Heatseeker
wii_heatseeker_cover

How many of you out there are fans of self destructive behaviour? Ever known that doing something is a bad idea, that you'll end up worse off afterward, that little good will come of it, but you can't help yourself anyway? Something inside just says "yeah, screw it" and off you go? Guess what I did at the game store the other week? Yes, I bought Heatseeker. In my defence, I used credit from a bunch of crappy N64 games to do so, but still.. I bought Heatseeker.

I really wanted to like this game, I really did. When I first heard about it and saw various screenshots, it sounded great, like a cross between the Ace Combat series on PS2 and the Burnout franchise, without the wanky pseudo-cool EA-ism added to it. Later, when I saw it was coming out for PlayStation2 as well as the Wii, my heart sank a little. As you may or may not have noticed, the Wii is being plagued with a number of PS2 ports.. things like Prince of Persia and Medal of Honour. Sure, nice enough idea adding the Wii controls and introducing these games to a new audience, but is it really worth almost double the price of the PS2 version to play with Wii controls, and enjoy graphics that're barely enhanced if at all? It is if you're using credit from crappy N64 games, I suppose. Here's hoping that Manhunt 2 reverses the trend and ends up a Wii game with a PS2 port, if you get what I mean.

Two paragraphs and one sentence barely describing the game - talk about the new games journalism. Heatseeker is a flight combat game where you fly various missions - and the various missions are in turn varied. Bomb attacking boats, shoot down squads of attack helicopters, achieve bonus objectives, it's all there. Each mission isn't overly long, but there's also checkpoints within them, so you won't be going through too much pain. Having said that, however, practically all the checkpoints seem to be set just before cut scenes. Was that really necessary, Codemasters? It's not like the player is going to forget the two minutes worth of objectives in the 20 seconds it takes to die and click on "restart from checkpoint". Maybe if it was a NASCAR game you'd expect that level of stupidity. "Hey kids, remember to turn left a lot! Press the button to go fast!"

wii_heatseeker_screencap
Sure, it's pretty, but is it as pretty as PS2 Air Raid 3?

As I mentioned before, I wanted to like this game, but I just can't - the Wii controls are initially kind of cool and seem to work, but soon after an initial bit of novelty, you begin to notice the faults. It's pretty easy to lose control for a second or two and end up sending the plane way off course (or straight into the drink) trying to regain control, and that's something that happened frequently to me. Did I mention a game or two back how I'm a clumsy oaf? It's the kiss of death for Wii controls on a game if your thought is "This'd be so much easier with a regular controller". Unfortunately for Heatseeker, I can't even recommend the PS2 version in place of the Wii release. Aside from an "impact cam" feature - where the game pulls you out of concentrating on aiming at targets to show you a clip of a missile hitting a plane, and the plane going boom - remember me mentioning Burnout? There's very little here that wasn't done better already by a number of releases of "Ace Combat" on PS2.

If you have to have Heatseeker, make sure you trade in a bunch of crappy N64 wrestling or racing games for it. Don't use real money, whatever you do.

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