> As you know, Sega has been making arcade games for a long
time. Unfortunately for me, there's one genre, Flight/Shooter, that
never seems to get much attention. This genre also happens to be my favorite
action-oriented type. Wing Arms is a spin-off of a seldom
seen Sega arcade game known as Wing War. The
arcade game used flat shaded polygons to display the action with a Model
1 board at the helm. Thankfully, Sega sought to improve
the game on the Saturn and did so by adding textures and
much more interesting missions. The only thing I would have done (ideally)
is include the original on the same disc or even a second disc, but that
would probably not have been feasible.
> When you boot the game you're treated to a great FMV intro, complete
with what looks like the attack on Pearl Harbor. As you might guess, Wing
Arms is based on WWII aircraft and dog fighting techniques. At
the beginning of each mission, you're given an objective which must be
met in order to continue. For instance, in the first level you have to
destroy a few squadrons of enemy aircraft (each with individual piloting
skills). The story is simple, save the world from the breakout of a World
War by destroying the generic aggressors.
> Compared to the arcade game it's based on, the graphics are totally awesome.
Even on their own, the 3D polygon world moves smoothly, has great detail
and plenty of objects to view. There are no flat shaded polygons in Wing
Arms. Sega really made a convincing view of the action
either from the first or third person perspective. I love the realistic
way the anti-aircraft and flak guns litter the sky with shots which explode
all around you. There are bosses to contend with too, and they're armed
to the max. Sega even put in transparent clouds on the Saturn
which "isn't capable of transparencies".
> For an arcade game, the control is thankfully slanted to the simulation
side. If you select the "Expert" control mode, you'll be even closer to
a simulation. You can roll, do loops and have independent rudder control
which adds to the realism. You control everything: Vulcan, Missiles, View
Change, Speed Up/Down, Map and Left/Right Yaw. It takes some practice,
but ace pilots will enjoy the refreshing simulation aspects. Naturally,
Arms is the most realistic whilst using the Mission Stick
or 3D Pad. Even with this level of realism at your disposal,
the game is still highly playable for all players.
> The music in Wing Arms plays at low levels and consists
of WWII-esque themes which make you think of war movies. The sound effects
are excellent and include flak shots, gun shots, explosions, engine noise
and missile shots. In all, the effects help to put you into the pilot's
seat just as the graphics do.
> The gameplay is the main attraction, and it's really good. You get seven
aircraft to choose from, including a Japanese Zero, Me 262, P-38 Lightning,
Spitfire and P-51 Mustang. The great thing about free roaming flight games
is that no two games are ever the same. The goals are the same, but how
you get there is always different. Eight increasingly challenging missions
await your piloting prowess or lack thereof.
> Wing Arms is indeed a much welcomed genre done almost to
perfection. It's probably good enough to convert a few people over to flight
games, too. Excellent gameplay and free roaming flight combine to make
a worthy addition to your Saturn library.
9.2 | Graphics: 9.4 | Control: 9.6 | Sound: 8.8 | Fun: 9.0