|Dev: NAMCO Bandai|
|Pub: NAMCO Bandai|
|Release: November 15, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Mild Language, Violence|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Though it was technically impressive, I wasn't terribly excited by the last entry in the Ace Combat series. Released only a month ago, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon was an ultra-modern take on the classic franchise, complete with a Modern Warfare-inspired story and some interesting gunning moments that seemed a little out of place in the context of the series. The game felt a bit overstuffed, and I was a little worried that the simplistic airplane simulation we all had come to know and love had been lost.
However, the Legacy follow-up on the 3DS has little to do with its console counterpart, and it actually feels a lot truer to the Ace Combat experience. The game has a negligible story where there are good guys, bad guys, and some non-descript countries that have been invaded. Your goal (as always) is to become a flying ace, show up, and save the day.
The controls here are very simple. You fly around with the circle pad, go faster with the right bumper, and fire your weapons with the face buttons. Unique to this entry is a maneuver button, which allows you to closely tail an enemy after you have been following him. Though this might sound like a bit of a cop out, enemies in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy come on fast and furious, and just tailing enemies for a few moments is extremely difficult. Believe me when I say that having a little "cheater button" when it comes to advanced moves isn't anything to gripe about.
Much like the controls, the format of the game is also very simple. Missions rarely take more than five minutes and have singular objectives that are laid out both on your hub and on the 3DS' bottom screen. The formula never changes much, but that's not necessarily a bad thing here. If Assault Horizon faltered because of its identity crisis, Then Legacy soars just by staying true to itself.
The only area where the sweet and simple approach doesn't work all that well is with customization. Unfortunately, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy is lacking in this area, and tricking out your aircraft isn't very fun due to the scant amount of custom parts. There isn't all that much to do with color or design either, which is a little disappointing if you like making your aircraft as unique as you are.
The game is a bit light on content as well. Though I have no complaints about the main campaign, the game's challenge mode is sadly thin and there is no multiplayer content to be found anywhere. Though it might have been permissible for a handheld game to skip the multiplayer options in the past, the 3DS has proven with games like Super Street Fighter IV and the upcoming Mario Kart 7 that it is more than capable of having robust online content. There's just no real reason to skimp out in this area, especially with a series like Ace Combat.