Wii Review: The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces

A decent flight sim for the Wii?

With the motion controls of the Wii, you’d have thought that we would have seen a decent flight sim before now. The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces seems to have the right controls, but is it enough?

The control method of Sky Crawlers is confusing at first, but soon becomes second nature. Essentially you hold the nunchuk in your right hand and tilt it to move your plane, while the Wiimote can be pulled up and down to speed up or slow down. It’s amazing just how accurate the nunchuk is and I can’t help wondering why more games aren’t taking advantage of it. The one downside is that it can be pretty tricky to accurately shoot down your foes as a result of the accurate steering of the plane. The good news is that you can also use a Gamecube or Classic Controller for those who prefer the old-style controls.

Innocent Aces has a decent story which is much deeper than that of other flying games, but does feel clichéd in places. There are a good number of missions to tackle and the game does the customary upgrades that you would expect. Those who prefer the realistic approach of the nunchuk will be pleased that the game introduces a gameplay mechanic called the “Tactical Manoeuvre Command” system, in which players gain the ability to perform automatic acrobatics to better position themselves for attack by keeping in close proximity to their enemies, which definitely helps but ends up making the game a tad too easy in parts.

The missions don’t last long and after that, there’s little else to do as there is no multiplayer in sight, which is disappointing. A multiplayer mode where 2-4 players dogfight in the air would have been brilliant, especially with the tight controls, but alas…it wasn’t meant to be. Innocent Aces is actually based on the 2008 anime film of Sky Crawlers, so there is a bit of history if anyone wants to look into it. The game may handle well, but it sadly doesn’t stand out well. There are some pretty bad textures all over the place and the only redeeming feature seems to be the anime cutscenes and decent voice-acting.

The Verdict
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces is a good flight-sim for the Wii. It has amazing control, but not a lot of content besides 17 missions. The game lacks that extra bit of polish to stand out, but it’s definitely the best arcade flight simulation game for the Wii at the moment…