New War For Fighter Aircraft Fans

Alison Young
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May 26, 2006
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Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
Ace Combat
Zero: The
Belkan War

While growing up I was always fascinated with airplanes and enjoyed going to just about every air show that graced our islands. My love for video games pointed me, naturally, to flight simulators of all sorts, and when the first Ace Combat came out many years ago, I jumped on the opportunity to play it, and fell in love with the Ace Combat series.

About a month ago, Bandai Namco Games released its latest in the franchise, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. It pushes you back 15 years in time from events of the previous Ace Combat 5 (released more than a year ago) and reveals the actions that led up to the last chapter of the game. The game-play for Zero is about the same as far as graphics, and some of the maps look similar, but it still keeps me entertained and in front of my PlayStation 2 for hours and hours.

The single player mode (campaign) alone will keep you glued as it consists of about 20 missions. You can always go and replay from your saved points, but since I am done with those, I’ve been playing dogfights with my husband. There is unfortunately no online multi-player mode available. The campaign missions seem to go by faster than the ones in previous Ace Combats, but if you happen to crash and burn or are shot down - not that I did or was ... all that much - then you have to go back and start not only that mission, but a few previous missions too. That can be slightly frustrating. At the end of each mission you have the option of watching the replay of your sortie and also your flight route. I enjoy this part, especially when playing my husband. We can sit there together and watch all the missiles I popped off at him as he frowns.

Another one of my favorite aspects of the game is the fact that it contains a variety of real world aircraft with accurate details. You can fly just about anything from the classics F-15C Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18C Hornet to the cutting edge F/A-22 Raptor or F-35, and many more. As with the other Ace Combats, controlling your aircraft is simple while keeping it realistic. It also includes three different views (cockpit, heads-up display and external) to break the monotony.

If you are a big fighter aircraft fan like I am, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. I find this game plays an educational role if you just want to learn more about aircraft, since it’s fairly accurate. It is available only on the PlayStation 2 for $39.99 at your nearest Gamestop or CompUSA.

PlayStation 3 (PS3)
PlayStation 3

Sony @ E3. I finally had the opportunity to test out the PlayStation 3 (PS3) along with Sony’s entire lineup of yet-tobe-released games (on all platforms). The PS3 graphics were amazing, and the new PS3 controller was interesting. The Sony PS3 will be available Nov. 17 and will cost $499 for the 20GB hard drive model or $599 for the 60GB version. They both will be Blu-ray capable and include the new PS3 controller.

The new PS3 controller is similar in shape to the old PlayStation you’re used to playing with. It has a motion sensing system that gives you the capability of intuitive gameplay. The three-posture-axis of roll, pitch and yaw can be detected with your movements in real-time. This is similar to what the Nintendo Wii can do, but not quite as interactive. The DUAL-SHOCK vibration feature from the old controllers will be removed since it interferes with the sensor, and the shape of the L2/R2 buttons (located on top of the controller) have been enlarged. This Bluetooth controller can also be swapped seamlessly anytime from wireless to wired and it can be charged automatically.

Some of the PS3 games that caught my eye were Formula One 06 (Racing), The Eye of Judgement (Live Puzzle - an interactive way to play a card game using the next generation camera), Heavenly Sword (Action-Adventure), MotorStorm (Racing), Resistance: Fall of Man (First Person Shooter), SingStar (Music - this will take karaoke to the next level) and Warhawk (Action-Adventure). No release dates were announced on these titles.

We’ll see how sales go for the PlayStation 3, but so far Sony has been extremely successful with its PlayStation 2 product. It launched six years ago in 2000 and since then has sold more than 37 million units in North America (with a total of 103 units shipped worldwide). But if you haven’t jumped on the PlayStation 2 bandwagon yet, now is a good opportunity since the average price seems to be about $130.

There’s also an exciting lineup of games on the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation Portable (PSP) soon to be released.

Some of the PlayStation 2 titles include ATV Offroad Fury 4 (Racing, September 2006), God of War II (Action-Adventure, First Quarter 2007), NBA ‘07 (Sports, October 2006), Rogue Galaxy (Role-Playing Game, October 2006) and one of my classic favorites SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault (Shooter/Military Strategy, Fall 2006).

Additionally, the new PSP titles include ATV Offroad Fury Pro (Racing, October 2006), Gangs of London (Shooter, Fall 2006), Killzone: Liberation (Third-Person Action, October 2006), Lemmings (Puzzle, May 2006), LocoRoco (Platform/Action, September 2006 - this one is really cute!), NBA ‘07 (Sports, October 2006), Rachet & Clank: Size Matters (Action Platform, First Quarter 2007), SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 (Shooter/Military Strategy, Fall 2006) and World Tour Soccer ‘06 (Sports, June 2006).

Most of these products are due to hit the shelves before Christmas, so keep your eyes and wallets open.

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