Review by VmprHntrD
"Great classic old computer WW2 action game comes to life again."
Not often a reviewer for a system as old as the Gameboy can freely state that someone has finally made something pretty much original for the Gameboy, well I can safely say it has happened. A rare occasion indeed, but Wings of Fury which is a port of an old Apple ][e computer game fit the bill. To date there has been very few side scrolling shooters for the system, and there have been no games based around the Pacific Area of World War II. In this game you play a pilot who has multiple missions involving blowing up various Japanese target areas such as factories, hangars, and vehicles. This game is quite fun and it could be just what a Gameboy owner would want, something new.
The graphics for the game are not the most impressive that I have seen, but there is some decent detail to the on screen moving characters. The game can be forgiven somewhat for this as Red Orb Entertainment wanted to retain a good part of the original look of the game. Your aircraft, the enemies, and the ground targets are not highly detailed but look quite good. As you pass by ground units like turrets and tanks flak guns will pop in the air with no explosions at all sadly so it is hard to know if you actually took a hit or not which would have been nice. Your craft though has the most detail on all views of the craft, including the lighting of the machine guns as they fire. The backgrounds of the game is where it mostly suffers. The only decent part of the game in this respect is the aircraft carrier you take off and land on. The islands and other land masses are poorly detailed with tiled palm trees, occasional low detail buildings, and the Japanese flag here and there. A nice little effect that does come to mind though is the smoke trail coming from your plane as you get shot up, the thicker the smoke, the closer to death you are. The game is also equipped with a smaller screen mode when you really climb into the sky so you can see more of the area, but dont' bother trying to pick off anything with bombs at this height, it won't happen.
The sound of this game, like with the graphics I believe were trying to hold true to the original. The sound effects such as the bombs, tank and ground fire, and the rest are pretty bland little pops that don't seem to fit the power of what is being launched. The machine guns from the air units and you own craft though sound pretty nice, but thats about it though. There are few musical pieces in this game to listen to. We are given a title theme, and little bits in the menus, nothing more. In the levels the constant sound we get is the buzzing of your own crafts engine as it revs up and down.
Theme & Fun
This game because of its pretty original layout for the Gameboy can make it be a quite fun title for you. If you are a fan of simplistic shooters and/or are a World War II buff I imagine this would be a game you can play quite a few times. The game has the ability to be a good title, but the whole design behind it I think needed a bit of updating as the fun for many others will not last all that long. The graphics and sound are par if that, and the control is pretty quirky which I will get to below. If you can get used to it though I believe it can be something to play now and again.
The play control of this title is not the best I have played in games of this view before such as the Choplifter series in the arcade. As you fly along you will quickly find that the only defense you have from the ground are your limited supply of bombs. If you dare to try and strafe a target with your machine guns, the control is so quirky you will just end up smashing into a palm tree, flag, or building. In the air though the guns are helpful with the targets coming at you, but are somewhat hard to aim right. The controls are pretty entertaining for the craft as you can spin in a corkscrew, turn around in a tight 180, speed up and slow down. Landing though is not the easiest though as you need to come in just right or the landing gear won't appear and you will smash up on the deck.
The challenge of this title is pretty moderate. The first level that you enter into is nothing more but a warmup session on timing for bombing runs and trying to figure out how to land. From level two on though you will have to deal with not just ground, but air units which get taken out with your machine guns. Sadly though you actually can't tell when you've been shot from either area since no bullets appear on screen. The only indication that you are going to eat it is the smoke coming out of the engine of your airplane. So, with that said, and because the screen does fill up with lots of things taking shots at you there is a good challenge. When you do figure out how to manage it all though you can breeze through the levels pretty quickly. If you do get shot down though there are unlimited continues with a password which cuts the challenge back down to that moderate level I mentioned when I began.
Replay Value and Closing Notes:
This game has replay value, but only as much as you make of it on your own. Once you figure out the control mechanics and how to stay alive it will be pretty average if that unless the whole World War II feeling does capture you.
Since I was a student with history minor I enjoy the past. Ancient civilizations and World War II are pretty much my favorite periods from human history. Because of this I do enjoy this game, but not for too long as it just can't keep me playing. I suggest you borrow or rent this before buying.
Overall Rating: 2.8 / 5.0
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 08/23/04
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