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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 August 2005
Strap yourself in, hold tight and hit the throttle for Namco's 5th installment of the epic ACe Combat series. I can only really find one thing bad with the game at the moment and that is how difficult it is to get a copy of the damn thing. I originally ordered it from Amazon new with the site telling me that it was going to take 1-2 weeks for the product to get here. 1-2 weeks turned into 4-6 weeks so I decided to cancel. I wentr to play.com and numerous other sites but alas nothing there. Eventually I settled for a 2nd hand copy of the game and began to play. Amazingly the game didn't finish when i thought it would. It seems to just keep going and going. Alot of the reviews on here complain about the cinematics being too long and so on but this is no boring pointless cinematic. The story is compelling and the characters intriguing to the point of wanting to be with them and actually fly alongside them. There is a depth to the game through the story line and so on that is unrivalled in any of the Ace Combat games or any other flight simulator to date. For those among us who are AC4 veterans, you will notice one or two constants in the game. Two I've spotted so far are that your wingman Nagase is the same voice and name from the airliner you have to assist in AC4 "First Officer Nagase" and that there are one of two references to "north point" made by the president of Ocea. I relly do love the ability to chose not just your own plane but the plane of your other pilots too as well as the suggestions they make. The graphics are to say the least amazing. They do in part resemble AC4 but they have their own stylishness that simply reaks of quality and shows the time spent on it is alot. You can even get close enough to an enemy of friendly place to perform the old TOP GUN "keeping up with foreign relations trick". Ob viously you cannot make the rude hand gestures maverick and goose do but you can at least see the pilot you're flying against before dropping back and blowing him out of the sky. There are even heat waves coming from the engines when left to idle on minimum throttle. Amazing, incredible, pretty damn cool are some of the words i can use to describe this game. Get me a thesaurus and I will look up some more!
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on 20 February 2005
Bought this game for my boyfriend on release and haven't seen him since! Graphics are amazing considering this is a PS2 and not a PC game (usual platform of flight sims). Difficulty level seem to be about right with most missions needing at least 1-2 replays on "normal" difficulty before they are completed sucessfully. Thankfully there is a save feature in between missions. You can choose from many many modern jets to both fly in yourself, and also for your wingmen to fly in although this seems to have little effect on your wingmens' performance. Overall a good looking, fun, accessible shooter which will entertain, but not that different from previous outings in the series.
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on 13 February 2005
I'm hardly an Ace Combat veteran but that's the whole beauty of no. 5. You are squadron leader codename Blaze (default) and your mission is to build up your squad into a bunch of tobaco-chewing hard-nuts terrify the enemy and get chummy with the only female in your squad Nagase. As you progress you get awarded new aircraft and can then choose who to give it to to make them happy (there may as well not even be that choice).But the graphics are legendary and yes even the ground looks very lifelike; even up close and the gameplay is slick, fast and the missions i have played have all been one which is absolutely FRAN-TIC, It's all very Pearl Harbour with dejected sailors claiming it's the worst day of their life etc etc but the atmosphere is great with a very emotive soundtrack. Overall judgement? Flying ace or not, everyone can shine with Ace Combat 5
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on 23 February 2005
where should i start with this game. well, i was not too sure about buting this game because i had not seen or brought the rest of the Ace Combat series but i went ahead and was very glad i did! The game throws you straight in their with a state of the art fighter jet full of missiles and, well you do the rest. the missions are complexed and exciting and not too repetetive. but one thing is that when you have almost compleated a difficult mission and then you make a stupid error you have to start again! But this is one -ve in a lo of +ve. BUY THIS GAME!!!! do not make a mistake of buying another. except maby GTA San Andreas....................Buy It¬!!!!!!!!
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on 2 August 2015
As I write this review today, I'm currently listening to the games soundtrack. It's bringing back a lot of fond memories from the best part of a decade ago. Ace Combat Squadron leader is to this day still my favorite from the series for many reasons. Yes, It's 2015 and PS4 and Xbox are the mainstream when it comes to console gaming, but I'm never going to forget the long hours I spent at ten thousand feet in my F14, battling massive super weapons.

Why? This game is a clear example of a classic arcade flight simulation with it's photo realistic renders of a great selection of planes, a thrilling story and a rather surprising addition of a fun supporting cast in the form of your three wing mates. Archer, Chopper and Edge are wonderful characters, each with their own unique traits. The game is set in a fictional 2010, focusing on your squadron as they face the many hurdles of a war which at times gets rather personal, making you feel for each and every one of them. Namco really did a wonderful job. That horrible stereotype of the type of game being "Everything blows up in thirty seconds and the characters are forgetful" is nowhere to be found here when it comes to the main story.

The cut scenes take the form of footage shot on a video camera, which allows the character who's telling the story to follow your journey through thirty missions, documenting the events of the war and how it affects your team as they progress, Building up to some great twists and sudden surprises which will leave you wanting to know more from the second your jets take flight again.

With the huge selection of jets to choose from and a decent selection of customization features, replay value holds up well, speaking from experience. I remember spending a good few hours trying to unlock all the Tornado variants, finding each one was suited to a different combat task, for examples sake, You'd be better taking an F3 flight up into an air battle and a GR4 quartet into a ground assault.

I long for the day when this game comes to Playstation's network, as it gave me many years of enjoyment way into the era of more modern entries for the reasons mentioned above. Will we ever see a game like it again? I fear not as the Ace Combat series moved into the real world with Assault Horizon and Joint Assault on PS3 and PSP respectfully. For me this instantly killed one of Ace Combats most memorable points. A wonderful fictional world mixed with real world elements.

Add a surprisingly good soundtrack into the mix and you've got a classic Ace combat game which even ten years on, still makes my PS2 an option on a rainy weekend. Long live the classic era of flight simulation shoot 'em up's. If you'll excuse me, my wing mates are waiting on the flight line as I take a trip down memory lane to a time when games were simpler, yet in many ways, better.
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on 21 February 2005
Ace Combat Squadron Leader is without a doubt an excellent flight combat simulation without getting bogged down into the realms of ultra-detailed complexity that goes with a PC flight sim. The graphics are superb, the flight and weapons control are very obvious and natural, the missions are good and varied....very much like the previous offering (AC4). However, with the exception of the definitive improvement of ground graphics detail, this game is not that much different to AC4. Don't get me wrong, if you don't have a combat flying game, you won't be disappointed with this. If you already have AC4....is ACSL worth the £'s? Probably not right now...wait until the price goes down. There are indeed a few down points from the previous title. It is not uncommon to run out of ordinance during a mission. If this happens in ACSL, well, just tooling around in an impotent MIG 35 is not my idea of flying combat. In AC4, you could fly back to base, land , and re-arm, an option not open to us armchair wannabe aces. My other main beef with this game is the moronic chatter from some of the wingmen which definitely detracts from the 'seriousness' of flying combat situations. It is incessant and irritating. Other than that...great game :) Have fun.
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on 27 June 2006
ace combat 4: distant thunder was a brilliant game in almost every way, fast paced, sharp graphics and briliant gameplay. no way it could be improved on right?........ WRONG! Ace combat: squadron leader is some how significantly better? its faster, the planes are much more responsive and handle like a dream (not too arcade..ish, but it doesnt try to be a simulator)and whats more, its gorgeous. the missions are also very varied, in one mission you,l be defending your home base, then youl be flying formation over a large crowd and then youl be thrust back into action against an entire fleet of ships. but probably the best feature in this game is the wingmen. you really get a sense that your not alone up there, they constantly talk to each other over the radios (some of which is pointless) but for the most part it adds to the atmosphere. my only problem with this game is when you get asked a question by one of your wingmen and have to respond yes or no with the d pad, this takes away from your concentration which isnt good when your 30ft of the ground. fortunately this doesnt happen very often and isnt too much of a problem. over all, ace combat: squadron leader is a briliant game and well worth every penny of your hard earned cash, for now this is the best flight game on any console... until the belkan wars release????
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VINE VOICEon 5 April 2006
This is really a nice game. It was the first simulation type of game I buy and I definetly enjoyed it. The story line is really nice and especially the cut scenes and videos. The dialogue between you and your team pilots makes the game a lot more fun to play and enjoy. The selection of the fighters you can choose is quite good,, but could have better options like color, or motto or stuff like that. The missions are quite good, sometimes they get really hard and annoying, especially towards the end. They also get repetitive sometimes, and sometimes impossible to finish. Control system is quite easy, and you can start immediately to play in the mission mode which is the best feature of the game. If you have a surround audio system, you'll get a sensational feeling of the game, I plugged it into my Creative surround system ,and WOW, great and addictive.
I really enjoyed the game, and looking forward for the coming installation of it. Be ware not to feel dizzy though if you play it for a long time.
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on 21 February 2005
This has got to be one of the best flight sims ive ever played, and its also the best out of all the ace combat additions.
the graphics are absolutley mint and the intro movie is well worth a watch too.
game description.........
if you fancy tearing through cities and forests at low level in some of the best and upto date aircraft in the world then this is for you, you really do get a sense of speed and realism from this game it is really second to none, you also have 3 additional wing men you can give orders to and they do come in quite useful when in a sticky situation and need backup.
as you progress through the game more aircraft become available to you like the f-117 stealth bomber su-27 flankers etc each one with noticable differences, and they are really well made.
the story line is also put together really well and you dont feel like skipping through it coz you got bored. put quite simply i cant fault this game at all and it is well worth your hard earned cash.
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on 4 May 2005
As soon as I started playing, I was hooked. This game has everything that you could want from a game. The cut scenes are great, if a little long, with brlliant graphics. There is a complex story around which the game is weaved. You can choose your plane from an ever-expanding list and there are many different special weapons. Once you get into the actual game, you find yourself flying with either two or three other planes, to whom you can administer orders, and respond to the occaisional question, though that can become annoying in the middle of a sharp turn. There is radio chatter from both your side and the enemies and this is different every time you play a mission, as it is affected by your actions. You really get a sense that the lives of the soldiers on the ground rely upon you. The difficulty levels cater for almost all abilities, and there is an arcade mode as well as a mission one. This game does not glorify war as so many others do, because both your allies and the civilians get fed up with it, and there is a very interesting climax, totally unexpectedly. This game also has a history behind it, as is shown in the opening sequence, and it effects the later game, too. I have since played Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies, and this is much better. The drawings in that for the cutscenes are nice, but both the plot and the gameplay lack an edge. I would certainly advise buying this game. It is the best that I have played in years, if ever. You sometimes even feel annoyed at some frustrating turn in the plot, because it holds you so deeply. The missions also vary in type. There are objectives to escape from somewhere, destory a base or fleet and protect a ground force that's storming a castle, all within a few missions. I would urge everyone to buy this game.
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