16/06/2020

♠️๐Ÿ›ฉ️ Red Wings: Aces of the Sky | Nintendo Switch | Review |"Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast... and more gaming" ♠️๐Ÿ›ฉ️ @RedWingsTheGame #GameDev #IndieGames

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Since the days of the Amiga, I’ve always enjoyed flight simulators with a more casual bent and the bi/triplanes of the first World War have always held a simple majesty. 

When I think of them, I’m reminded of titles such as Red Baron, Blue Max and of course public domain classic Biplanes (BIP). 

The more technical simulators with their keyboard overlays, glacial frame-rates and baffling multiple camera views never appealed to me, my trousers remained firmly buckled in their presence.
Over the more recent years, however, I haven’t played many of these types of games.

Lovers of scrolling shooters both vertical and horizontal are well catered for but what about those of us who love nothing but a darn good arcade flight sim, eh?

Well, reader, worry no more, for Red Aces: Wings of the Sky has arrived to swoop out of the clouds and carry us away into the sunset, our trousers a quickly fading memory as we hurl them over the horizon, never to be seen again.
Presented with cel-shaded visuals, Red Aces plays out via a mission-based narrative structure. Choosing between the Axis or the allies, you either play the part of a pilot that battles alongside the infamous Red Baron or as part of a squad specifically chosen to take him down, whichever side you initially choose - and you’ll play through both, not only because the game is so fun but for other reasons which I’ll go into later – the gameplay is very much the same, shoot down everyone else and look awesome as you do.

The gameplay here feels completely pure and has some subtle touches of true genius throughout. Each mission begins with you and your squadron already airborne and ready for action. 

Early missions just require you to take down the enemy aircraft but the difficulty really starts to get saucy around mission 8 or so, when armoured aircraft and the like begin to rear their cheeky propellers. 

Whatever you are doing, the sheer smoothness of the game and the accessibility of the controls make it an absolute joy. Chasing down enemies, barrel-rolling through the skies, doing 180 degree turns, calling in reinforcements and pulling off instant kills are all so satisfying that you just keep coming back. 

I played through the majority of the game in two-player split-screen mode and I’m pretty sure the frame-rate remained at a rock-solid 60fps throughout, I was genuinely shocked at how slick it was on the Switch, really cool stuff.
Following each mission, you get a star-ranking which affects how many skill points you are awarded, these can be used to up your arsenal by slowing down the overheating of your main gun, raising your critical hit chance and the like. 

This neat and simple system makes you replay earlier missions to clear them more quickly and with a higher score, that happiness to replay missions again without it feeling a chore, the true characteristic of a great arcade game. 

There so many nice touches in the gameplay such as the HUD disappearing for a few moments when you burst out of the cloud during a chase and how, when one player is taken out in co-op, the screen fills out so the remaining player has a better chance of completing the mission, hurtling through those all-important rings for health and fuel in a hail of bullets.

I haven’t mentioned the narrative much because it’s just not that important here. Whilst the vignettes between missions are a nice, brief break from the action with all the ‘tally-hoes’, ‘jolly goods’ and ‘Auf Wiedersehn Pets’ than you can shake a Fokker's wingtip at, the action is where the money is here.

Whilst there are a few things here that would have been nice additions such as four-player modes and online play, the local multiplayer plays so well and is such fun that they are garnishes as opposed to missing ingredients. 
Summary
If you are a fan of the arcade flight sim genre, please try out Red Aces: Wings of the Sky, it’s an awesome little game that I really hope spreads its wings across a lot of players screens.

Right, I’m off to feel the wind on my face as I take to the silky-smooth skies once more on this, the sixth anniversary of the much-missed Rik Mayall’s untimely death. 

Lord Flashheart at least can briefly live again, WOOF!
❄️ RATING: ICE COOL ❄️


Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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