Want to single-handedly win World War II ? Then sign up with Attack on Pearl Harbor, a physics-less shoot-'em-up where one Japanese Zero can sink the entire US Sixth Fleet. As you've probably guessed, this Legendo Entertainment game is about as true to history as Hot Shots and a long way from the usual hardcore PC flight sim geared to show you how punishing it was to get a P-40 Warhawk into the air, let alone use it to shoot down enemy aircraft. Even though the game's arcade slant may seem out of place on the PC, its engaging campaigns and fast-flowing action make for a nice, violent snack.
Sinking US destroyers is thrilling at first, then a little dull once you realize how easy it is to do.
Consider this an arcade flight sim by the numbers. You fly a handful of fighter planes from a third-person perspective for either the Americans or the Japanese in the Pacific theater of WWII. There is a quickie dogfight option where you set up mission parameters and take to the skies against enemies either solo or in online multiplayer matches. There are also two separate campaigns where you fly for the Stars and Stripes or the Rising Sun.
Of these game types, only the campaigns really stand out, especially since nobody seems to be playing the online mode despite the game having been out in stores for a while. Missions are a bit formulaic, with just about everything from straight-out dogfighting or dropping bombs on enemy bases to sinking enemy shipping with torpedoes, though it's all so packed with nonstop shooting that it's tough to get bored. All of your assignments branch in the old Wing Commander style too, so failure means that you still move on rather than endlessly repeat missions until you get it right. Campaign missions also begin and end with colorful comic book panels that perfectly match up with the arcade gameplay, giving the game added flavor (even if the Japanese sequences are over the top when it comes to Asian stereotyping). Experience points earn you promotions as well, and shooting down enough enemy planes unlocks new planes in your own hangar.