Imagine, if you will, a flying game called Sky Crawlers controlled by Wii remote and nunchuck. Guess the control scheme. You probably guessed wrong.
To control an aeroplane in a Wii game, I have held the Wii Remote like a paper aeroplane.
I have held it like a flashlight, dipping and raising it to orient where my plane's nose is pointing.
These schemes failed me when, unsupervised by representatives in attendance at publisher XSeed's New York demo event last night, I took up Wii Remote and nunchuck and sent my World War II dogfighter into the drink.
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces, this flight combat game from the developers of Ace Combat, is controlled differently.
Read this next part slowly, lest you be as flummoxed as I was.
The nunchuck controls plane movement. Tilt, twist, turn it and the plane does the same.
The Z-button on the nunchuck shoots the plane's guns.
The C-button on the nunchuck switches weapons.
The Wii Remote controls the throttle, so it gets held vertically. Pulling it toward you speeds the plane up. Tilting it away slows the plane.
Tilting the nunchuck's control stick lets the player pick from a batch of stunt maneuvers. Pressing A on the remote activates them.
Flying the plane into yellow circles on the game's mini-map causes a meter to appear, a horizontal bar that slowly fills with colour. Pressing A as the meter fills makes the plane manoeuvre into position behind an enemy plane. The more that meter is filled, the better the resulting position is.
Once I got it, the controls worked well. Here's to Project Aces for coming up with one of the stranger Wii control schemes yet.
A note about the story, which is its own brand of strange: I didn't play more than a quick skirmish in the air, but the fact sheet reveals that the plot of this game involves a peaceful world that is nostalgic for the constant wars that used to befall it. To remedy the social unease caused by a lack of war, governments hire private companies and fliers, like the ones controlled in this game, to fight battles. The game's hero is rookie pilot Lynx, who, according to the fact sheet, "becomes involved in a secret new military project with the goal of making pilots immortal." This is a "somber story of a world that needs war to survive."
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces is a single-player Wii exclusive set for holiday release, published by XSeed and developed by Namco Bandai Games and Project Aces.