Air Combat 2
When Air Combat came flying onto the scene with the PlayStation, it set a standard for 32-bit jet combat. AceCombat 2 carries that standard forward with a little more flair.
AC vets will find that this is basically more of the same, with slick behind-the-jets or cockpit-view gameplay, eight real-life aircraft, and a vicious A.I. You're the ace of an elite mercenary fighter squadron that tries to to foil a coup d'etat by blasting the bad guys in over BO missions.
Ace 2's gameplay is definitely aces, with smooth, supersonic jet action. The controls work effortlessly whether you soar after bogies in a dogfight or hug the ground for low-level rocket attacks. Your arsenal is limited to vulcan cannons and homing missiles, however. While the cannons are useless, the missiles rock if you can out-fly the enemy jets, which are smart and ferocious.
AceCombat 2 is solid and clean to the point of being al-rriost antiseptic, but it's still fun. it certainly deserves a spot among the elite of the PlayStation jetfighter squadron.
- The Russian Su-35 does it all. Once you can buy this guy, you can build cash by selling everything you flew before.
- During fighter escort in Sledgehammer, you must quickly assist any bombers with bogies on their tails. Listen forjlmjdistress call.
- Keep money in the bank to replace downed aircraft. Use the Arsenal's Buv/Sell to manage cash how.
- In Mission: Last Resort, you must accelerate up to the cruise missile before firing your missiles--they will not lock on.
Although there's very little difference in aircraft-performance characteristics, the animation's quick and the jets look cool. The visuals for the environments are sometimes stunning as you fly through canyons or under bridges, but the explosion effects are too tame. The mission-strategy screens and cinemas are impressive.
The sound gets sucked into the jet wash. The effects are bland, although the blaring missile-lock tone can really amp your adrenaline. The music has plenty of energy, but it still sounds dull.
Clean, crisp controls will make you master of the skies in no time. The easy-to-read radar is really the secret: Once you mind-meld with that...you're deadly!
Flyboys and fiygirls can really lose themselves in this CD. There's good variety and challenge in the missions, and the combat's wicked at the Hard skill level. AceCombat 2 makes it fun to fly and die.
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It's one of Air Combat 2's later missions that's proof enough of what a way-cool shooter/sim we have here. The mission has you flying through enemy-infested skies to a remote island, where you must take out a heavily defended bunker. Here's the catch: The only way to nuke the bunker is to swoop down a cramped ventilation shaft-which stays open for only 90 seconds-and destroy the structure from the inside out. all while dodging missiles from bogies on your six. Now that's what I call fun! Like the first game, part two isn't a direct arcade conversion, not even close. It's a mix of fly-anywhere. air-to-air and air-to-ground missions (as well as a few confined to narrow canyons) that pay big bucks when accomplished. You use this cash to build your own air force of fighters, including an F-16, F-14 and the nimble A-10 (perfect for strikes against ground targets). And you get even more, often experimental fighters when you beat the game, so you can rely old missions with new, off-the-wall aircraft. AC2 overcomes a major flaw of the original-you now get more missions. Even better, these missions come in a wide variety. Some have you downing a few bombers, while most have you taking out both aircraft and SAM sites or other structures scattered. You even attempt a couple of carrier and runway landings. But don't just blow through the game as fast as you can. The more you destroy in each sortie., the more secondary ground targets and aircraft you obliterate), the higher you'll go up in rank. And the higher your rank, the more missions you'll get to fly during the course of the game. The mission list also branches at certain points and lets you choose which sortie to fly. It all adds up to higher replay value, something missing from most console sims. AC2's graphics are the best of any flight game ever (yes. even PilotWings 64). Terrain is rendered much farther into the distance than in other sim titles, and pop-up of the world is gradual, thanks to the hazy-but not too foggy-horizon. Cities look especially good; skyscrapers and suburbs sprawl in every direction, as do canyons or forests when you're jetting across country. Control is perfect, whether you're using digital or analog pads 0 prefer the dual-analog stick, which seems made for AC2). Now if only there was a two-player Dogfight Mode...
Like Bogey: Dead 6 a while back, a well-done flight game can be a lot of fun. Air Combat 2 (which I think is much better than Bogey, by the way) is definitely one of those flight games. The whole thing is done really well from start to finish-graphics, sounds, control, etc. The beginning missions are too easy, but they do get harder in later levels, so there's a nice balance. I'm far from being a fly-boy (like Crispin "Rudder-Control" Boyer is), so the arcade feel of Air Combat is perfect. The graphics are incredible (the city level where you have to take out the overpass proves this). Leave it to Namco to make another awesome game-in yet another genre. An analog stick (or pad) makes AC2 a halva lot more fun.
I wasn't a big fan of flight/combat games, up until now. AC2 is the cream of the crop. Why? One simple word: variety. AC2 has several planes that all behave differently and plenty of non-linear missions that are long and challenging (you can even choose from different missions sometimes). Your primary objectives are always different and the occasional optional wingman makes things interesting. My only complaint is that it's too hard to get many machine gun kills on a flying enemy. But then again, missile kills are slightly harder to get too. The enemies in AC2 are smart-most of them will try to evade your missiles, if they can. This tiny bit of realism makes the game all the more enjoyable.
I'm really picky when it comes to flight sim games, so I'll either love it or hate it That said, Air Combat 2 is a game I can really get into. The city levels are nicely detailed, and I couldn't get the game to slow down or drop out noticeably, even at top speeds. The missions are fairly straightforward, but the good mixture of planes add a little variety and difficulty. Sometimes, however, the enemy planes take an awfully long time to get in your sights, creating extremely long missions that should be far shorter. One of my favorite aspects of Air Combat 2 is the seemingly endless areas to fly around in. Never once did I come up on an invisible barrier to slow my progress, which is impressive.