dogfights and anime
January 5, 2020 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown [Trailer] [Opening Cinematic] “What really defines the Ace Combat experience, however, isn't something that can be plastered on the back of the box. No, it's the combination of key elements which draw you deeper into each battle. In my experience, there's a certain dryness to most flight sims and that's OK, honestly - but Ace Combat is something different. There's this atmosphere and sense of excitement in the air - moments when you push your flight skills to the limits as you chase a difficult enemy. You're fully engaged in this air ballet - low on missiles, armour nearly depleted then, just as the music swells and the brilliant colours dance around your peripheral vision, you nail that precision shot. You exhale. It's an emotional experience and anyone that's played through the series will know exactly what I mean.” [via: Eurogamer]

• Ace Combat 7 turns tense dogfights into goofy anime fun [The Verge]
“You play as Trigger, an ace pilot in the Osean military in the year 2019. You happen to do something bad enough that you’re thrown into a remote, Potemkin-village-style jail / penal colony. You’re stuck there with Avril, a crack mechanic who just happened to be flying a jet she built in restricted airspace when a war broke out between the aforementioned Osea and Erusia. In the jail, you join the Spare Squadron, other prisoners who have been corralled into being cannon fodder in not-exactly-regulation aircraft. (Your warden / fleet commander says things like, “Don’t worry about dying. Worry about your sins” and “Let the missile hit you or crash into the rocks. That much freedom I will give.”) The story spirals out in longer, more elaborate arcs from there, and it’s oddly touching that there’s an elaborate political structure justifying the fun-as-hell gameplay. That’s the heart of this game and every other game in the Ace Combat franchise: flying.”
• Ace Combat 7 Is A Proper Ace Combat Game [Kotaku]
“Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown delivers the supremely satisfying air combat players crave and the melodramatic narrative we’ve come to expect. There’s nothing quite like shooting down drones while your squadron calls you “murderer.” Ace Combat has been serving the arcade-style dogfight loving public for more than two decades. Since 1995’s Air Combat for the PlayStation, the series has weaved a story most players would be completely content without around some of the best aerial warfare available on consoles. The only truly unpleasant entry in the series thus far is 2014’s Ace Combat Infinity for the PlayStation 3, a free-to-play experiment that fell flat. [...] Again, not a problem. Ace Combat is the sort of series one can play again and again, approaching missions from different angles with different loadouts, and Skies Unknown is no exception.”
• Flying high since ‘95, Ace Combat 7 presents a spruced-up goose. [PC Gamer]
“As with its predecessors, there are two different flight models available here, one professing to offer a simplified handling experience while the other offers a deeper simulation. In truth, neither one is particularly taxing and the most discernible difference between them seems to be the necessity to use yaw controls in simulation mode. It’s Need For Speed handling in the air then, essentially, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. After an hour or so of chucking a fighter jet about with cartoonish abandon though, you do feel a desire to test your flight skills further than either model truly allows. No, instead that challenge must be gleaned from Ace Combat 7’s missions, which start off punishingly pedestrian but kick into gear three or four levels in and reveal an absolutely unhinged campaign. What begins as 15 minutes of shooting at radar towers and the odd enemy fighter quickly descends into boss fights against impossible constructions, battles with drone swarms, and navigational set-pieces straight from a Universal Studios ride. The demands of Ace Combat 7’s campaign are matched perfectly with its accessible approach to flight simulation, throwing improbable machines and scenarios at you simply because it can.”
• Critics of Ace Combat 7’s PC port are missing the point [Polygon]
“And you can fly both of those planes with a single thumbstick and two triggers found on a console controller. That’s incredible. You don’t need fancy pedals. You don’t need a TrackIR. You don’t need a flightstick to make stuff blow up real good in Ace Combat 7. Now, leaving aside the storyline of the game for now (which is crazy-town), the developers of Ace Combat 7 have some interesting ideas when it comes to fighting with modern airplanes. For instance, they seem to think that breaking the sound barrier is something that a kid can do with the parts they found lying around in their garage. They seem to think that you can slow an aircraft down to its stall speed for long periods of time without it plummeting out of the sky. They seem to think that the pilot of your average fighter plane can casually approach 30 times the force of gravity while traveling in a straight line. And they seem to think that actual combat pilots sound like idiot teens while they talk on their radios. That’s fine. This is all fine. Because it’s an arcade game.”
posted by Fizz (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Kuush Puhhrrrr. Kuush Puhhrrrr.

I detect an aerial posting pattern, commander.
A thirty G Roll is 8G' more then ejecting from an F-4
posted by clavdivs at 10:14 AM on January 5

AC7 is a fun and beautiful game, but it is certainly no more of a simulator than MechWarrior 2 was. Like "I'm glad that Nvidia lets me use their GPUs for free" beautiful. Unfortunately, it is also one of those games that uses overwhelming numbers of enemies to create difficulty, which I have become increasingly tired of as the years tick past.

Still, having missed the entirety of the Ace Combat series up to now (my closest experience is probably Afterburner, circa 1990), the few missions I've completed in the past several months have been enjoyable even if the story makes less sense than The Big O. On the gripping hand, I'd likely play it more often if No Man's Sky wasn't filling up all my gaming hours (and a few more besides) already.
posted by wierdo at 10:47 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

And yes, Falcon 4.0 was great. The computer shop up the street from our house had a boxed copy sitting on the shelf for at least a year. Eventually, they opened it up and put the "flight manual" on display, giving me a chance to really look it over.

Good thing, too, since a few months later I was kindly allowed to leech a bunch of stuff from a BBS, including Falcon 4.0. I'd have never figured out how to get the damn plane off the ground were it not for the book. These days DCS will scratch that itch while looking way better and being far more complete.

What I actually ended up buying, a few years later, was a similar sim/game, only it was carrier-based (I believe with an F/A-18). The name escapes me, but it was the impetus for buying my first crazy button count Saitek stick and throttle setup. I finally had to move on from that set not because it ever broke, but because game ports went away almost entirely there for a little while.
posted by wierdo at 11:34 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]

“Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown delivers the supremely satisfying air combat players crave and the melodramatic narrative we’ve come to expect.

This makes me feel very very old. What I saw first was a trailer that promised a world of smooth skinned creepy puppet people coupled with professional voice talent that squelches any suspension of disbelief, pretty clouds and exhilarating swoopy. What I saw second was a game play video that looks like a tarted up 1980s video arcade third person flight game .
posted by Pembquist at 12:08 PM on January 5

I have played all of Ace Combat 7, and I enjoyed it. This is the best summary of the game's plot that I have found thus far. (spoilers! sort of!)
posted by chrominance at 5:10 PM on January 5

It has a plot? The trailer was... not clear on that point.
posted by grumpybear69 at 5:21 PM on January 5

It has a plot? The trailer was... not clear on that point.

It has a really absurd alternate universe world war type of plot with a missing president, and a monarchy re-establishing itself, a militaristic republic that emphasizes duty & honor, the introduction of an army of drones and basically its a whole lot of anime, like a ton of anime tropes placed on top of an engaging arcade-y type flight sim.

It's just fun, that's the best way I can describe the game. The jets you are in feel good to move around and you have a lot of variety with mission types. Worth picking up if you're feeling like you want something different from gaming. A lot of gaming has moved away from this type of flight/arcade sim. It used to be super popular back in the day. So I am glad that this game sort of put this genre back in the spotlight briefly.
posted by Fizz at 6:38 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]

Man it just really doesn't look that impressive, graphics-wise, considering the decades since the last Ace Combat game I played. Is it at least challenging?
posted by aspersioncast at 3:16 PM on January 6

Looks like somebody else remembers Area 88...
posted by The Tensor at 3:30 PM on January 6

« Older "They make you smile due to their sheer size and...   |   You Give Me Something I Can Feel Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments