Ace Combat X
Date: Monday, November 16 @ 16:23:54 EST
Topic: Action Game Reviews
Ace Combat X is another PSP title I'd like to review, because it friggin' deserves it.
Anyway, Ace Combat X was made after Ace Combat 5, but was dumbed down a bit for the PSP because the PSP doesn't have as many buttons as a PS2 controller. Smart planning on Namco's part.
The Ace Combat games are a series of arcade type flight-simulation games with specific missions ranging from simple to why-was-this-put-in-here hard.
Aaaaanyway, I'll use the same "Good-to-Bad" format I used in my Dissidia review.
Those graphics are gorgeous. They easily match the quality of their PS2 counterparts, right down to the annoyingly cheesy but obvious lack of anti-aliasing on textures when you get close to them. The models of all the planes are gorgeous to look at and is easily where the most amount of work went into.
The story is pretty good, actually.
I AM going to spoil, so you'll want to skip.
Your bordering nation of Lesath has invaded your country of Aurelia using a big fuckin' airborne fortress called the Gleipnir. The commander-in-chief Diego Nevarro declared war on you because your country apparently exploited his country's economy. So, he's declaring war and causing a war economy.
So your awesomeness is going to go liberate parts of your country along the way to liberating Griswall, your capital. On that path, you will destroy the Gleipnir, rescue some troops, take some bases and disrupt enemy shipments. Oh, and blow stuff up.
Eventually, you've liberated Griswall. It's at this point that you learn about a new superweapon, (it's actually a superfighter) that the war economy was caused in order to cover the funds for producing the late Gleipnir and the new weapon Fenrir.
So, basically, these guys started a way under the guise of "RHJREHJR YOU GUYS ABUSED OUR ECONOMY DIIIIIIIEEEEE" but are really being selfish pricks and using the money to build some spiffy shit. Hey, it worked, until your guys blew it the hell up (and their country's elite squadron as a bonus. My elite squadron is more awesome than your elite squadron BITCH).
You mostly get told all of this in cutescenes that the game has between the split paths part, which I'll get into in a second. I kept it abridged enough that you'll want to at least experience it.
Also, you're nameless, and the enemy calls you NEMISIS
Spoilers end here, brah.
Anyway, the controls work, once again. You'll be using every button on the PSP to play this game, and thankfully, it was geared enough that, since the yaw controls aren't as conveniently placed as they are on Ace Combat 4/5's control, you won't absolutely NEED them as often. At the same time, there's parts where the PSP's control stick is too much crap for the smallness of some parts, so the yaw controls are on the D-pad. If I recall right, the yaw was used more in the PS2 counter parts because of ease of access.
Right, you have a button for your plane's gun, missiles, a button to switch missile and special weapon usage, one to switch and zoom in on targets, one for boosting and breaking respectively, buttons for the yaw and the stick rolls your plane and increases/decreases altitude. You'll get used to it pretty quick. The first mission is easy enough since the poor sods are too stupid to realize you just filed their engines with missiles and PAIN.
The game has a paths system, which means you'll need at least three playthroughs to get all of the missions done. The paths will do crazy stuff to you missions. You can end up having limited fuel (which gives you a smaller time limit), fewer missiles and special weapons, or even docking the enemy's efficiency in battle against you.
The sound effects in the game are ripped straight from the PS2 incarnates, so there's not much to say. But I do enjoy hearing the sound of Long Range Shock Wave Missiles.
The music is awesome. Apparently, the style is taken from Ace Combat 3 (aside from the crappy gratingness) and is sorta dance-techno or something. I can't quite pinpoint the genre, but it's damn awesome to listen to. The game's main theme appears a lot, too. You'll recognize it from the tune you load the UMD (or ISO if you played it with Custom Firmware) on your PSP.
The graphics, while gorgeous, sacrifice distance. You can't see stuff past three-thousand-five-hundred (3500) feet, but in the PS2 counterparts you can see up to fifteen-thousand (15000) feet ahead. This is done (I guess) to keep a smooth framerate going, which is reasonable. But the distance fog makes me rage like a motherfucker.
Also, a more specific complain I have is that in the missions that take place in the Danern Straits and Archelon Fortress, the sky is the same color as reflected in the water. It's a cool detail, but it makes it damn hard to tell the difference, and it gets worse when all of those missions have you high flying at high speeds. You WILL get thrown for a loop, confuse which is up and down and then wreck horribly. And, despite S-ranking most of the game, I STILL do it.
Actually, aside from some of the missions being crazy stupid, I don't have much to complain about, aside from the distance problems and the bit at the Danern Straits and Archelon Fortress. The game is just that good.
Although the lack of "Holy-shit-this-is-awesome" chants like Megalith ~Agnus Dei~ and The Unsung War in Ace Combats 4 and 5 respectively not being in this game sucks. Youtube 'em, they're friggin' awesome.
Then again, in those two, you're going in to blow up a weapon of world-wide mass destruction, and a satellite about to plummet and wipe out your country in those games, respectively (again). In Ace Combat X you're just having a massive dog fight with fuckers that can cloak at will for the last mission.
Ultimately, I've had more fun playing Ace Combat X than playing Dissidia. 'S got plenty of replay value, which a game NEEDS.
Like before, I can't judge the multiplayer, so I won't talk about it. Sorry 'bout that.