The Sega Dreamcast first took to the skys with... Aerowings? Well that game kind of sucked, and has been completely overshadowed by the flight-combat simulator arriving just a few short months later: Air Force Delta. Although it received middling to average reviews, it still shines as, in my opinion, the best flight simulator on the console.
Story- Following a massive amount of ethnic and religious tension, the Federated Republic of Dzavailar split into multiple independent states. A group of rebels, wishing to reform the Republic, begin the slow assimilation of each former state into their original form. Now the weak Republic of Laconia is the only state left to resist the tyranny of the Dzavailar. In order to mount a counter-offensive, the Laconian military calls upon Air Force Delta (A mercenary squadron) to aid in their assault.
Gameplay- Aw man, now we're talking. A huge swath of fighters are yours to command as you slowly build up your unit's arsenal. Once you select which ship you'd like to use (My personal favorite is the F-22 raptor), you begin one of 20 action packed missions.
The control on the game could be a lot better, however. When engaging in a dog fight against a speedy enemy jet, it's near impossible to get a clear lock on their plane (Needed to fire your primary missile weapons). You'll end up spinning in a circle trying to take out that one craft, but luckily running out of ammo isn't a concern as you come packing over 50 rockets (Talk about overkill). Although dogfighting isn't that great, it feels badass to unleash hell upon unsuspecting enemy bases. Seeing that "Bingo!" after you knock out an enemy fortification will give you a rush like you won't believe.
Graphics- Decent for the time. The fade in is hardly noticeable as you jet throughout the landscape, and the world feels very seamless. It does lack high quality sprites on the ground, however, and it all seems to blend together.
Sound Design- A perfect soundtrack for this game, one of it's highpoints. The high intensity techno compliments the combat action as you scream across the Earth below with your guns roaring. Or when you enter the Icy tundra, the game reflects the cool and mysterious vibe. I wish I could get this on CD.
Longevity- Unfortunately, you don't get much outside of the campaign. The main objective to keep playing after besting the campaign is to aim for high scores on individual missions. That can be fun, but I'm slightly disapointed we didn't at least get a bare bones two player dogfighting mode. Even allowing to players to take part in missions would have been incredible.
If you are looking for a rival to Ace Combat then look no further. Great combat, amazing soundtrack, and some decent graphical power adds up to a hell of a good time.
- 1 Player
- Flight Combat
- Published by Sega
- Sega Dreamcast