Review by Shirow

Reviewed: 03/28/01 | Updated: 11/09/02


I've always been a great fan of the Ace Combat series and I've really liked 1 and 2...Just kept playing them for days and never grew tired of them. And I was just waiting for number 3 to come out so that I'd experience that feeling that only Ace Combat can give you and when it finally happened, I was so happy. Well, ''happy'' is not the exact word! My friend knew how much I was expecting it and he brought it home one day to make me a surprise.

When he showed me the first CD, I literally cried inhappiness...And then I nearly fainted when I heard that there were in fact 2! Luckily, I got well again by inserting the first CD in my Playstation while that vile friend of mine went off to his place to continue his saved game!!! You'd probably already guessed it: Ace Combat 3 is a terrific game. Personally, I think that this game doesn't really need a review and that you should just go and but it but on the other hand, I must just tell you how great this game is!!!

For those who don't know it, Ace Combat 3 is an action game where you're a pilot and where you must accomplish various missions. One great thing about the game is that you don't have to take off and land for each mission(which is the only thing I don't like about theses games). The automatic pilot can do it for you once you've pressed the START button.

In fact, your only problem is to destroy your enemies before they destroy you!! The missions are varied and you are assigned to destroy various objectives like airplanes, radars or chemical industry...You can also choose between 2 objectives and of course, the plot changes depending no your choice. The control is correct and you can have fun trying all sorts of tricks with your plane to confuse your enemies.

Plot : 7

You get briefings before each mission and those cutscenes are well-done too but truthfully, the plot isn't that great and won't keep you thar hooked on. The first missions' briefings are quite interesting but as you progress, they get monotonous and seem to come directly from those obscure movies. Well, storylines aren't that important in such games and so, it isn't really a fault.

Graphics: 9

The first thing that will amaze you is the wonderful introduction that pushes the PSX's limit to the max. Throughout the game, one can't help but feel amazed by how realistic the planes, building and other obstacles look. Each plane is extremely well-detailed and does look so real that you actually want to step in it and control it for real.

Moreover, as you tackle the missions, you'll notice how any other details and the backgrounds are really splendid, thus showing how good Ace Combat 3 is when it comes to graphics. Moreover, the light effects as you battle against your enemies and manage to scrap your tough skin through are all excellent and at times, the sunlight even annoys you just like this would occur in real life.

AC3 is a gaint leap over its prequel when it comes to graphics. There are however a few flaws such as squirky graphics but they're quite rare and don't hamper the game.

Music and sound effects: 9

The themes during the missions rock and you're gonna put the sound to the maximum while playing the game, baby. More variation would have helped - they're mostly techno - but still, all of them are excellent and will set you in the mood to battle against tons of enemy…And what chance, that's just what the game has to offer ! =)

The sound effects are as good too although some fail to be realistic. Most of them will even make you shudder as you fly close to a building and barely manage to avoid crashing into it. You'll be thrilled as your war engine takes off and even more thrilled as you fire a missile into the level boss and see the fool explode.

Control: 10

The game being entirely compatible with the analog joypad, you'll feel all the game has to offer after barely one hour. The control is fairly simple and don't take much time to comprehend- it'll only be a matter of minutes before you do a looping and aim for an enemy behind you.

Replay value: 8

The first CD is a bit short but the variety of missions make up for this. The second CD is a bit longer and, of course, much difficult. The are 3 difficulty settings and man, the hard level will make you pull all your hair out in fury.

Overall: 9

Ace Combat 3 is the best in the series and since the series is just the best one ever, you can just work out how the game is good. This game is a must-buy for those who love the genre and the rest should be sure to try it out !

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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