Game review – Blazing Angels

Blazing Angels – Squadrons of WWII

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This could have been a great game, but is ruined by two aspects of it. First , the AWFUL controls.
Its clear that whoever programmed the control system has never been NEAR anything with wings attached , with the exception perhaps of his pet Budgerigars. A standard joystick will NOT work with this game, you have the choice of using a mouse or a game controller. Using the mouse is very awkward, the thumb wheel is your throttle and left/right & up/down control the stick. I`ve never been able to get used to the idea of using a mouse for flying – it just doesn`t FEEL right and is too sensitive by far, also a mouse is not built the same way as a joystick and will not auto return to a null zone or center position, if you move right and take your hands off the mouse , your plane STAYS banking right. The upshot is that you spend 90% of your time searching for that Null point where your plane is flying straight and level and you`re left with little time to actually navigate your aircraft.
The Game controller would just about work if the axis mapping was correct, – on a normal stick, left and right equate to rolling or banking your plane left and right as they control the aerilons. Forward and back, map to climb or dive, or Up and Down if you like as the movement SHOULD control the elevators. – Logical.
The problem with this games mapping is that in his infinite wisdom, the programmer thought it would be a GREAT idea to control the elevators with the right joystick and the aerilons with the left joystick. – If he had just left the bloody things on the SAME stick he would not be getting a literary lashing from me now. In a word its AWKWARD. -Just like the mouse option , it just does not FEEL right. To make matters worse he programmer has utilised the Hat switch, NOT for looking around (its NORMAL and SENSIBLE use) but to control the throttle, only THIS time he`s found that missing null point he forgot about when programming the mouse and put it on the damned throttle. – you can increase the throttle by pushing the hat up but let go of it and it returns to idle again, meaning you HAVE to keep your finger on the forward switch to actually stay in the air. Ridiculous!

The Second aspect that kills this game is the CONSTANT mind numbingly inane, never ending chatter from your co-pilot or back seater. I HATED that little twat with a vengeance! “Do yu wunna tra lettin hur ruuuuun” reverberated around the inside of my skull for hours after I finished playing this game, -your co-pilot is supposed to be a gentle reminder of what to do whilst flying, but its so godamned REPETITIVE you will come to despise the drawling “american farm boy” accent and his constant chattering. If I had him in my back seat I`d have turned around and shot him, he annoyed me so much.. I had constant visions of flying inverted just to see if he would fall out , but the little bugger must have been wearing a safety belt because I just could not get rid of him.

Its a shame really that this game is so badly flawed in these aspects because AS a game it looks good, the virtual world is fluid and believable, everything else looks pretty good. Unfortunately the annoying drawled chattering and terrible controls put me off entirely, and I did not explore the game any further.

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