Friday, September 15, 2000

Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies | 9.0

I rented this game and ended up finishing it in maybe 7 or 8 hours of gameplay. (in normal mode) This may seem short but only because I Just HAD to see what the next mission was like and basically played it straight through. Now that I've completed it I still can't put it down, because once complete you can "continue" your career and fly the missions over again, but with your new, much improved hardware. Destroying targets in missions earns you cash which you can use to buy new planes. (21 I think?) Just because you've completed all 18 missions doesn't mean you can afford all the planes though, far from it. I held out for several missions until I could afford the mid-grade F-15, but there are many more after that. (you have to resist buying every plane you can afford and save up for the really sweet rides) I went through a few missions a second time until I could afford the awesome F-15 Advance. (WOW) There are tons of other real world planes, many F22 & F16 variants, the F117 (stealth fighter) and several Warsaw Pact planes, (Migs and stuff) and last but not least, that loveable, tank-busting A10 Warthog. All of them perform/appear different enough to warrant purchase, and I sorta have that "gotta catch 'em all" feeling. I also read somewhere about unlocking alternate paint schemes. Sheesh! The missions themselves are nicely varied as is the terrain/environment. The radio chatter and military style pre-mission briefing add alot of tension and atmosphere and the storyline is pretty cool too. Obviously, I plan on adding this one to my collection permanently and would recommend you do the same.

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