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Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War [US]/Squadron Leader [EU]
The Ace Combat series has been running strong on the PS2 for a long while feature arcadish flight simulation gameplay. Is this instalment a true ace or just numbered card?
I usually bring this one to the front of my reviews, as I like to emphasize that they don't really count into a game being really good or not. But in this case it doesn't matter as the game looks really good - forests, cities, towns, forts and all kinds of flying machines come alive on your screen. Explosions look nice and you have a good sense of depth even on sea levels.
Explosive is all I can say: you get a great sense of speed in your aircraft, you feel overpowered when you are supposed to and hopeless when you should. Voice acting is nice, you grow to the characters as you see them through their efforts. The chatter during the missions is also interesting and often requires your reply so you'll be kept involved even when the action is low. I especially like the cutscenes as they are always contentful and not just fillers. There are some wierd parts though which pretty much reflect the Japanese development of the game (Flying through caves, tunnels, etc.)
There are a lot of planes to be unlocked, some requires a lot of XP to gather with that particular craft.
This is the part which either makes or breaks a flight sim. Here it pretty much makes it.
Using the sticks you control your camera and the pitch and yaw of your plane. The pressure sensitive throttle and braking really appealed to me. The same pressure sensitive control of the radar can get twitchy sometimes as you may misadjust the zoom. It would have been better with button presses.
You also have full control over your squadron, which is controlled by the directional pad. They can either cover you, focus on attacking or go free - you'll be switching orders frequently as very often this can make your time much easier.
Each aircraft feels different, so you'll be able to discern whether you took the right plane for the mission on hand. There are some frustrating missions as there are no checkpoints and quite a few twists and turns are taken during missions (ie. during an air to ground mission a squadron of enemy ace pilots appear - and you chose a 100% air to ground setup).
The plot is very enjoyable. Quite a few plot twists occur and because of this the game runs into the occasional plothole, but these are very minor and very sparse. The tale being told is not shallow and interestingly there are quite a few real-world parallelisations going on, the events are being hinted at at quite a few places (ie. the war in the Balkans not so long ago).
What's more amazing is how it ties into the overall Ace Combat universe. The sequel to this game is actually a prequel, and Ace Combat 2 took place during the same time as the Belkan War. Also, Ace Combat X for the PSP takes place after this game, with a particular character appearing in it.
I recommend you play this game if you haven't as it is a fun experience to be had and you'll grow to the story being told as it not only raises questions about war, but also the relation of the individual to a war and how not everything is what it seems to be. Sometimes it get frustrating but only to a certain extent which makes you get better everytime and best the challenges given to you.
Last Post: 23rd October 2010, 12:59 AM
By PS2_Uploader in forum PS2 Game Downloads
Last Post: 17th March 2010, 11:35 AM
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