I haven’t had the chance to play an Ace Combat title for nearly eight years with the 2007 release Fires of Liberation. While I enjoyed it and definitely had a positive experience with the series, Ace Combat has had no impact on my gaming life since then. Flash forward to now, with the New Nintendo 3DS being released and a definitive version of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy + taking advantage of the new features of the N3DS, I figured it was a good time to jump back into the pilot seat and take to the skies.
First off, to get the story out of the way, it takes place in an alternate world, and it’s a very by the book plotline that I really didn’t follow because it was rather generic and bland for my liking. The real meat is the planes and combat, no doubt.
With Assault Horizon Legacy+ being released as a “launch title,” it incorporates and implements with the New Nintendo 3DS, and Amiibo miniatures. The implementations of the Amiibos allow for importing new planes with Nintendo skins to be included in the game, acting like more powerful versions of the in-game planes.
AHL+ has you play as Phoenix, who is the leader of the Scarface Squadron, who has to dogfight through various parts of the world in air battles. The characters are well voiced however and do make the story a bit more bearable.
The 3D really works well in Assault Horizon Legacy. I’m not sure how well and immersing the effect was in the original release three years ago, but it definitely helped me enjoy the game a ton more with the slider cranked all the way up.
Controls are surprisingly excellent, with everything is precise and feels responsive. The C-Stick integration works to control the camera around the plane however the nub is still one of the weirder decisions Nintendo made in the New Nintendo 3DS, making the nub feel wonky to use. This is one of the oddest decisions Nintendo has made with their hardware in recent memory. Weapons and maneuvers are mapped to the face buttons that add missiles and machines gun, a dodge move called an “Action Maneuvers.” This move provides a very cinematic way to circle your enemies and get a locked missile shot on them; providing a sort of auto-pilot way of taking enemies down.
The soundtrack is exceptional and adds a handful of sweeping orchestral music that add more emotion and depth to the action while dogfighting through the skies. This is definitley a highlight that was a welcome surprise.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy + is a good addition to the library of someone who hasn’t played the original and has been able to jump into the New Nintendo 3DS group. The added content isn’t anything that greatly changes the core game from three years ago and would serve better as a ready add-on in the eShop.