Heatseeker - Wii Review - 01/06/2007

Top Gun reincarnated arrives on the Wii; will you feel the need for speed?

Heatseeker is an out and out full on rush of adrenaline, a cross between Afterburner and the Ace Combat games on the PS2, steering more towards the arcade fun of the 80's arcade flight simulators.

A training mission eases you into the action as your very all American hero fighter pilot thwarts a small skirmish near an island where your base is situated. Following on from this are eighteen more high octane missions with different planes and weapon options opening up as you go along.

Missions range from dog fighting in the skies, bombing runs and scanning unknown enemy aircraft in uncharted waters, the dog fights are the bulk of the missions and it's a good job as these missions really make you feel like your flying a real plane, turning, spinning and zooming in on your target(s). The only thing that ruins the illusion is the unlimited ammo, if you ran out of missiles in real life you could fall back on machine guns but you would probably be lots more cautious than you are in game - a missed lock on here just means another pass followed by some napalm death. In a way it's the arcade heritage showing and it makes it feel like a faster more action packed game than just a boring simulator.

There's some epic moments to be had.

The games controls do take a bit of getting used to and flying into the ocean will be a recurring event until the controls click, and then this game feels perfectly weighted, with only two control schemes, the options are limited which is a shame as some people might never get used to the roll of the planes, mapped to the motion sensors in both the remote and nunchuck (if professional is chosen). Shooting and aiming is of course mapped to pointing at the screen with the remote and works well unless you have shaky hands! The lock on button does negate some of the aiming as a missile will nine out of ten times hit the target.

The planes, as they unlock with progress through the main game, all feel different and some of the later models are really fun to use, with the more complex moves looking extremely well animated. Some of the later weapons do make the game slightly too easy however, the nuke in particular is just a little too powerful.

It can also get pretty frantic, but thankfully some simple controls counterbalance it.

The look of the game is highly polished, and although the backgrounds and landscapes do look very dated the plane models are all superb, but the Wii isn't about the graphics, it's the gameplay and that's one thing Heatseeker has in spades. This game comes highly recommended and as only one of two flight games (so far) on the Wii it pretty much holds the aircraft crown until Pilotwings is announced.

- Emerald



In-House/IR Gurus
Wii - PS2 - PSP