Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II is a World War 2 flight game that puts you back in time flying bombing missions and dog fighting with the enemy. With Air Conflicts 2 you’ll be able to fight from the Allied forces view or the German view. Within the Allied you can select England, Russia or the US. Each side will have missions that are modeled after actual historical air battles.
Let’s begin with what I enjoyed about Air Conflicts for the PSP. There are 13 different World War 2 era planes that are playable in a large amount of varied missions. The planes are either fighters or bombers and represent the German, England, Russian, and US air forces. Each plane has different weaknesses and strengths that you will need to exploit for the missions given to you. Primarily you will be given bombers for bombing missions and fighters for support missions.
Graphically this game is not groundbreaking but it does look good while on a mission. The landscapes are drawn to look massive. The missions over the ocean are the best looking. The planes look good graphically as well. The ground explosions are not impressive and when shooting down planes you will see some smoke and flash of light but nothing spectacular. Even though the ocean missions may look good, the menus are awful. It appears as though someone took a screenshot of something on a 24 inch screen and just shrunk it. The words are almost unreadable and overall it just leaves a bad taste.
The menus are terrible but even worse are the loading time. This is not a good example of a quick pickup and play title. Loading will take a long time. You will want to pack a lunch for this game. Once loaded, the missions can get frustrating when you have a lot of activity on the screen at the same time. Drawing a screen with such a sense of size allows for a lot of on screen planes and ground objects, but this will cause the game to get sluggish. Be prepared for some bad frame-rate jerks.
Air Conflicts 2 has a very tough AI. This game will not be easy to master. However the developers compensated for this by making a mission failure not keep you stuck in the same spot. Despite failing a mission you will still be able to advance to the next mission. Each of the missions vary greatly in the difficulty and the type of strategy needed. You will bomb cities with heavy anti-aircraft fire or dive on ships with fighters chasing you down and many other mission types. After playing a very tough mission the next mission might be a cake walk. The game did not get too predictable in that sense.
Flying the different planes and for different purposes is actually pretty easy. The developers did a great job on the controls for this game. They are easy and get the job done. To speed up and slow down you use the left and right triggers. Switching from flying to bombing was really easy. Just hit the down arrow on the control pad and you are in bombing view. You do not need to be in this view to drop bombs but it helps if you want to hit your target. The plane will fly normally while in bombing view too, and after another hit on the down arrow you are back to the tail view flying.
The music is good for the era but not varied enough. Sound effects in the game are OK. The planes engines whir and the firing of the guns sounds good. My favorite is the whistle of the bombs sailing through the air. The sound is adequate for the game but not much to write about.
Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II does a few things alright. However the bad is really bad and prevents me from being able to recommend this game. Hopefully they can fix some of the issues on their next version. Controls are well thought out but the presentation of the game seems like a last minute thing. When you first load the game it will give you a bad impression that won’t go away because it reminds you after each mission and every time you pause the game.
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