|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.
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.
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!
CCC Editor / News Director