Presumably it was nostalgia for the likes of Wings and Secret Weapons Over Normandy that inspired Ubisoft Romania to bless us with Blazing Angels. As Xbox 360 owners already know, this is a vacuous slice of tea-stained air combat short on personality, drama, and above all fun. But at least it's honest. It doesn't wait until you're actually in the thick of combat to tell you that the plane in which you're flying was built by a chimpanzee with a spanner in one hand and genitals in the other - the signs of such workmanship are there right from the start.
Having skipped through menus which look placeholder at absolute best, set your propeller in motion by literally drawing circles with the analogue stick and acquainted yourself with some basic arcade flight manoeuvres, you'll already know more about Blazing Angels than you'd prefer. It can't actually spell the word 'manoeuvre', for one thing, nor pull one off without risk of severe frame-rate drops or screen tearing. For the sake of an unobtrusive heads-up display, it keeps targeting reticules small - the result being that enemies need only pass before the monotone scenery to become all but invisible. You can always lock the camera to your target to help you zero in, but the problem then becomes one of simply holding course.
War is hell
A year on since Blazing Angels debuted on 360, the PlayStation 3 version is only fractionally better. Its Sixaxis tilt support certainly gets off to a responsive and reliable start, but for all its novelty the thumbsticks are still more precise. There are two exclusive missions, eleven new aircraft and a bonus multi-player game type (a Base Defence mode to join the straight Dogfights and Co-op missions), but when the flight is this turbulent to begin with - objectives are still dull, the pacing's still laboured and the checkpoints poorly placed - it's better simply to just hit the eject button than battle on any further. Stick to Ace Combat.
Overall A lazy port of a dull original - just what PlayStation 3's UK launch could do without.