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Me Am Scared

Dave Dave: (dave-deleteme[at]-deleteme-squishycomics [dot] com) 2011-10-17 02:47:34

Ace Combat: Exercise in Frustration

I just finished Ace Combat: Assault Horizon for the XBox 360. I gotta say I can't remember the last time I was this frustrated with a game.

They added a few things to this game, the most notable addition being a Dog Fight Mode (DFM), a game mechanic which, when triggered, links you behind an enemy fighter. It essentially eliminates the need for you to manually tail an enemy. I didn't mind this at first, until I realized that the DFM is really just a way to get the player to see what the game wants you to see. A few times, I realized that I couldn't shoot down certain squadron leaders unless I was in DFM. And then, when in DFM, I realized that I could shoot missiles into the enemy all day and I wouldn't put a dent in them until they were done leading me through the scenery in a Michael Bay inspired explosion-fest, with buildings blowing up, cranes falling around me, etc. But after a while, I just got used to it, and moved on with the game.

My REAL frustration came from the final boss fight. During the game, you're learning all these different tricks, and game mechanics to help you get out of bad situations. NONE OF THEM WORKED ON THE LAST BOSS. As a matter of fact, attempting to do any of the maneuvers you learned during the game would almost guarantee you would die in seconds. The worst was when you'd be in a DFM chasing the boss, and the boss would flip and break, forcing your camera to chase the boss. When the camera came back to you, there was a good chance you'd be heading STRAIGHT FOR THE GROUND with no time to recover. Did I mention that it wasn't really a fight? No, see, after who knows how many deaths, I realized the game wanted me to see what it wants me to see instead of letting me just fight. What I had to do was engage the boss in DFM, hit it with a missile or two, and either the DFM would drag me through some scenery, or the boss would flip behind me, at which point I just had to go full throttle and circle around the boss again. Repeat. If I actually tried to DOG FIGHT, it'd end in DEATH, regardless of how many times I locked and hit the boss with missiles.

It's late, and I really did JUST beat this game, so I'm hoping this post isn't too badly written, but I had to vent. That last fight all but ruined this game for me. I'll know for sure after I've had time to settle down. Have a good day and enjoy the strip!


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