Ace Combat 3D First Look
Making Ace Combat Advance a distant memory, one 3D plane at a time.
Namco Bandai's Ace Combat franchise has a longstanding tradition of excellence dating all the way back to 1992. Despite a string of sequels, though, the only time it appeared on a Nintendo system was in 2005's critically panned Ace Combat Advance, a game we'd like to forget.
Undaunted, the publisher decided to give it another go with Ace Combat 3D (name subject to change), a slick looking aerial combat game for 3DS. Harnessing the power of the system, Namco Bandai hopes to unleash supersonic flying, exciting dogfights and breathtaking acrobatics, key features fans have come to expect on consoles.
While the story remains under wraps, we've seen the game in action and there's plenty to get excited about, despite being early in development.
Like most Ace Combats, the graphics lend authenticity to the experience. Namco Bandai ditched the lame 2D sprites from Ace Combat Advance and went with full 3D graphics, complete with highly detailed fighter planes, the setting sun, clear blue skies, big explosions and plenty of eye candy on the ground below, including a New York style city and bridge.
As for the gameplay, the circle pad controls the selected aircraft while R powers the afterburner. You also have the option of destroying enemies using either the face buttons or the touch screen.
In addition, the game comes with a cinematic option the developers mapped to the Y button. Pressing it displays a more dramatic view of the action, letting you lock onto targets or dodge incoming fire. Definitely sweet.
What's more, it appears that Namco Bandai nailed the audio, with roaring jet engines, explosions, machine gun fire and chatter between pilots. The music, though, seems bit too over the top for an Ace Combat, though it's certainly effective in building suspense.
The only downside comes from the overall speed of the game, which feels a bit slow. Then again, this could have something to do with the different types of aircraft, or the fact that the creators still have a long way to go before finishing the project. We'll go with the latter.
They do, however, need to fix planes bouncing off water. That makes no sense.
Finally, there appears to be multiplayer, as the fact sheet lists the number of players as "TBC".
Unfortunately, that's all we know, but from the looks of it, Namco Bandai's Ace Combat 3DS could be one of the system's finest shooters. We'll post more info as soon as it becomes available.