Wing Arms

Wing Arms
3
Game Name: Wing Arms
Media: 1 CD-ROM
Publisher(s): SEGA
Developer(s): SEGA
Genre(s): Flight Simulator
Release Date: September 1995
Serial Number: MK81024-50
Region: PAL

Wing Arms Opening ScreenThe “Flying-sim” genre seemed to be a little neglected on Saturn.
Ok, so there are several “helicopter” titles, but only few that let you control an airplane. There’s Sky Target aka Mediocre Afterburner 3D, Independence Day which was reviewed by the Angry Video Game Nerd and that speaks for itself, and finally – Wing Arms, the only one that features WWII planes.

Is it worth your attention? Well, probably, just not for a long time…

You choose one of the 7 planes (i.e. Spitfire, Me 262, japanese Shinden), listen to what the captain Boss-eyed has to tell you and head for the first out of six missions. They’re not very varied, it always comes down to shooting every enemy there is, mostly planes, sometimes some armed bases and ships.

Wing Arms Screenshot

You’ll fight above sea, some canyons or over the city (yes, that’s all there is to it). It’s a little anti-climactic that the last mission is basically the harder version of the second one. Basically, the game can be completed in less than half an hour, though obviously it’ll take several tries to get to the end. If it wasn’t for the variety of planes to choose, replayability would be pathetically low. Wing Arms doesn’t even use the save feature, so yes, the score and ranks you get after every mission are just for shits and giggles, unless you feel like noting them down somewhere.

The lastability of WA is pretty low so maybe at least the gameplay shines strong enough to keep you glued to the screen? Well, it’s nothing special really but if there’s one word I could use to describe the gameplay of Wing Arms it’d be “pleasant”. Pleasant and slightly irritating (you’ll know what I mean when you get to the third mission). Flying around freely and shooting planes works pretty well.
The flying model is very arcadey (though there’s “novice” and “expert” controls to choose). You can use etiher a gun (which can overheat) or rockets (limited ammo).

Wing Arms screen shot

Most of the time the enemies don’t put much of a fight, usually they just fly around and wait for some bullets to take them down, sometimes they’ll sneak behing your back, which results in camera zooming out to give you a better view of the situation so you can make some evasive maneuvers easier (or at least in a more dramatic, spectacular way).

It seems that Gran Turismo makers were inspired by Wing Arms when it comes to collisions, here the planes just bounce off each other with almost no damage inlficted to either. See, your plane has a basic HP bar (here it’s called shield), this, and speed which you can control, seem to be the main factors that differ between the planes available, as flying them all feels the same.

 

Visuals are pretty average, especially considering that the enviroment isn’t really rich in detail. Planes look all right and each of them has a different cockpit view (I expected a generic one for everyone of them), enemies start to smoke after getting enough damage, framerate is stable. The most interesting visual effect are the bullet holes left in the glass after getting hit enough times (of course it’s only visible in cockpit view).

Wing Arms Screenshot

Music- forgettable, some (very few) standard tracks you could expect in this type of game, same with sound effects.

Bottom line is, the game’s fine but very very short and quickly becomes old. There’s nothing you can discover here, what you’ve got from the beginning is all you’re going to have. It’d have been more interesting if you unlocked the planes one by one, including the enemy aircraft. 2 player dogfight was also possible to add, not to mention some more missions or at least the ability to save. A sequel could fix all this, and if it did it could’ve been one of Saturn hidden gems. Wing Arms is still probably the most interesting “airplane” game out there for Sat, but that’s only because it was one of the very few.

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