The Ninjabot

What You Are Missing: Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy

Posted on February 1, 2015 at 10:51 pm by Victor Chaves

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Ace Combat is one of my favorite series of games, and it’s from the genre of flying war simulators that I am typically not a fan of. So why is Ace Combat one of my favorite series? Underneath the realistic exterior with life-like plane models, the game series unexpectedly finds a balance between simulation and arcade-style game play in order to create a truly fun experience.

Given my past with the series, as well as playing other flight-sim games, this is a game that should not be paired with the other life-like flight sims, but with Star Fox 64. Let me describe it this way, do not think of the Ace Combat series as a little more arcade-like than Microsoft Flight Simulator, what you should actually think regarding Ace Combat is that it’s Star Fox 64 with a tiny bt of simulation thrown in.

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What makes the Ace Combat series so like the Star Fox series is that there is very little realism; a normal play of Ace Combat will have you with infinite bullet ammo and over 50 missiles. In case you didn’t know, most fighter planes carry only 4. You can also do several high-G moves and activate dodges (dodges being a later addition in the series) that in reality would make the pilot faint. Not to mention the infinite fuel, the concept of one fighter pilot downing 30 planes in a single mission, and voice communications between copilots and enemies. Although there is a shroud of simulation in the series, Ace Combat is undoubtedly an arcade series of games.

It’s incredibly fun too! Pulling air maneuvers, trying to get lock-ons to enemy fighters, dodging buildings, and ribboning through canyons is tons of fun. Although the mission variety doesn’t differ that much from game to game, the first one you’ll play will most definitely introduce you to some original gameplay elements. Some of these elements are reminiscient of Luke flying in the Death Star trench, Ice Man being Maverick’s wingman, and the President flying in a 50 aircraft configuration to repel alien forces on July 4th. There isn’t a moment that you aren’t white-knuckling the controller, tagging bogeys with your partner, and taking on several squadrons in a battle that is overwhelmingly not in your favor. It’s fantastic.

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I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that on February 10th, the slightly updated version of the 3DS game Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy (the new name only adds a + to the title) will show up on the New Nintendo 3DS, as well as the regular 3DS (with some caveats on full-functionality). I know not a lot of people bought the game, and I feel that is disappointing. The series is an excellent arcade shooter with a focus on a super-fun experience, unlike other games of its type that sacrifice the fun for realism. I understand Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D are coming out as well, but after replaying Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy this past month, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the game, and can easily place it as one of the best titles in the 3DS library. Trust me, you should really go for it.

Furthermore, there are plenty of other fantastic Ace Combat games like Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, among others. Specifically Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War is my favorite, as the story and characters are more interesting than usual, and the levels really hit their peak in variety. Probably the worst one is Ace Combat Assault Horizon, which wasn’t related to the 3DS counterpart except for them sharing some new gameplay features. It wasn’t a bad game by any means, but after playing the others in the series there is a definite element that is missing from this one.

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Either way, Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ is certainly not a title you should miss out on, and that also goes for the series in general! Flight games are not generally popular, which makes this awesome series lack of popularity that much more sad. Give it a serious try, and I guarantee you’ll love soaring the clouds and dropping baddies out of the air.

Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to read about facts on Japanese Imperialism from 1853-1945.

    • SlyCooperFan1

      Assault Horizon Legacy + is not exclusive to the New 3DS. However, it takes advantage of the New 3DS’s features such as the ZL/ZR buttons, that little nub that totally isn’t ripping off of old laptops, and the improved 3D. Amiibo support is also in the game, but since the older 3DS’s will be receiving a peripheral, amiibos will be supported on those older consoles as well, and the Nintendo aircraft that can be unlocked in the game should be available on the older consoles as well.

      • fake_brasilian

        Ah I see. Well, with all the features that the + edition has that utilizes the N3DS, I would suggest just getting the N3DS version if you are getting an N3DS. If not, anyone can find the non-+ version for ~$20. The extra controls don’t excite me since the non-+ version played just fine. I really just want more people to play Ace Combat. Is so gooooooooooood.

        • SlyCooperFan1

          Haha, as the guy who runs the major wiki for the series, I totally agree on that sentiment 😛 Just wanted to make sure you were aware that the new one isn’t an exclusive.

          • fake_brasilian

            Absolutely, and thanks for letting me know! When I am able to, I’ll update the article as such. Out of curiosity, does your opinion on the best title match mine?

            • SlyCooperFan1

              I hate choosing a favorite out of what everyone calls the “Holy Trilogy” of Ace Combat 04, 5, and Zero simply because they’re all part of a holy trilogy.

              04 had stellar gameplay and an amazing side story with really awesome set pieces. 5 had the best integration of story and gameplay, along with a relatively good story to go along with it. Zero had a damn awesome set of characters with a very decent story and an awesome rivalry. So I can’t choose one at all.

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