase titles that use, and thereby support, Starforce.

Appalling Game: Try before you buy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15241437)

Woeful game: appalling voice acting, screen tearing, wandering frame rate, no cockpit view, idiotic missions (like flying randomly around in a low visibility sandstorm), infinite heath, offensive history, Starforce Virus.

But good looking cityscapes.

There are much better games in the genre (obviously Zonk hasn't played them), Heroes of the Pacific for arcade action, and Aces of Pacific if you want more sim. But dont take my word for it, here is a selection of other reviews:

IGN: 68% "Going down in a blaze of boring."http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/697/697947 p1.html [ign.com]

Xbox 360 Advanced 65% "While Blazing Angels shows high production values, the single-player gameplay falls incredibly flat. "http://360.advancedmn.com/article.php?artid=7140 [advancedmn.com]

Eurogames 50% "With genuinely appalling voicework setting the tone for development incompetence, it's compounded by a few dreadful levels, camera issues and the feeling that the whole project was ported onto the 360 as an afterthought" http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=63 662 [eurogamer.net]

Boomtown: 20% "As it stands Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII is a deeply flawed game. From the terrible image tearing to the offensive voice-overs, it's as big a failure as I've seen from a major Publisher for some time." http://xbox.boomtown.net/en_uk/articles/art.view.p hp?id=11039 [boomtown.net]

Appalling Game: Try before you buy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15241513)

Woeful game: appalling voice acting, screen tearing, wandering frame rate, no cockpit view, idiotic missions (like flying randomly around in a low visibility sandstorm), infinite heath, offensive history, Starforce Virus.

But good looking cityscapes.

There are much better recent games in the genre (shame Zonk didn't review them), Heroes of the Pacific for arcade action, and Aces of Pacific if you want more sim. But dont take my word for it, here is a selection of other reviews:

IGN 68%: "Going down in a blaze of boring."http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/697/697947 p1.html [ign.com]

Xbox 360 Advanced 65%: "While Blazing Angels shows high production values, the single-player gameplay falls incredibly flat. "http://360.advancedmn.com/article.php?artid=7140 [advancedmn.com]

Eurogames 50%: "With genuinely appalling voicework setting the tone for development incompetence, it's compounded by a few dreadful levels, camera issues and the feeling that the whole project was ported onto the 360 as an afterthought" http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=63 [eurogamer.net] 662 [eurogamer.net]

Boomtown 20%: "As it stands Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII is a deeply flawed game. From the terrible image tearing to the offensive voice-overs, it's as big a failure as I've seen from a major Publisher for some time." http://xbox.boomtown.net/en_uk/articles/art.view.p [boomtown.net] hp?id=11039 [boomtown.net]

selling games (2, Insightful)

colmore (56499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15241778)

"The hype, graphics, and back of the box features mean nothing if the game doesn't deliver the fun."

Unless that hype sells you a million unit on pre-sales. Video game fans are some of the stupidest consumers around, the game publishers get away with complete abuse of their customer base.

WW1 (1)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15242075)

It should have been set in WW1. Manfred von Richtoven (AKA the Red Baron) FTW.

Sucks on the PC (1)

Poppa (95105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15242290)

I was looking forward to this game. I have a Microsoft joystick and it worked poorly. After I ran the patch, it didn't work at all! The forums were full of complaints about joysticks and using a keyboard/mouse sucked. WTF good is a flight sim that doesn't support a joystick, especially a Microsoft one?!!!

This is the first time I returned a game because it was defective like this. And it wasn't easy to return it, had to argue with the manager.

Did they even test it with a joystick? They must have figured it would be an easy port from the Xbox and never tried a joystick.

Okay... (1)

TommyBear (317561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15242294)

It's an okay game. Good effects, the game is generally fun to play. However, a couple of things that put me off:

- The game has hardly any story-line (as the reviewer noted)
- The game suffers from a terrible horizontal tear when banking hard left or right
- The game feels like a ripoff of Heroes of the Pacific [heroesofthepacific.com] both effect wise and camera wise. Some of the trademark Heroes effects and camera movements are identical in Angels!
- You don't seem to have a sense of urgency or purpose in the game and dogfighting is brief and uninteresting

Don't get me wrong the game was fun in parts, but nowhere as much fun as Heroes. Heroes had engaging dogfights, purpose and direction in mission, awesome effects, had up to 150 planes dogfighting the sky at once, was on PS2/Xbox/PC and had a great story to go along with it all.
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