Monday, March 15

Game: Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (360) Click for more info

Like most other boys growing up, I wanted to be a fighter pilot (quit laughing at the back please). Of course also being Pakistani meant that this was never going to happen, either due a lack of knowing how or real inclination. Instead I used to pretend to fly around outside, either on the street or in the park, locking on bogeys bad-guys (other pedestrians) and other destroyables. Later on, I played arcade fighter games, starting with the seminal Afterburner all the way to this the sixth in Namco's Ace Combat series.

In fact Ace Combat was the first game I bought for my 360, even thought I'm only playing it now, two years later. Reviews were luke-warm, but the promise of arcade style dogfighting was enough to buy me over and I'm happy to say AC6 delivers on all fronts.

That's not to say I'm any kind of fighter pilot expert; I don't know the difference between an F16 and F18, I can't name the size of the bullets that go into a Vulcan cannon (if that's what they actually call them). But that's okay 'cos AC6 is so accessible you don't have to worry about the complex stuff; this is all about simple but effective controls, locking on with missles and just letting the game do most of the hard work.

Graphics and style are pretty good, with the gamer being treated to a series of irrelevant, yet pretty engaging, cut-scenes throughout. Complex game elements like operations and sub-missions are easy to manage, especially after being taught to by the built in tutorial system.

Maybe I'm biased, but I really like AC6. Anything that stops me pretending to be a plane in public must be a good thing after all.

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