Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies
Man, as a kid growing up, I used to LOVE flight simulator games,
where I could pick up a joystick for my PC, load up missiles and
bombs, and fly over targets to take them out or to dogfight bad guys
and blow MiGs out of the sky. Video game platforms, for
whatever reason, decided that this genre should go out back and die
about ten years ago, and while I can't figure out why this is, I'm
glad that somebody, namely Namco, decided to produce the "Ace
Combat" series because this was some fun stuff.
"Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies" is the first in the series that I
have played. I figured that since it is now a Greatest Hits
game on PS2, it would be worth picking up...and it is good times.
The plot is useless, so bad in fact that it isn't even worth
mentioning here. What is important is that the missions--there
are about 18 in total--vary between shooting down enemy jets and
bombing fixed ground targets and ground armaments like airfields,
tanks, SAM sites and anti-air guns. Being more of an
arcade-style simulator than a real flight simulator (you don't even
have to worry about taking off or landing), it's run-and-gun
throughout, and because each mission has four varied levels of
completion, you earn points based on which targets you have taken
out and how quickly you complete your main task. These points
turn into credits that you can use to buy almost 20 planes, which
gives the game its replay value by trying to stockpile the whole
It's a little too short; I beat the game in a couple of days on
the normal difficulty setting and had time to start playing through
it twice in the same sitting. But, for me, it filled a need
and for $20, it's a great value for a long weekend.
Feedback? Comments? Hot doughnut tip?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience