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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre Rank: Flight Sim

Awards: None
The Weather is Always Splendid Above the Clouds Pros: Nice onboard graphics/ Most approachable flight sim for the 7800/ No take offs or landings/ Bombing Runs are fun
Cons: Silly looking cannon fire/ Could be boring to many/ Confusing Control Scheme/ Need Manual in Lap to Play
What Does This Button Do? AHHHHHHHHH!!!


Overview: There's nothing like blowing up some Axis buttholes that'll put a smile on your face a mile wide. But instead of the perspective of a blue eyed shiny-faced kid from Kansas, we are treated to these heroics through the eyes of a pilot from a country with worse weather than Seattle. Yes, you are a pilot in the Royal Air Force of her Majesty.
Besides the threat of being shot down, being a native of a country known for lousy cuisine, and the constant threat of growing up ultra-pretentious, the biggest danger you will face as a pretend British pilot is the super complicated controls. Managing the plane is a tad difficult, but at least you don't have to go through the agonies of taking off and landing. That fact alone makes this the most enjoyable flight simulator available on the Pro System. With up to 4 sorties to complete (rocket interception, dog fighting, bombing U-boats, and rescuing hostages) Ace of Aces proves to be not only a challenging but also a varied experience.

Graphics: There are 5 different flying perspectives in the Ace of Aces: cockpit, left wing, right wing, map and bombing bay. The graphics rock here, and eye candy of this nature is difficult to find in the 7800's library. But within Ace of Aces biggest strength lies it's worst enemy: confusing controls. There are controls all over the friggin' place. Switches, buttons, levers, gauges, and shiny objects litter the panels and annoy novice pilots. Still, this much detail is as impressive as it is confusing. But the worst graphics come in other areas. Namely, the tacky menu page, the enemy fighter jets, and the goofy snapshots of the plane taking off. These all suck, but not nearly as bad as your machine gun fire. Machine gun fire is supposed to be nearly invisible with a rat-tat-tat noise. Instead your WW2 plane is equipped with what could only be explained as twin laser cannons that destroy everything in one hit. These aren't machine guns...these are photon torpedoes!!!

Sound: RRRrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...get used to that...the loud irritating engine roar that sounds like your propellers are about to fail. The appropriate machine gun noise is assigned from the enemy fighters, oddly enough, just not your plane. Again, your machine gun fire looks and SOUNDS like laser cannons. This is just plain nutty. But I'll be kind to Ace of Aces' sound score...ever since I reviewed Realsports Baseball's crowd noise I have become a much more kinder man of Funk.

Gameplay: Take off and landing are absent in Ace of Aces. To me, this is a huge plus. Flight Simulator games on consoles from this era are just plain stupid, really. There is no way you can replicate the flying experience with the Pro System's limited memory, and Ace of Aces does a good job focusing on things it can do well. Still, there are some whoas in the game, many whoas...I'm afraid. Like I said before, controls are all over the place. Fuel Tanks, missile/machine gun (cough), switches, bomb bay door switches, radars, altimeters, flap controls, rpm controls, fire extinguishers, trim switches, and so on and so forth, are located in 4 different areas. When something is happening quickly, it can be a chore to find the correct screen in a hurry. At least you don't have to fiddle with the 7800 console itself for controls like Tomcat F-14. In that game, you must use the select button and the difficulty switches for gameplay, which blows. But what stinks in Ace of Aces is the ultra annoying method you must use to sift from screen to screen. Instead of using the right button which is wasted as a pause button (!!!), you must quickly double press the fire button and press a direction to select another view. This often times causes you to fire off a precious missile or round of ammo. When these are in short supply, this could cause you to swear in front of your small pets and plants. The programmers missed the boat on this, and this really has a negative effect on the fun factor of the game.

Interpretation: Based on the computer game of the same name, Ace of Aces does some things well, but limitations hurt the game's playability. Without a keyboard, the Pro System's Ace of Aces struggles to deliver a smooth flying experience. But hey...war is hell, right?

Value: Ace of Aces has four different missions to conquer, and with a little practice they can be somewhat enjoyable. Bombing the train is my favorite. One must realize that the main challenge of this game is controlling the plane effectively, and intercepting the enemy at the correct altitudes. After that, the game is not too difficult. Again, killing Nazis is fun. Watch Shindler's List or Saving Private Ryan before hand for the full experience.

Overall: If you are extremely patient or you really hate computerized Nazis, Ace of Aces can be a fun ride. Sadly the battle with the controls is about as fierce as the battle with the Nazis. If flight simulators are your thing, Ace of Aces for the 7800 is the system's best choice hands down. Tomcat F-14, F-18 Hornet, and Super Huey... I hate to break this to you, msn... but... they don't like you at all and they are planning to kill you...stay far, far away from them.



Other reviews of Ace of Aces:
Atari 7800 Forever: 2.5 out of 5.0 (Weak)
Atari Gaming Headquarters: 8 out of 10
Jose' Q's Emuviews: 4.9 out of 10
The Atari Times: 4 out of 10
The Video Game Critic: D

Our Old Score: 3.5 out of 5.0 (Good)



Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Mitch Orman, owner of The Atari 7800 Page for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.