Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stranger In A Strangereal Land

Once again I haven't picked up a game because doubts existed. I'll likely get it later this year. That game being Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. For starters, Ace Combat has always been very anime. There are at least half a dozen videos splicing Ace Combat with Lyrical Nanoha (I posted some of those here) and a Let's Play of Ace Combat 6 had a commenter openly compare it to a mecha anime. Assault Horizon is much more grounded in American sensibilities regarding war games. Right down to taking place in the real world. Yeah, we abandoned Strangereal. Which might be why this isn't a numbered sequel (not too American though, as there's already fanart splicing Assault Horizon with Macross). This might be a significant shift on Bandai/Namco's part. Ace Combat has traditionally sold rather poorly in its native Japan; most of their sales were in North America and Europe. At first a lot of us were worried this was some kind of cycle of crap: Namco makes awesome Ace Combat; Ubisoft makes shitty HAWX trying to make a western Ace Combat; Bandai/Namco makes shitty Ace Combat trying to make HAWX. It doesn't look like that's the case. The overall production quality suggests that either Bandai/Namco is invested in this game's success or the director is a genius with getting more out of less in terms of budget. I was very nervous when looking at the announcements, everything was pointing to this being the death of Ace Combat. Instead it looks like we're getting an American approach to story telling with a Japanese approach to game design and presentation. Which is the exact opposite of what happened with Front Mission: Evolved. Which means it will be good?

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