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After completed ace combat 4:distant thunder I had to play the next in the series. And although this was on PSP, I borrowed my friends and bought this game. This game seperates itself from the plot of the 4th to create its own world. You fight on the side of Aurelia, the ace combat series sets itself apart by having fantastic missions. like other ace combat games, you get them all, starting with defensive anti bomber missions, and then going on the offensive with missions against a huge aircraft with fighter escorts. In this game you also get a search and rescue mission, when you have to rescue your downed wingman by providing air cover and ground hits for the Search and rescue teams and also helping to locate her.
Its a new twist that really improves the game. The only problem is that this game like so many other ace combat game finishes off with the same tight quarters, pursuit flying you have to do in the fourth so it isnt that original in this respect...but its still great fun
This game still doesnt allow you to command your own squadron by button control as in Ace combat 5: squadron leader or the HAWX series but it still has over 40 aircraft and a much wider range of weapon packages to use- rockets on the air to ground mission are my favourite.
the inclusion of the extra weapons packages feature nearly makes up for the non-inclusion of the of the ace agressor squadron you could have fought against like in the previous ace combat. I think that was the concept that really drew my into ace combat 4 above all the others.
But it can be hard to keep track of things on such a small screen , as the action moves so quickly
Ace combat has been the regular flying action game on the Playstation since its humble beginnings on the Playstation 1, as growth in the series continues , the seventh title flys onto the PSP and the first Ace combat game to do so. Released in 2006 the game set out to show that Ace combat would control the skies of whatever console it wanted to.
Set in 2020, the land of Aurelia is at peace. Reclining in its wealth of resources and pleasurable climate, the peace is soon broken as a invasion from neighbours, Leasath, engulfs the country in a war. Unarmed and unprepared , Aurelia falls after 10 days and only one small force still remains in a small airfield. Flying in Glyphun sqaudron, it is your job to save the country and restore happiness to the land.
The story is good enough and the main motives are clear, the narrative travels at a good pace with the aid of cut-scenes during gaps between levels. If it weren't for the difficult names used for everything important to the story , it would be as easy as the ABC's to follow.
The campaign mode takes place in upto 17 missions, as the narrative can change at 3 specific points in the game which limits how many missions happen. This makes the game feel more personal to you, adding to this is the customisation options for aircraft and the ability to be awarded medals for certain actions.
Campaign mode has a handful of different mission types to help the story along, whilst many of these are search and destroy missions where you have a certain amount of time to destroy whatever the target is , either ground to air missile launchers or enemy aircraft. Other mission types include, escort, base assaults, playing with instruments jammed and restriction flights (keeping below a certain alltitude or speed). These all generally link with search and destroy so it can soon start feeling a little bit monotonous due to the lack of variety.
As you go through the campaign mode you earn money which you can spend on unlockables such as paint or aircraft kit. This makes it more interesting to go back and try missions with an improved aircraft, some of the kit you can get includes more powerful engines, better weapons and improved wings for handling.
In addition to the campaign there is arcade mode, which lets you play single missions after unlocking them in the campaign mode.
Multiplayer is put into the game with 2 different modes, CO-OP and versus. In CO-OP you and 3 freinds can fight upto 6 enemy aircrafts controlled by AI.
In versus mode you can fight against 3 freinds, this is in straight dogfights, base attacks, domination, capture the flag and escort. This mix of modes makes the multiplayer really exciting to play and mean that you can have hours of fun in a smooth running group. I play this with freinds on a regular basis and it's always a clean and polished online experience, definatley one of the top online games for the PSP.
Combat is mainly done off of the action buttons and the lock on for attacking enemies is pretty quick, so you don't need to waste any time. As soon as the enemies in site there are the options for missiles or bullets, these aim true and are really effective, although lessons from space invaders shows up and you should remember to aim infront of your target to take in flight time.
All the worlds main military planes are available to use with a range of statistics to give the plane a specific feel, some are fast and some are great at handling, it's important to find a nice mix that suits you if you want to survive. 40 planes and 120 weapons make sure their is something for you to go back to and try the missions with a different style of attack.
The replay value is increased with the support for playing at different difficultys, it increases the AI and number of enemies as well as the damage your aircraft can take. The increased damage is what makes it the most difficult, as the aircraft are made realistically so one missile will mean it's all over.
The AI of your comrades and enemies are both of a good standard and it's good to see the AI getting some kills or a change, the enemies will try to dodge your missiles and attacks with their abilities increasing through the course of the game.
The analoug stick of the PSP handles the flight of the plane very well and makes handling it a dream, controlling as well as any home console game. The acceleration and brake on the shoulder buttons helps keep your speed in touch and the plane really has a weight to it.
The game looks fantastic with water effects that carress the side of the levels and shimmer in the sunlight. Some of the level rises up into 3D but most of it is flat, you don't notice this too much as your flying at speed and altitide but when your close the flat shape is evident. That's not without saying the detail on buildings and roads are good for the PSP, and overall their is a nice polish over the whole game which makes it fun to play.
The game can be quite atmospheric as long as you turn off the rather annoying soundtrack, radio crackle and brief messages boost the excitement and make it feel as though you really are a small group against an army.
The sounds of dogfights are engaging with missiles, explosions and sonic booms going off all around and you have to keep reminding yourself this is all coming out of the tiny PSP.
On Amazon the game retails for £16 , this is a fair price considering the quality of the game. Theirs probably a good 25 hours available before you get tired of the different planes, the only problem is that the campaign is a bit short and the missions are unvaried.
The Federal Republic of Auerila is at war with it's neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Leasath. Auerila was said to have exploited Leasath during a civil war. You are the leader of Gryphus Squadron, of the Aurelian Air Force -- which means you don't care about the politics behind the war. You're a fighter pilot with a job to do, so get in the cockpit and get ready for action.