Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II Review
Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Cowboy Rodeo 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Graffiti Entertainment 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Apr. 14, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-8 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

All of this loading is exacerbated by the constant whir of the PSP's UMD drive. This is probably the most hardware-taxing, battery-devouring title I've ever had the displeasure of playing through. One would think that all this loading and battery consumption would at least lead to a beautiful presentation. Unfortunately, Air Conflicts is visually mediocre. Sure, sunsets and cloud effects are nice, but ground emplacements and cities are a pixelated jumble, and enemy fighter wings are indistinguishable from the background - only successfully demarcated by red enemy indicators.

Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II screenshot

What's more, battles chug along, causing the framerate to sputter and shake. On the bright side, the sounds and music fare much better. The derivative, classical power anthems suit the aerial fighting theme well, and the rapport of your guns, loosing of your rockets, and the churn of your props also sets the tone nicely.

As hinted previously, Air Conflicts does include multiplayer action. Playing via ad-hoc allows players to join with up to seven other friends in deathmatch dogfights. This free-for-all mode is the only option available for competitive play. However, it's unlikely you'll have seven other friends with a copy of the game. With this in mind, the developers did include a game sharing option. This allows you to host a demo version of the multiplayer component. Needless to say, competitive play in Air Conflicts feels like a real afterthought.

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I'm sorry to say that Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II is one of the worst games I've ever played. This is largely due to poor technical implementation and utterly unpolished code. Top that off with ho-hum yet very challenging gameplay with no pay off, and you're in for an extremely meager experience. Do yourself and your PSP hardware a favor: let this one crash and burn!

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.0
Graphics
The sunsets and lighting effects are nice, but the backgrounds are a blurry, jumbled mess.
3.5
Control
The controls are reasonably implemented.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The musical themes and sound effects fit the game nicely and are of high quality.
0.5
Play Value
Waiting interminably through loading screens and never getting a payoff makes the game virtually unplayable.
1.0
Overall Rating - Avoid
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • 13 non-linear campaigns with more than 240 action-packed missions (patrols, manoeuvres, strategic bombing, air support, air superiority, interdiction, paratroops and supply deployment, prevent bombing missions).
  • Advanced ranking system, with authentic medals and ranks.
  • Play multiplayer with up to 8 players.
  • Authentic historical timeline and missions with focus on the gameplay.
  • Easy control over aircraft and fun air battles.
  • Fly for the US Air Force, Royal Air Force, Luftwaffe or Red Army Air Force.
  • Fly with 17 authentic planes (Spitfire, Mosquito, Avro Lancaster, He-111, Ju-87 Stuka, Bf-109, Gloster Meteor, Gotha 229, DB3, IL2, Lavochkin 5, Bisnovat 5, P-38, P-51, P-47 Thunderbolt, and B-17 Flying Fortress).


  • Screenshots / Images
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