|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai (Project Aces)||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: XSeed Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 12, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Innocent Aces uses an unconventional control scheme that attempts to mirror a flight stick setup. The Wii Remote is held in your left hand, and it handles the throttle, special move triggering, and targeting systems. Using the Nunchuk in your right hand, you'll tilt to turn it and dive. Firing and weapon selection is handled by the Z and C buttons, respectively.
Once you get over the initial awkwardness that comes with switching hands, the controls do begin to feel natural. It's possible to engage and Expert style control mode that allows for a lot more control over the plane. There are other options too for folks who have a rough time of things. If you can't adjust to the Wii Remote and Nunchuk mixing and matching, it's possible to plug in a classic controller or even a Game Cube controller to play that way.
The only major problem with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk setup is with the ships themselves and the inability to adjust tilt sensitivity. Every ship handles differently, depending on its type and how it's equipped. Making hard turns and maneuvering isn't too difficult in the smaller, spunkier planes, but the controls feel painfully unresponsive on missions where you're piloting hulking bombers that fly like a beached whale. The real kicker is when you're then required to attempt to dogfight in these sluggish beasts while protecting other slow-moving friends from swarms of fighters. If you can push through these few highly irritating missions, you'll find the ships get easier to handle.
Innocent Aces' anime style and unrealistic premise won't appeal to everyone, but the game is loaded with some really intense and challenging missions. The story and tone give the game some extra legs if you have the patience to let them get cooking, and the fancy flying and air combat are fun enough to merit strapping into the cockpit and firing up the engines.
CCC Staff Contributor