More advanced and complex than the earlier Red Baron, there is a definite learning curve required before Aces of the Pacific reaches full potential for the wannabe ace. Do not expect this game to be as easy to master as the "seat-of-your-pants" flying that made Red Baron such a successful and popular title. However, rather than a complaint, that is a good thing. Dynamix improved their flying series in various areas that include smarter enemy pilots through a better AI, better sound, training missions for learning flying, combat, ground attacks, carrier landings, and an auto-pilot feature that launches you directly into the action rather than requiring interminable flight time to get there. Enhanced storyline peripherals include animated cinematic sequences that kick in when receiving medals, and progress reports in the guise of newspaper reports.
Aces of the Pacific chronicles the real life air war of WWII in considerable detail. It is obvious the Dynamix development team did their homework in producing a viable simulation of the Pacific war from Pearl Harbor to V-J day. Even with the huge number of missions included in the game, this review would not be complete without mentioning the superb add-on package developed shortly after the game's release. WWII:1946 is a re-write of the end of WWII where the United States is faced with taking the war to Japan's soil without benefit of the atomic bomb. The add-on notwithstanding, Aces of the Pacific provides ample opportunity with the original missions and the mission building capability to keep you strapped in the cockpit for a long time, assuming you do not eject with accompanying injuries, or fall into enemy hands, another enhancement included in the game.
At the time of release in 1992, Aces of the Pacific contained state-of-the-art graphics, a decent frame rate, and realistic sounds associated with the various aircraft and combat situations. With the option to fly as either a Japanese or American pilot, replay value is assured when coupled with the large number of aircraft available to choose from. Scrambling, escort missions, dog fighting and patrolling are just some of the actions you can choose in this representative look at the Pacific air war theater. The investment of time required to master the various aircraft is not intrusive, but actually enhances the playing experience significantly as does the realistic use of bright sun, clouds, and damage that will affect your plane's performance. Whether flying the F4U-1 Corsair, the Zero (the Japanese plane of choice), the F4F-3 Wildcat or any number of the more than two dozen aircraft available, you will have your hands full in keeping your "six" from being shot off in this realistic depiction of air warfare.
Graphics: Simplistic by current standards, but extremely well done for a game released in 1992 that requires decent frame rates and smooth flowing VGA graphics.
Sound: Engine pitch, flak, and metal tearing when strafed by the enemy are just a few of the enhanced sounds you will experience.
Enjoyment: A well-rounded package and cohesive structure takes you through the full scope of the Pacific war. Further enhancement is available through add-on scenarios.
Replay Value: If at first you do not succeed (and even if you do!), try and try again. With a multitude of missions, aircraft, and the choice of sides to fight for, the sky is the limit on replays.
Dynamix/Sierra's answer to the Lawrence Holland Air Combat Trilogy. This game includes an incredible amount of aircraft and ships. In contrast to BattleHawks 1942, this game features ground attack missions and land-based aircraft in addition to anti-shipping strikes and carrier-based aircraft. You can fly for the US Navy, Army Air Force, Marines or Japanese Navy and Air Force.
You can fly in single missions (dogfighting, fighting famous aces, escorting bombers, etc.), or fly a career spanning major battles or the entire war. The game also offers several realism options including blackouts, weather effects, sun blind spot, no collisions, etc.
US aircraft featured: F4F-3, F4F-4, F6F, F4U, SBD, SB2C, TBD, TBF, P38F, P38J, P39D, P40E, P47D, P51D, B17D, B17E, B24J, B25D, B25J, B29A.
Japanese aircraft featured: A6M2, A6M3, A6M5 Zero, D3A Val, D4Y Suisei, B5N Kate, B6N Tenzan, Ki27 Nate, Ki43 Oscar, Ki61 Hien, Ki45 Toryu, Ki84 Hayate, Ki100, Ki21 Sally.
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