Air Combat

released on Jun 30, 1995
by Namco

The first game of the Ace Combat series. Combat flight simulator in which you play a mercenary pilot who hires his combat skills to several corporations, governments, etc. in order to get cash for weapons & upgrades. The game progresses through a series of linear missions, and has a 2 player split-screen deathmatch mode plus a series of extras like hidden planes, mini-games, etc.

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Very very slow game. It still has some occasional thrills, but it is definitely not engaging or necessary like the other Ace Combat games.

Mostly shreds. The maps on some missions are slightly too large and empty—man, the oil pipeline—and the difficulty spike at the end boss is a little over the top. The giant floating war machine does look sick at least.

Honestly? Kinda surprised at how well this holds up! Not to say I expected the original Ace Combat to be a bad time at all; I figured it'd just kind of okay. It's certainly got a bit of early PS1 energy to it with some whacky pop in, but overall? A pretty damn fun time!

The game controls pretty smooth, assuming your current plane isn't rocking the mobility of a brick, making the constant aerial dogfights a blast. In fact, plenty of the missions were great fun to play, and that motherfucking soundtrack was the cherry on top. Shit's pure electricity right in my veins; exactly the type of heavy rock you need to get you in the zone. And with a pretty damn short runtime, it all makes for a real neat way to kill an evening, and a bunch of enemy fighter planes. Good stuff, bring on the sequels!

Starting my Ace Combat journey for the first time! I enjoyed this game and it was very easy to pick up and play but this definitely has first game syndrome and feels like a tech demo at times. The D-pad control is not perfect but gets the job done. As someone who loves mission based games like Armored Core i had a great time with most of the missions! It never felt repetitive (hard to when the game is only 2 hours long) and i was always super engaged in it's gameplay despite it not being the most challenging game (until the last 2 missions force you to try a little) It's incredibly lame that it applies the same skin to every plane, i want to use the decals that they show in the shop screen why would you do that just to bait me??? Third person not having important hud elements is also stupid as hell, why give me an option when it actively makes the game harder! There's tons of room to improve in future games and i'm excited to see where things go from here on out!!