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A.P.I Review: Wing Over 2
Developer: Victor Interactive OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: JVC 1 Player
Game Type: Flight Sim Memory Card
Review Date: May 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

Fasten your harnesses, adjust your flight suit and check your chute - It's time for WingOver 2; the only realistic air fighter simulation on the Playstation. Strap yourself into one of 20 classic aircraft and prepare to enter the adrenaline-fuelled world of air combat.

Start by learning the basics; a loop here, a dive there and head onto more complicated air-to-air combat maneuvers by way of a series of flying school exams. It pays to listen to your teacher this time around; the more exams you pass, the greater your hanger access will be, opening up a whole airbase of top-end fighters and jets for you to use.

The problem with air combat school, though, is that it costs money and you're gonna have to earn your filthy lucre by flying errands for the academy. Granted, flying sandwiches out to the boss so he can have his lunch ain't the most taxing of chores but the school isn't going to let you loose in an F16 to escort the Presidential jet through enemy territory; well not until you've lost that 'rookie' status anyway!

Sound & Vision

Let's be realistic... Wing Over 2 may be the very first Playstation flight 'simulator', but don't expect visuals and complexities that compare with the many favorable PC titles already out there. Wing Over 2 is purely for the gamer who would love to experience the thrill of flying an aircraft but doesn't have access to the high grade systems required to run the more technical programs. That said, the graphics are pleasing to the eye, while being devoid of complicated distractions. This allows the player to concentrate on the task in hand... which is keeping their head above the clouds.

The training menu involves an outlined sketch of the flying school and an animation of the person issuing instructions. Moving on to the hanger each aircraft may be summoned and viewed as a rotating camera spans the plane. These are highly detailed ranging from the small Cessna C172RG lightweight instruction aircraft up to the monster C190 Hercules and the almighty World War 2 B17 Bomber.

While guiding the aircraft onto the runway the constraints of the consoles power first becomes noticeable. You can only see a relatively short distance ahead while the runway surface is slightly distorted. However once the plane is airbound I was suitably impressed by the surrounding landscape. Holding a steady level of 1500 feet light fluffy clouds float across the deep blue skies. Climb the plane above them and the blazing sun will blind your vision (has a tactical use in combat). Swoop down below and various forms of landscape are passed over including sparse deserts, dense forests, lush green fields, deep blue oceans and snow topped mountains. The only building and constructions in sight are those relating to the test or mission.

Both flying lessons and missions take place in random conditions. Relying on the aircraft apparatus is essential in thick fog while at night all around is blackened out apart from a row of landing lights. Other environments include bright sunshine, dawn, cloudy days and a most impressive stormy condition where lightening streaks across the sky and momentarily flashes over the ground.

There are several viewing angles which are rear, chase, target, fly by and cockpit... probably the most sensible when learning. After each lesson or mission a replay is available which may be fast forwarded by using the shoulder buttons.

A map of the area can be displayed permanently on screen which has three different magnifications. On the dashboard is a series of clocks and dials displaying current mission time, speed, altitude, direction, radar, compass, landing gear, acceleration gauge and banking dial. Mission and lesson instructions also appear briefly on screen.

The background music is pretty crap and unfortunately cannot be turned down or even switched off. It is best described as shopping music, but you are not searching the shelves for a harmless tin of sardines... you're hunting down a rogue Spitfire armed to the teeth. In fact it often becomes a distraction when concentration is essential.

The sound effects are very good, especially your flying instructor. He's the army type... firm and lacking emotion. His instructions are clear and precise but should you not follow them to the letter then he'll begin barking at you, ranting and raving before suddenly ending the lesson. Be warned of this as I could imagine the more sensitive person shedding a tear. All airplane effects are quite realistic... especially when the engine stalls at 2000 feet... put... put... put... p.. p.. PANIC STATIONS!


Buckle up, you're going back to school... Ejector seats at the ready, joystick firmly gripped; get ready to enter the thrilling world of air combat school.

The beauty with Wing Over 2 is that there are not as many complicated options to trudge through as you may first expect. In fact this is almost a pick-up-and-play flight sim. Even the button configuration feels immediately comfortable. Face buttons are only used in combat situations to select, target and fire weapons (excluding braking on landing). Controlling the plane is done simply by combining the shoulder buttons with the D-pad (works fine), or left analog stick (a bit too sensitive).

Wing Over 2 is two games in one. First there is the Recipro Course and then the Jet Course. I suggest playing in that order as the Jet planes are much more difficult to control.

There is a short introduction and guide from the receptionist who explains the HQ layout; Staff Room, Office, Reception, Briefing Room and Hangar.

The Staff Room is used to browse through your training record as progression is made.

The Student Office is the place to go first for a temporary job. The credits earned for performing these tasks is used to pay for your training. Simple tasks involve delivering a food parcel to Fisherman's Park in a light plane for 1000 Credits. Medial employment includes taking a bunch of tourists on an island flight for 2000 Credits. Tasks eventually move towards sinking a fleet of war ships while under enemy attack from the air for a huge 5000 Credits. The sixteen jobs gradually open up as you progress through the flying lessons.

Next, visit the receptionist to pay your tuition fee before moving on to the Briefing Room for a description of the upcoming session. Lessons are divided into 4 stages with 4 sections to each stage. At the end of each group of lessons you will be tested on what you have learned and then rated accordingly.

The learning curve is just perfect. Stage 1 lessons begin with the aircraft already in flight with a few basic maneuvers to perform such as level flying and turning left or right. Next is Taxi-ing, Take-off and Landing. Taking-off is child's play but landing can be a little tricky if correct height, level and speed are not adhered to. The first session of lessons are great fun and non too stressful.

Stage 2 lessons involve Navigation, Night Landing and Low Level Flight through valleys and mountainous regions.

Stage 3 is great fun as you get the opportunity to perform a few risky maneuvers such as a Roll Loop, Immelmann Turns and a Cuban 8. Climb too quickly and the engine will stall. Dive to steep and you will never pull the nose up in time. Strange thing is you are concentrating so hard on the clocks and dials that you never feel nauseous with all this 360° flying.

Stage 4 allows you to arm your craft and practice shooting a few harmless air balloons and moving ground targets... some of which return fire. Finally a Graduation Exam must be passed to gain your flying license. This unveils the Hanger option where a Mission Generator allows the player to set up their own flying tasks or enter an aerial combat war.

* Full 360' freedom of movement
* Dual Shock & analog flight stick compatible
* unique virtual cockpit
* over 20 state-of-the-art aircraft
* challenging ground & air based missions
* intelligent foes /increased AI
* ultra-realistic styling
* new weapon-cam view
* ground based targets including Rapier missile 
  systems and battle cruisers
* enhanced game engine
* weather conditions including cloud level, 
  thunderstorms, and blinding sun
* buy, sell, and trade your favorite planes & weapons
* awesome ordinance - cluster bombs, Phoenix missiles, torpedoes etc. 
GRAPHICS: 15/20 After a few minutes of Wing Over 2 I was totally hooked. I found that I couldn't put the game down until I eventually graduated into a fully fledged air combat pilot.

The learning curve is so smooth that any old landlubber can learn to fly an aeroplane.

Graphically it doesn't touch the more technical PC simulations but for a games console I was suitably impressed.
SOUND: 6/10
VALUE: 17/20


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