First off i am one of those weirdos who are into flight/mil sim games like Warthunder, IL2 Sturmovik, Falcon and other weird games. My experience with Ace Combat was minimal since i play most of my game on pc the only time i seem to remember is at a friends house playing the first one and saying "this is neat for a PS1 game". Whit it being a slower months for games and me completing Dragon quest i thought i would pick this up after some positive reviews. Boy is this game a blast why didn't i get into this sooner from the bad B script to the endless dumb mumbling of ace fighters. weird boss battles and fun gameplay, i am having the time off my life stalling a SU-33 to then fire some rockets to the nearest plane without getting into a flat spin. The story it self is super cheesy but at least the mission variety is well enough to keep me interested, if you grew up with a poster of a F-16 plastered to your wall, i would definitely give this a try. Now i am even curious to previous game any ones i should play? i got Ace Combat 5 for free so that's a good start.
The Arcade flight experience i didn't know i needed
The elements you seem to enjoy were there in the first 3 games (on ps1), I can only assume they've been there throughout the rest of the series (goofy B-movie story and future tech). From what I understand the 3 games on ps2 (0,4 &5) all have a story that takes place in the same universe as 7 (strangereal) and they're supposed to be great, If you have a way to play 0 & 4 that would seem like a good point at which to continue the series.
While not as dramatic as Ace Combat usually is i have to give a shoutout to Tom Clancy's HAWX.
The voice acting is hilariously bad, but tells a tale of a group of pilots who leave the airforce to fly for a private military company, the better pay and bigger budget are good for a while until the company starts heading in uncomfortable directions. It's an interesting plot with a satisfying end, not mindblowing but good enough.
Gameplay wise it's 100% Ace Combat but with a couple of twists, an "ERS" system acts as a guide to help direct new players where to fly their jets, which is completely optional and not very interesting, but they put it to better use in a couple of missions where they really push the players flying ability, the other is an "Assistance Off/On" toggle which i think is brilliant, smash in both triggers and the camera flicks out to a far away perspective, all HUD elements shut down and the jet becomes abnormally maneuverable, allowing you to pull off some really satisfying tricks to outperform the enemy, at the risk of stalling hard, it also has an insanely large selection of planes.
I highly recommend HAWX to fans of Ace Combat, just know that the PC version crashes on modern systems and does not naturally support controllers, i managed to work around it but it's an uncomfortable version of the game.
Assistance off at 0:19.
I am so rusty at this game! I used to be able to just fly up and down the battlefield wasting everything in sight, but its is taking me time to readjust to the controls even on easy. The only game i play with "flight controls" are flying games, and I do not play many of them except Ace Combat.
Nevertheless, that game looks great and I always like the "recap" of the flights because you can see you flying with some filmic angles.
7 is a pretty good return to what I loved about 6, and the story is doing some pretty interesting things. The flying feels just as great as ever, the story and characters are pretty cheesy but in that good way 6 was. Overall, it's a fantastic experience so far.
Edit: I will say, I'm not really into the way they set up your support units in 7. I dislike one specifically, and don't really have any opinion on the others so far. They seem...okay, but by this time in 6 I actively liked basically everyone. I do suppose it's partly how the story is done in 7 though.
That said, AC6 is still one of my favorite games of all time, so if you get the chance, I would highly recommend playing that. I love that story even as ultra-cheesy as it is, the music is fantastic, and it has the CFA-44 Nosferatu and it's All-Direcitonal Multipurpose Missile system that fires like 12 micro-missiles at once, and it is just the most ridiculous thing. "Garuda One, Drive!" Also, Ghost-Eye is awesome, and so is the Marigold. And Warlock Battalion. And Quox. And...
I jumped into the series at 6, that game looked phenominal at the time (still looks great), with a fantastic soundtrack and a story that for some reason i find memorable.
Oh ffs i'm tearing up again, this trailer gets me every time.
That is easily one of my most favorite trailers for any game out there. I legitimately listen to The Liberation of Gracemeria a ton on it's own, simply because it's such a good song. Honestly, my favorite part about Ace Combat 7 right now is that it brought Ace Combat 6 to backwards compatibility. It was the single game I ever pulled out my 360 for.
All planes, we're going to take back Gracemeria today!
I have played all the games since AC4. If you can find a reasonably easy way to play Ace Combat 4, do so. I only just started AC7, so I can't say yet where it will like in my ranking, but AC4 was still my favorite up this point. That said, it was almost my first one, so much like with Mario Kart and Zelda, the theory that your first exposure to a consistently good (except for Assault Horizon...) series will always be your favorite may apply.
I hope Namco will be putting out an HD collection. It seems really weird that they would go to the trouble of porting AC5 just to include it as a pre-order bonus. That said, it is a fairly basic port. I mean it's bug free and functionally complete, but apart from rendering at higher resolution, they did nothing to it. It doesn't even have anti-aliasing.
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