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'Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII'

Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII screenshot
Ubisoft
Ubisoft has released one of the first WWII air combat games for the PlayStation 3. Gamers might be familiar with "Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII" as it was released earlier in the year for Xbox 360 and PC. The storyline is fairly typical of any WWII-era video game.

At the start of the game you play as a one of the few volunteer American pilots helping out the British fend off the advancing German war machine prior to U.S. entry into WWII.

2Later missions span across many regions such as England, North Africa, France and Japan where key battles were fought like Pearl Harbor and Midway over the skies during World War II. Most typical mission objectives include intercepting bombing runs, taking out enemy fighters, and offensive bombing runs.

The actual area of operations for each mission is quite large so gamers can have ample space to move around. For the most part, game difficulty increases as missions go by providing a decent challenge level, but most missions can be beaten in one sitting.

The presentation on "Blazing Angels" is amazing. Plane models look great with official markings and scenery looks highly detailed. When you accelerate your plane's speed, developers have added the speed effect to the background imagery. Essentially, the surroundings of your plane blur to give gamers an added sense of speed. Personally, I'm not too trilled by the speed sensation but some might like its visual effect.

Control-wise, gamers should have no problem with this title. "Blazing Angels" is a great game that takes advantage of the SIXAXIS controller. With the delay of "Warhawk," "Blazing Angels" is one of the first PS3 games to use the SIXAXIS controller's tilt support for maneuvering an aircraft. You can use the traditional analog sticks but you have to ask yourself why you spent all that money on a PS3 to use analog sticks.

Controlling is very straightforward: tilt to the right, the plane rolls to the right; tilt to the left, you roll left. To accelerate, use the bottom top shoulder buttons. From the beginning you are defaulted to the traditional analog set so you have to change to your preference at the options menu. As far as actual aerial mechanics go, although "Blazing Angels" is an arcade simulator, you can stall your plane while attempting certain maneuvers

Just like in "Ace Combat," you can order your wingmen to do various tasks such as attack and defend. Each one of your squad mates has a specific talent, such as repairing your plane mid-flight so employ them wisely. In "Blazing Angels," you get a fairly decent selection of planes to choose from - up to 38, including some legendary WWII planes such as the P-51 Mustang and the B-17.

Besides the standard campaign missions, gamers can also choose from other formats. There is an ace duel mode where you battle against an enemy fighter for a little one-on-one air combat. Similarly, multiplayer mode allows you to play against 15 other pilots. Packing in all of this neat action and fun online play makes "Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII" a title to check out.

"Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII" is rated "T" for Teen (Content suitable for ages 13 or older) and is available for the PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PC.