[Review] Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+
Posted on March 21, 2015 by Vincent Ward in 3DS, Reviews
System: Nintendo 3DS
Release: February 10, 2015
Developer: Access Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Author: Vincent W.
For those who aren’t aware, I’m not what you’d consider an action fan. While most people love to sit back and cause explosions and mayhem, I’ll typically be found cutting grass in the fields of Hyrule and unleashing my Wii Fit Trainer fury in Smash Bros. The last game I thought I would find myself enjoying was an aerial combat simulator, but with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+, I loved flying through the skies with my highly fashionable Princess Peach-skinned jet and saving the world. However, this title holds one fatal flaw that made every neat looking explosion feel not quite as awesome in the long run.
Despite being a so-called update to the original 2011 3DS title, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ doesn’t do much to change things up. With only updated controls and amiibo support, the list of updates just isn’t long enough to merit a re-release. If you’ve played the original, there’s pretty much no reason to purchase this title. As much as it pains me to say this, it’s just simply lazy, though I must admit that flying around in the newly added Nintendo themed jets was pretty fun, albeit short lived.
Although there isn’t much added to make this version worthwhile, what it does have left over from its previous iteration is great. Flying through the skies and maneuvering myself over and under enemies while dodging their fire is nothing short of a rush, and landing your missile right on a target you weren’t even locked onto is satisfying. For the most part, the game controls very well and I’ve had little problems with it. I felt like I had complete control of where I was going and felt like everything was my doing. However, one of the only problems I encountered was that my ship had only two speed options: not fast enough, and waaay too fast.
Each mission, whether it’s from the story mode or challenge mode, throws a new and increasingly difficult challenge your way, and could take around 15 minutes to complete. Unfortunately, there’s no checkpoints in a mission, so if you die trying to land the last hit or accidentally fly yourself into a building (which I must admit, I did a lot…), you’re forced to restart the whole mission. It will occasionally become frustrating as these lengthy missions are sometimes a pain to play over and over again.
Thankfully, while playing the various missions, there are a lot of good things to see, and most importantly, hear. The environments you’ll be taking down foes in tend to look great visually, aside from a few muddy textures. You’ll be soaring through cities and skyscrapers all the way to snowy mountaintops, and each environment will look just as good as the last. The best thing about these missions is actually the music. The tracks instantly set the mood for the battle ahead, making their scale feel that much larger. I’ve honestly never felt so enthralled taking down airships until some of the missions that had me saving cities came along.
With all that said and done, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ is definitely not a bad game. In fact, I had a ton of fun during the time I spent with it, but I’d be lying if I felt buying it over its previous iteration, as the full price just isn’t justified. The content is great, but the idea is not. Do yourself a favor and purchase its predecessor on Amazon for only $15 instead of shelling out $40 for this one.
A “thumbs down” means that, at the end of the day, the game in question failed at what it was trying to accomplish. Even if the concept and style of the game appeal to you, it should likely be avoided.
As I mentioned previously, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ is not a terrible game by any means, but the way it was presented to the consumer is unfair. This “update” is nothing more than a quick cash grab and an effortless attempt to widen the range of games available for the New 3DS. If you’ve never played the original and really need your fix, there’s a cheaper alternative, and if you can prevent supporting this release, you should probably do so.