Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Impressions
Namco Bandai's aerial combat series just rocketed towards 3DS. Find out what we think so far.
When it comes to Nintendo systems, Namco Bandai's Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy doesn't have much to live up to, with the horrendous Ace Combat Advance becoming a distant memory. You'd have to be on some sort of illegal substance to create a game worse than that.
With this in mind, the 3DS allowed the publisher to (almost) wipe the slate clean and do the franchise justice. While it's a bit early to declare the mission accomplished, the game gets off to a fun start.
The first mission tasks you with hopping into the cockpit of the well-balanced F-16C and intercepting a handful of bombers en route to an Allied base near the Twinkle Islands. Not sure why the developers chose that name, but we'd make a guess that it involves the way the sun reflects off the ocean, producing a neat twinkle effect that puts Ace Combat's graphics on display.
The mission is simple enough, particularly on the easiest difficulty. You hit the R button to accelerate, catching up to the enemies, then unleash a barrage of missiles and machine gun fire to turn these chumps into twisted wrecks.
The controls are easy to get the hang of. We had no trouble guiding the F-16C with the circle pad, then hitting A to fire missiles when within range. Alternatively, the game comes with touch screen targeting that lets you maneuver the reticule on the top screen with the stylus, then tap to launch missiles.
Unless things take a dramatic twist, longtime fans will enjoy the more fantasy inspired characters, in-game chatter and overly dramatic (but oh so satisfying) music, which is in stark contrast to the Modern Warfare inspired Assault Horizon on consoles.
There also appears to be a wide selection of aircraft and missiles that unlock the more missions one completes.
On top of that, you can view replays of missions following their completion, and even save them for later, definitely a nice touch.
As for the glasses free 3D, it's tough to get the full effect with so much blue sky surrounding the planes, but at least on the positive side, it doesn't hurt our eyes much.
The only blemish so far, providing we didn't miss something, is the lack of multiplayer dog fighting, a glaring omission that may cost this game in the long run.
For now, though, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy seems to have what it takes to become a must play 3DS title. We'll have a review soon.