Mar 17, 2012
Flight action game was one of my favorite in addition to my addiction to first-person shooting game like Counter-Strike and multi-player role playing game like the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III and The Frozen Throne. I tried many flight-simulation games before but the Ace Combat series produced by Namco along with other game developers is my favorite. The best feature of the game is the flight controllers that were designed so comfortably for the gamer. It allows you to maneuver your favorite fighting plane so easily and flawlessly. In this post we will talk about Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy that is full of action similar to the Ace Combat series.
I already tried playing Ace Combat 2 and 3 (Electrosphere) on the first-generation PlayStation but I always keep asking for more. The excitement and thrill of flight action game is really satisfying. The last time that I played Ace Combat is when I bought a PlayStation Portable (Slim) and played the ‘Joint Assault’ release. It features a new battle system wherein you can let another player to join with you in a battle or fight one-on-one using WiFi connection.
When I bought my iPad 2, I’m always rooting for similar Namco games but my efforts were futile not until the release of Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy. Though I do not have the chance of playing the ‘Rise of Glory’ release I think that ‘Air Supremacy’ is much similar to my favorite Ace Combat series. After buying the app from iTunes that costs $4.99 and playing it for a couple of hours, it was like reminiscing of the past. The game feature of the previous Ace Combat series was there but the game play was a lot more exciting than before. It is because the game was full of action after action of non-stop ‘dog’ fighting with other planes, helicopters and destroying large fleet of air craft carriers.
Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy has many game types that you can choose from in the ‘Play’ section. There are 7 types including Campaigns, Dogfight Missions, Survival, Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Defend the Base. The one odd thing that I notice here is that the ‘Tutorial’ was also included in the list making it a total of 8 game types. Why not just put the ‘Tutorial’ section at the start of the game along with the Play, Quick Match, Multiplayer, Profile and Options section? Another odd thing is that when you click ‘Quick Match’ the game will ‘automatically’ used a ‘previous’ connection that’s either ‘Online’ or ‘WiFi’ that can also be found in the ‘Multiplayer’ section. I think it is better that the ‘Quick Match’ section to be replaced by the ‘Tutorials’ section.
Overall this flight simulator game is full of action and intense game play in each game type especially in the campaign mode. It’s like fighting against a huge ‘swarm’ of jet-fighters coming from all directions. During the game, what I like best is that you now have ‘Wingmen’ during the battle that you can command. You can instruct them to fly in a formation which is the default, defensive formation to protect you from attacks and hunt-and-destroy in which they will attack your enemies in their own will. Each command can be done on-screen by tapping the icons at the top center of your iPad.
With the advancement of multi-touch and swipe technology, you can execute advance maneuver of your plane by just swiping on your iPad screen. Aside from the basic left and right maneuver, you can also do the Cobra, Herbst and Kulbit maneuvers by swiping once or twice in an upward or downward direction. You can learn all these things in the Tutorials section by accessing the ‘Play’ section at the start of the game. Also if you want you can choose different controls settings to adapt to your liking and style. For me, I choose the ‘Casual Control Pad’ control option so that I won’t get dizzy during the game. I think this is the best control settings for both novice and expert players.
Similar to the previous Ace Combat series, you can choose different ‘view’ of your aircraft by tapping the ‘video’ icon found at the top of the screen. There’s also the ‘Autopilot’ mode and ‘Stabilizing’ game feature which makes the game easier to play and comfortable. You can switch to autopilot if you’re feeling lazy to control your plane to the next destination in stage during a campaign. The auto-stabilizing feature aligns your plane automatically with the horizon the moment you release the on-screen controls if you choose the ‘Casual Control’ and ‘Fixed Control’ settings.
Last but not the least, aside from unlimited missiles and ammo that you can use during the battle this game introduces the ‘Flare’ item. This item is used when your opponent has locked its missiles on you. Once your opponent has locked its missiles on your plane, the flare icon on your left will be activated. If you will look at the map located at the upper-right portion of the screen, you can see incoming missile hurled towards you. To deflect those missiles you should tap the flare icon to evade the incoming danger.
This game was included in the Apple’s list of ‘Great Apps’ that was updated so that you can enjoy the new iPad’s Retina Display. If it happens that you install this game on your new iPad, would you mind sharing us the experience?
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that in Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy, replays are no longer available. This is a little kind of a disappointment but was compensated with a lot of improvements like the auto-pilot, auto-stabilization and squadron command feature. When I’m already tired swiping on the screen, I just switch to auto-pilot mode and just shoot the enemy on missile-locked. After finishing the game, I feel like kind a miss the analog controllers on the PlayStation and PSP gaming consoles. I think that those controllers were still my preferred choice when it comes to plane maneuvering.