ULTRAWINGS (Nintendo Switch) Review: Cleared For Takeoff or Crash Landing?


Ultrawings is available now on the Nintendo eShop

UltraWings for the Nintendo Switch is a somewhat entertaining indie take on 'Pilotwings' (SNES), that ultimately comes up a bit short on the overall fun. When beginning the game, there are seemingly a number of different tasks and goals to perform, but ultimately, they all feel extremely similar to one another. The in game camera is extremely janky in first-person mode. Almost like the controls were never accurately fine-tined from porting a VR game. With the inability to locate a way to invert the camera controls, I was constantly looking in the wrong directions and it became a cumbersome, frustrating experience. The graphics are extremely basic, even for an Indie title, and often felt like parts of the game are unfinished. Crashing your plane simply shows it going underwater or underground. There is no 'scene' showing a crash or any depiction letting you know you've failed. It suddenly goes to a black screen a few seconds later and begins reloading the menu again. Speaking of loading times, the initial loading screen when beginning the game lasts (what felt like) well over 1 minute, so be prepared to leave this game in standby mode often, to avoid going through that hoop each time you want to play.


Prepare to navigate this menu with poor controls more often than you'd like

The actual motion of the plane controls felt good overall, and the ability to control it mid-air, fitting through targets and angling for landings took minimal time to grasp and perform. Ultrawings does shine in this department, once it finally gets to the meat of what it presents to the gamer.


In-flight controls are ok, but overall this game misses the target

Repetitive missions, basic graphics, empty game world, and lack of overall vehicle variety makes this game a 'must-buy' only for those who are die-hard fans of the original Super Nintendo original title, and even then, it will most likely leave you with a feeling of somewhat of a missed opportunity. If you really want to take this game for a test flight, I'd recommend waiting for a sale. SMASH Score: 5.75/10

UPDATE

From the developer: You can invert the camera by going into the Select Menu on the laptop, press R shoulder button to cycle between screens until you get to the Invert option.


Release Details: The game released on 3/28/19 for Nintendo Switch with the eShop MSRP of $19.99 USD. Clearly subject to the 'Switch Tax', as it is also available on Steam and the PSVR currently for $14.99 USD. Disclaimer: Game code for 'Ultrawings' was provided to Smash JT by the developer @BitPlanetGames. Smash JT opinions are never influenced.

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