Namco is back for a second installment of the Ace Combat series on the PlayStation Portable (PSP). It’s fairly easy to say that the Ace Combat series is the leader when it comes to flight combat games. Not only do they supply easy to learn game play, but back it up with everything you could want in this type of game.
Often a portable game will not have voice acting. This is in part to limitations of the disc space. This is not the case with Ace Combat Joint Assault (ACJA). The entire story is derived from spoken cut scenes and in-flight chatter.
The story itself is not the most spectacular thing about the game. It involves an organization named Valahia that wants to start another world war. Your job is to stop them. It’s not rocket science, but it’s a solid enough reason to fly all these wonderful planes.
It has over 40 planes to be precise. And if that wasn’t cool enough, they’re all customizable and handle differently from one another. The customization options range from cosmetic to functional. Re-skin your plane with a variety of color schemes and insignias. And for those who want a specific build, upgrade the on-board systems or weaponry. But the fun doesn’t stop there.
The campaign will alter itself based on decisions you make during the course of your play. This adds another level of replayability many games can’t match. And then comes multiplayer.
Co-operatively you can play with three others via ad hoc or online. Then again, perhaps you feel a bit more competitive. Fight against seven others in versus mode. Even versus mode sports six options for high flying mayhem.
Flying an aircraft sounds complicated, you might say. Well, ACJA comes complete with tutorials that cover all your systems. This gives you hands-on experience to familiarize yourself with your machine. Liberties have also been taken with the controls to make the game less of a flight simulator and more of a game that has planes in it.
Some critics have pointed out that the large amount of menus detracts from the enjoyment of the game. However, these menus are more of a result of the ability to customize. This goes a long way in justifying their use and makes the major grip about the game moot.
Brand new the game will run you $40. This is a fantastic buy for fans of the series or people who thrive on aerial combat games. You’ll get your money’s worth from Ace Combat: Joint Assault by Namco.