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PS2 Reviews: Energy Airforce


Energy Airforce screenshots


The Final Say!


Energy Airforce  reviewed by Andrew B 
Review Date: January 2004
Review Score 8.8/10 
Distributed By: Red Ant

Energy Airforce may sound like a new health drink for pilots but is in actual fact one of the latest and probably greatest flight simulators to land on the PlayStation 2. Energy Airforce is developed by gaming developers extraordinaire Taito, who have been responsible for some of the most addictive and entertaining games of all time. Japanese developers Taito are no strangers to arcade flight simulators and have once again shown that they are still the leaders in quality gaming software.

Energy Airforce features a variety of gameplay modes that include training, mission and strike mode (or arcade) to ensure that just about all gamers tastes are catered for. The training mode of Energy Airforce allows you to earn your pilots license by flying a variety of high-powered jets that include the F-16C, F22A and my favourite, the powerful and sleek X-35C.

The mission mode allows gamers to embark on a variety of military-style missions for that realistic flight simulator feel. Probably my favourite aspect of the game is the strike mode (or arcade mode) that allows you engage the enemy immediately without the being held back by real-world physics. The game also contains a variety of aircrafts that include the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-117 Nighthawk, U-2 Dragon Lady, C-130 Hercules and the SR-71 Blackbird that are all official US military planes.

The learning curve of Energy Airforce is fairly high and it will take the average gamer a few days to master the control system but once they have become familiar with the controls of the game, they will be flying like combat veterans in no time. The control system of Energy Airforce uses the DualShock controller to its advantage by using the analog stick to control your aircraft with the d-pad and shoulder buttons used to control your craft and weaponry.

The left analog stick is used to control your craft, whereas the right analog stick is used for free look that lets you look around the cockpit and sky. The shoulder buttons are used for your throttle speeds and rudder control that actually feels quite comfortable in your hands. The D-Pad is used for your aircrafts weaponry such as missiles, cannons, chaffs/flare and allows you to change weapons. Taito has done a great job at transferring the control system of jets to the simplistic DualShock controller.

The mission mode of Energy Airforce may not be for everyone because quite a few missions involve flying to certain waypoints or patrolling certain areas in the game but when the action heats up, your adrenaline starts pumping and when you see those missiles coming toward you, you need to put your fears beside you and focus on surviving.

Although the skies may be a lonely place, Energy Airforce gives gamers access to a variety of wingmen who assist you in your missions and helps make the title more realistic.

Graphically, Energy Airforce is one of the most impressive looking flight simulators on the market at the moment and the Japanese developers should be awarded for their attention to detail. The plane models themselves are extremely detailed and contain a high amount of polygons for that real-world look that move with grace and deadly force when needed. The gaming environment thoroughly makes use of the lighting effects from the way the sun reflects off the metallic surfaces or the various parts of the day from morning to night. Gamers also have the choice of two gaming views that include a cockpit view (for missions) and a chase view that is more recommended for the strike mode of the game.

Although the soundtrack of Energy Airforce isn't too inspiring, the realistic sound effects of the jet engines and the huge Hollywood explosions make up for the lack of a real musical score. Nothing is more satisfying than flying in the high skies and hearing your missiles destroying their intended targets with huge explosions of shrapnel and fire.

In conclusion Energy Airforce is probably the most realistic flight simulators to land on the PlayStation 2 and goes much further than Ace Combat 4. Whereas Ace Combat 4 was a pure arcade game, Energy Airforce is strictly a professional flight simulator with that realistic real-world feel to it. Check it out!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2003 www.impulsegamer.com