Game Info:

Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+
Developed by: Access Games
Published by: Namco Bandai
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Available on: 3DS
Genre: Combat Flight Simulator
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Teen for violence and language
Price: $30.00 on LeapTrade

Thank you Namco Bandai for sending us this game to review!

Ace Combat games have been around since 1992 and are popular 3D air combat games available on PlayStation 1-3, PC, Gameboy Advance, PSP, Xbox 360 and in mobile and arcade formats.  Ace Combat Horizon Legacy  was released on the 3DS in 2011 and is a remake of Ace Combat 2 which came out in 1997 on the PlayStation.   Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ is an enhanced version of Ace Combat Horizon Legacy that adds C stick support for rotating the camera and amiibo support for unlocking additional fighter jets and weaponry for them.  If you don't have any amiibos, the themed jets can be unlocked  throughout the game.  To unlock them you need to locate and shoot down Mario blocks found in some missions.

Using my kids amiibos, I unlocked Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Samus themed aircraft.  Later in the game, I acquired a Donkey Kong and a Pac-Man jet. Each jet has its own attributes like speed, stability, defense, air to air/air to ground effectiveness, and mobility.  The amiibo earned jets are pretty powerful and can give you an advantage for sure.  Since you only need the amiibo once to unlock them, it's worth asking friends to scan theirs into your game if possible.  

Other jets become available for purchase with credits earned from completing missions.  Just like Ace Combat Horizon Legacy, there are twenty three playable missions.  However,  they fork at times and you cannot go back and play the bypassed missions.  In order to play every mission you'll have to replay the story mode.  You can only set the game's difficulty at the beginning of the campaign, you can't change it mid-story.   There is a challenge mode where you can replay completed  or extra missions with less time and the ability to change the difficulty.  Any items unlocked in this mode will be added to the Story mode as well.  

Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+

Strong Points: Fun and challenging combat missions, wide variety of mission types 
Weak Points: Short campaign; no multiplayer; cannot adjust difficulty in story mode; minimal content added from  Ace Combat Horizon Legacy
Moral Warnings: Combat violence and language (d*mn, hell, SOB), red jet keeps coming back stronger thoughout the game. Is it piloted by a zombie?

While there is some replay-ability, the campaign is relatively short and I had it beat in less than ten hours.  The game clocked me in under seven.  Needless to say, some of the missions got tricky and I had to revisit them after cooling my head and rethinking my strategy.  

There is a wide variety of missions and while they are all timed, I only failed a mission by running out of time once.  There are different weather and sky conditions and the missions take place over the ocean, in cities, and some even have you flying through caverns or indoors!  In those tight conditions having a jet with high mobility is crucial.  Fortunately you can change your jet if you have to restart your missions from the beginning or from a checkpoint.  

Some missions are only a few minutes long like the one where you have to take down a missile without using a targeting system.  Other missions can be twenty minutes or longer and checkpoints become available if you complete the mission objectives and new enemies appear.  Throughout the game there is an elusive red fighter jet that shows up on several occasions and gets tougher each time.

The AI is pretty decent and some of the enemies do put up a good fight.  Many missions allow you to have a partner if you can afford them.  Their price increases after every mission, but I found them worthwhile.  There's a male and a female partner and each has different fighting strategies.  The female focuses on defending you while the male is an offensive fighter.

Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 87%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Since this is a combat fighting game, you can expect to see lots of explosions as you take down planes, ships, helicopters and enemy buildings.  The visuals are pretty good and utilize the 3D effects nicely.  While there are some jagged edges, the planes and buildings are nicely detailed.  The smoke and explosions look believable.  

I enjoyed the wide variety of music in Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+.  In the beginning missions the musical was classical, calm and soothing.  When the action got more intense, rock music would begin to play.  One of the missions even had hip hop music in it, I didn't expect that.  

The voice acting is solid as you can hear both enemies and allies conversing with you over the radio.  To make it more realistic there is some language used as enemies are taking fire.  The word d*mn is used in many forms (d*mn, d*mn it, d*mn it all).  Hell and SOB (not spelled out) are used as well.  

I suppose the language makes the fighting more believable, I honestly don't know what I would say in real life if someone was shooting at my 6 (behind).    Even still, it's a shame that this game won't be enjoyed by my kids for a few years yet.  Despite the language, I enjoyed my time as an ace pilot in Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+.  If you have a new 3DS I recommend this game if you don't already own the regular version.  For those with a regular 3DS I recommend looking into Ace Combat Horizon Legacy which goes for only $10 on LeapTrade.

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Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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