I’ve only got a few missions left before finish the story section of Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (since writing this I’ve finished) and I’m somewhat at a loss for what to say about it. This is partially due to my not really having a reference point to judge it against. I haven’t played too many flight sims. I did enjoy Sky Crawlers, for the most part, but I could believe that other games do the flight thing better than this one. I also don’t have much to say about the story. I haven’t seen the movie this is based on, though I understand that the stories aren’t really connected. (Is the movie still on Netflix? I should watch it.) Its anime nonsense. Enjoyable anime nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless. I just can’t take a story seriously when it features pubescent super-pilots called ‘Kildren.” Its just not possible.
I can at least make a note of the controls. I think it would be fair to call me a fan of the Wii’s motion controls. For most games they add to the experience despite the inherent slight loss of precision. So listen to me when I say that the default controls in Sky Crawlers are an unforgivable crime. Their problems are numerous and glaring. First, the game wants the player to put the Wiimote into their left hand and the nunchuck in the right. Yes, it wants you to hold it opposite of every other Wii game ever. Its akin to an NES game telling the player to play with the controller upside down. In Sky Crawlers, the wiimote operates as the throttle. The actual steering is left to the nun chuck. But the nunchuck flat doesn’t work as its supposed to. No part of this control scheme is useable, let alone intuitive. It is simply awful. After the tutorial, I realized the complete failure of the motion control and switched to a wavebird and never looked back.
The only other thing of note are the tactical maneuvers. If you can stay close enough to an enemy long enough you can execute a special maneuver the puts the player right behind them. There are three levels, but I have never found a reason to wait past the first one. Sure, higher levels actually get you behind some of the tougher enemies, but for 90% of the game you could have shot down the enemy 4 or 5 times while you wait for the meter to fill up. I don’t like the system because instead of letting the player pull off amazing moves, like flips and barrel rolls in Star Fox, the player pushes one button and the game does it for them. Still, even with it the dog fights are fun.
Sky Crawlers is a decently enjoyable game. Not worth full price, but its worth digging out of a bargain bin. Its not like there are a lot of flight sim options out there for the Wii. And who knows, you might like this games nonsensical anime stylings.