Sunday, October 29, 2006
Good: Variety of jets, control, graphics, sound
Bad: Nothing really new in terms of gameplay
For quality arcade-style dogfighting, the Ace Combat games have always been the go-to series. With this PSP installment, it continues the tradition of solid gameplay with a wealth of fighters to choose from.
Veterans of the series will feel right at home with Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception. Most PS2 franchises that come to the PSP suffer in the control department due to the lack of a right analog stick. This title manages to avoid that fate, and everything feels entirely natural. Despite having less buttons, it feels like no true sacrifices were made in bringing AC to the portable.
Gameplay is as solid as ever, but I would have preferred something a little new in terms of missions. Skies of Deception feels almost identical to the last couple of games, and the formula is in danger of getting predictable.
The series has always excelled in terms of how many aircraft are available, and SOD is no different. You can purchase and sell numerous jets, and each is well-suited to a specific situation. Some are nimble and quick, perfect for dogfights. Others may fly like a tank, but are capable of leveling ground targets.
It may not look quite as polished as its console counterparts, but Skies of Deception still looks very good on the PSP screen. The planes themselves aren't quite as detailed, but the various locales are represented well. On the audio front, it's nearly identical to the other titles, and as solid as ever.
I'm a fan of the series, but I think something needs to be updated in the Ace Combat universe. Outside of some minor upgrades, the core gameplay hasn't changed significantly since Ace Combat 2 on the PSX. Skies of Deception is a very fun game, but longtime fans of the series might get that "been there, done that" feeling.
First Play: 8.5
Replay Value: 7.0