14 February 2009

Blazing Angels...part 1

Ok, so for Christmas, the wife got us a Wii as a way to spend time together. I recently got this game for it, Blazing Angels, Squadrons of World War II. I have to say for the most part I like it. Now I'm not much of a video gamer, but I'm having fun. Biggest problem is that every time I get stuck on a mission, it's not due to lack of ability as much as there's a trick to doing it. And by the way, I searched the web and none of the "hint" sites are any help. So here I want to impart my little bit of knowledge for you guys.

You start out on a training mission in a biplane. It's pretty easy, and tells you exactly what to do. Perhaps the hardest thing to figure out is how to drop bombs. The gun crosshairs are obvious, but when you are given a bombing task, a circle will appear on the ground beneath you. If you can't see it, fly lower or at a downward angle. When your target is in the circle, release the bombs. Oh yeah, and landing is easier than you think. Just go low and level over the runway, then hit the brakes.

Second mission is Dunkirk part one. Pretty simple at first. Just shooting down bombers and bombing tanks. Trick is towards the end the tanks start coming faster, and the last column appears right in front of the bridge you are defending. With this column you have to be very fast and use guns, not bombs or you will never get them all in time. At the end of the mission you have to destroy the bridge, with a time limit as always. To do this you have to hit the same spot (near the middle) several times.

After defending the bridge, you are tasked with defending the British ships. The hardest part of this is sinking the German ships with bombs. The biggest suggestion for this is to attack them lengthwise. This gives you more to attack. Also, for all of these missions, use the right arrow to send your wingmen after your targets as well.

After Dunkirk, you move onto the Battle of Britain. This mission is straight forward: Shoot down German planes. The challenge? You have to do it before they bomb the crap out of London's famous landmarks. Try using the follow cam here. I didn't like it at first, but it is really useful for shooting enemy planes. I still don't like using it for ground targets, though.

The next mission is a trick. It is not terribly hard, but you have to understand it. You take off from a carrier, then have to photograph your ships for practice (you are a recon plane.) You get a new display with a green bar across the top. This is the range meter, and when the arrow is in the middle portion, you can take the picture. You have to hold the button until the picture is done though, so you have to take it IMMEDIATELY when you are in range, or you will not have time. It is really slow on the practice runs, but don't worry, it is much easier on the mission (go figure.) When you actually go on the mission, you are flying through a sandstorm in the North African desert. You will start off in the right direction to find your first "target." To find the others, two green bars appear on the side. Each represents one of the other "targets," and the bigger the bar, the closer to the right direction you are going. It makes more sense when you actually do it. Finally you have to land back on the carrier before getting shot down. Try to figure out quickly which way the carrier is facing so you have time for a nice long approach.

Your next mission is attacking the Germans in North Africa. Typical shooting down planes and destroying ground forces. Here you get rockets instead of bombs, which is actually pretty cool. The aim point is the same as the guns, and you have a meter for how many rockets you have. They are lots of fun to shoot, so go nuts! BTW, you can shoot planes with them too!

Now comes the real fun. You leave the European theater to be a "flight instructor" at Pearl Harbor. I'm sure you can figure out how that goes for you. Just remember all of your dogfighting tricks, and you should get through this one without excess difficulty.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl, you fly against their fleet at Coral Sea. When flying to the fleet, stay low! They don't mention it, but if you fly any higher, you get spotted too soon and fail the mission. This is your first mission with torpedos, which are a lot of fun too. Their display looks similar to the camera display, but you have a horizintal bar for distance and a vertical one for height. Both have to be green to get a hit. Word to the wise is attack ships from the side here, so the torpedo has a bigger target. Also, try to get as close as possible while still in range, in order to garantee a hit.

Next is the defense of Midway. If you have a historical instinct, you will probably be tempted to fly the Buffalo fighter. Trust me, don't. Take the P40, you will be glad you did. First you attack waves of japanese dive bombers. For this, concentrate on one wave at a time. If you try to go back and forth, you will lose big time. Next you have to escort friendly bombers back to base. this is a huge pain in the you know where, because you are flying between friendly planes while trying to kill the enemy. And when the bombers make it back, you have a time limit to get the rest of the Japanese fighters. Again, try the follow mode here and remember to use you wingmen. There are a lot of 'em.

Next you get to do the fun part of sinking the enemy carriers. Well first, you have to escort the friendly bombers (which, btw, you are flying. I'm not sure what the heck they were thinking on this one!) After taking out the enemy fighters, you get to torpedo the enemy carriers before they launch more planes. After the carriers, you get to sink the rest of the ships as well. Hint for this one is use the joystick to switch targets each time you approach and find the closest one to go after. This helps prevent hitting ships that are already sinking.

Next you defend Guadalcanal. This is tricky because you start out hitting transports, then you hit tanks once they get ashore. However they are well covered by trees and buildings enroute from the beach to the airfield. Try not to hit the ground when shooting them. But this isn't the best part! After destroying the enemy, your plane is magically damaged beyond repair (I swear, this is part of the game, and nothing you do prevents it.) You have a minute and a half to land your crippled plane, which by the way, flies like a rock now. I found the way to do this is to approach with the runway on your right as you approach land. If you go the other way, you have to contend with a large mountain. In order to make the time, you have to start towards the base immediately at full speed. You probably won't succeed on your first try. Imagine the challenge of landing, but with a time limit, a plane that does not steer, and you can't see because of the smoke. Fun times! After landing, you switch planes and take off to sink more enemy ships. Same routine as always.

Now you have to assist the landings on New Georgia. This is actually rather tricky, because you have to attack land, sea, and air targets in three locations before they destroy the invading forces. The only way I found to do this is to once again concentrate on one spot at a time and kill all the enemies there before moving on. Even when the next friendly group calls for help, don't respond to them until you have finished the current enemies. To those familiar with Star Trek, this seems like a Kobayashi Maru situation, but that is how it must be done.

Next mission is to assist the attack on Rabaul. This mission must have been easy and non-eventful because I don't even remember it.

After Rabaul, you return to Europe to assist in DDay workups. First things is attacking a German fleet near Norway. This is pretty standard except you are among icebergs, so try not to crash. The ships tend to congregate right next to the icebergs, so find the best way to navigate around them and still hit the ships. The other trick on this one is you have to hit a german submarine, which surfaces and sinks from time to time. Be quick or you'll miss it. And with the sub especially, attack it lengthwise so you have more area to hit.

Ah, now we come to where I am stuck. At the end of the last mission, one of your wingmen spots and enemy base hidden deep in a fjord. It is determined that the base is a heavy water plant and it is your job to take it out. Ok, a little background first. A little research shows that there was in fact a German heavy water plant in Norway. But the allies destroyed the plant with a series of paratrooper raids, and at one point a heavy daylight bombing raid. That is the historical background. Now, here is the game's version. You and one wingman have to fly through an ice cave for three minutes to reach the plant and bomb it. Seriously, WTH DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING???????? This is the most retarded thing ever! Now, the only decent guide I have found on the internet says this level is "easy." I suppose for people who always play video games and are used to this kind of stupid crap maybe it is easy. But I do not play many video games, am therefore not well practiced in randomly flying down canyons for no reason. All I want to do is fly around, shoot planes and bomb stuff. NOT go flying through an ice canyon that has no historical basis! Sorry, I'm getting really spun up about this, because I have been stuck here for a few days now. If anyone has any little secrets for this level, please let me know! Anyway, when I finally move on, I will continue this little hints naration. Thanks for playing folks! By the way, you can get it here.


Anonymous said...

This mission is in fact quite hard, the main problem is avoiding all the icebergs and random pieces of ice just there to make your life hard. I am still stuck on the mission, however, have reached quite far but then miserably crashed, one way to do it is to fly quite fast at the beginning as it is not difficult, go slower through bends and fly faster through straights, this means that you are able to get to the checkpoint in time, when you come to the third checkpoint, you may want to go very slow to avoid the icebergs. I'm sorry but the only thing you can do is, try and try again...

Anonymous said...

I finally got through this....it is tough. You have to fly full throttle about 95% of the time....I arrvied so many times with the end in sight, but time ran out. I used the spitfire V, and i don't think any other plane can do it. This mission is more of an arcade game...practice, practice, practice

Anonymous said...

For this mission I was given the Focke-Wulf 190 a German fighter and it is a good maneuverable machine. This is a hard mission because you have to follow your wingman thru 3 of these cave type canyons
. Stay fast on the straights and slow on the corners, on the third set of caverns don't get to close to the wall or you will lose control of the plane and hit the wall.
It's frustrating but finally got thru all the objectives on this mission, Keep flying you get better.

Joe said...

Just came across your post here. It's like I wrote it myself as your experience of the game and gaming is so identical to my own. I love Blazing Angels but have only just picked it back up again after a break of about 4 months having put it down halfway through the ice cave out of sheer frustration! Well, I'm back at it again and have crashed continually even before reaching the first waypoint. My personal best on this level is about 2.5 minutes flying but then...splat! I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't even know that you can change planes - I just fly whatever is preselected - how do you do this? I noticed swastikas on my wings yesterday and wasn't too chuffed at that! So, can't offer any tips, just gratitude for your taking the time to document this game. The suggestions of flying flat out 95% of the time are going to prove very useful. I'll get back on it later and will have another go.