It's a good time to be an Ace Combat fan. The sixth game in the series, The Belkan War, hits the PlayStation 2 next week, and there's already more good news on the horizon. Namco Bandai has announced the tentatively titled Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception for the PSP, to be released this fall.
Ace followers already know that the series is the flight game to beat - nail-biting dogfights, sci-fi twists and authentic, licensed airplane action have made each entry a mid-air cluster of adrenaline. Much like The Belkan War, decisions you make mid-battle will affect what happens later in the mission, from enemy placement to dialogue from your comrades.
The same smooth flying and missile-happy shooting will be found in X, but the major addition is four-player, ad hoc multiplayer gaming. Better still, you'll be able to tweak a set of your own custom planes with parts you unlock in the single-player campaign.
If you follow the story oh-so-closely, it's worth noting that X takes place in a totally different world than the console games - but honestly, it still boils down to blasting enemies out of the sky. Good thing Ace Combat does that better than any other jet-on-jet game out there.
April 20, 2006