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European box art
Combat flight simulator
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Arcade system||Namco System 21 "Polygonizer"|
Air Combat (エアーコンバット Eā Konbatto ), also known as Ace Combat (エースコンバット Ēsu Konbatto ) for the Japanese PlayStation versions, is a semi-realistic flight-sim action game developed and released by Namco in 1992 for the Namco System 21 "Polygonizer" arcade system and released in 1995 for the PlayStation home video game console. Similar to Ridge Racer, this game was the predecessor of the PlayStation series; all subsequent games would adopt the Ace Combat name. The game mainly involves dog fighting and has three levels of play; Cadet, Captain and Ace.
A terrorist force starts an uprising and inflicts massive damage across an unnamed country. Efforts to defeat these terrorists through conventional means failed and the situation turns desperate; in response, a mercenary air force is assembled to take the fight to the enemy and free the nation from the terrorist forces. Although not officially canon, the game is widely presumed to be set in a small Yuktobanian protectorate; the Republic of Kaluga, within the Ace Combat universe of Strangereal.
Air Combat is mostly considered an "arcade style" flight game due to its semi-realistic physics and the fact that many planes can carry up to 65 missiles, an impossibility in real-life aircraft. The goal of the game is to destroy enemy targets dispersed throughout the various levels and earn money (extra money can be earned by destroying non-target, optional enemies) to purchase additional aircraft. In arcade versions, the player simulates an F-16 aircraft exclusively, but in PlayStation version, the player can choose from several different planes in the game ranging from F-4 Phantoms to Su-27 Flankers and Stealth aircraft, albeit painted in a special "Phoenix" color scheme. Later in the game, the player can select a wingman to accompany them during a mission, the player can "instruct" the wingman to perform one of three different actions.
Playable Aircraft (PlayStation version)
- McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II
- Grumman F-14A Tomcat
- McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle
- Lockheed Martin F-16C Fighting Falcon (available in both arcade and PlayStation versions)
- McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
- Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk
- Lockheed Martin/Boeing YF-22A Lightning II
- Northrop Grumman YF-23A Black Widow II
- Sukhoi Su-27M (Su-35) 'Flanker-E'
- Mikoyan MiG-29S Izdelyie 9-13S 'Fulcrum-C'
- Mikoyan MiG-31B 'Foxhound-A'
- Saab JAS-39A Gripen A
- Dassault Rafale C
- Panavia Tornado F.2
- Eurofighter Typhoon F.2
- Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II
Air Combat received mixed-to-positive reviews. IGN described the gameplay elements as "rock solid", though noted on its graphical flaws, stating that "the flickery images and bland colors do nothing to showcase the PlayStation's graphics prowess". Air Combat was awarded Best Flight Sim of 1995 by Electronic Gaming Monthly.
- "Corporate profile". Cyberhead. Archived from the original on 24 October 2001. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Air Combat (PlayStation)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "PlayTest: Air Combat". Official UK PlayStation Magazine (Future Publishing) (1): 80–81. November 1995. "In terms of excitement Air Combat is an A-class product but it doesn't deliver enough staying power. Its coin-op lineage is painfully apparent."
- NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: エースコンバット. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.342. Pg.32. 7 July 1995.
- "Air Combat Review". IGN. 1996-11-26. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide. 1996.
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