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Pearl Harbor - 1941: Red Sun Rising

by Matthew Blundon - July 11, 2010, 12:15 pm PDT
Total comments: 3


Take to the skies in this ace WiiWare title.

Pearl Harbor Trilogy - 1941: Red Sun Rising follows the events of the Pearl Harbor bombing and allows players to play on both the sides of the war. The Americans, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii were defending their Pacific fleet from the Japanese, who had already invaded parts of Asia. Red Sun Rising is set around the dangerous events of the Japanese bombing of the harbor on December 7th, 1941, due to economic sanctions the Americans imposed on the Japanese. It was a deadly fight between the two sides and one that helps make the story of the game somewhat appealing.

First and foremost though, Red Sun Rising is not a history lesson. Instead it follows a very simple plot of some characters and their struggles with the aerial battles that frequently took place during the war. The story is presented with comic book style graphics that contrast the harsh, brutal moments of the fight between Japan and the United States. Regardless of the contrast, the comic strips are attractive and do a marvelous job of explaining the game’s story.

Red Sun Rising is broken into two campaigns, each from a different perspective of the battle. Both the American and Japanese campaigns are of equal difficult and contain eight missions each.The missions offer just the right amount of difficulty to keep players challenged while not making it feel like a joyride either. This is achieved through the game’s decent enemy AI but sometimes it can be prove to be a little frustrating, especially when the enemy performs a sneaky move when you try and attack them from the rear.

While the gameplay is all top-notch, the controls can be irritating at first. Several different control methods are supported, such as the Wii Remote and the Classic Controller, but they can be a little difficult to get used to due to the strange placing of commands. It would have been nice to see a more basic control scheme where you control your plane’s movement with the Nunchuk and your bullets with the Wii Remote’s pointer.  Instead though, the game uses a little more obtuse control scheme that can be hard to adjust to. The game's auto-steady feature for the camera can also prove to be quite a challenge to adjust to.

Red Sun Rising is a lot of fun though. There is plenty of enjoyment to be had shooting down enemy planes, whether they be the Americans or Japanese. The dogfight mode is a great way to play the battles without having to deal with the missions of the campaign mode.   There is a lot of content packed in. There are two full campaign modes, each of which should take a couple of hours to complete. The visuals and audio are also very strong and fluid, and when everything is said and done, is one of the best looking and sounding WiiWare games to date. There is quite a bit of detail in the visuals compared to other WiiWare games and the audio is very appropriate for a game of this genre.

Red Sun Rising is one of the better WiiWare games released yet, assuming you can adjust to the game’s awkward style of controls. The missions have quite a bit of variety and each one takes a decent amount of time to complete. The game not only focuses on aerial dogfighting but also on protecting targets and destroying enemy bases. It is a whole lot of fun, and a title that is a no-brainer to recommend. 


  • Excellent AI
  • Smooth visuals
  • Two campaign modes
  • Controls can be awkward at first



the comic strips...do a marvelous job of explaining the game’s story.


The missions have quite a bit of variety

I think you're way too generous on these points, but it's a fair score.

legendoJuly 11, 2010

Thank you for the review Matt, from all of us here are Legendo.  We're so glad you loved our game!

LOVEooJuly 12, 2010

I thought this was originally a retail game when I saw screens and read a bit of info at some random site. Can't believe this is on Wiiware. It looks really neat and after Innocent Aces I've been wanting to play another flight-action game. Will be getting this.

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Genre Shooter
Developer Legendo

Worldwide Releases

na: Pearl Harbor - 1941: Red Sun Rising
Release Jul 05, 2010
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