Pacific Fighters Review

Developer: Ubi Soft Publisher: Ubi Soft
Release: October 26, 2004 Also On: None

“When I take action, I’m not going to fire a 2 million dollar missile at a 10 dollar empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.” Those were the words spoken by President George W. Bush. If you stop laughing, you will realize that the point of war is to be decisive. Pacific Fighters, a WWII shooter, requires you to be decisive, otherwise you will be blown up. This fast paced game has extremely hard controls and even harder to maneuver. I bet learning to fly a real plane is easier than this.

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The gameplay is very good as you either play as the Americans or Japanese recreating dogfights and strategic bombings in the Pacific during WWII, that is, after you master the controls, which took me over four hours. Back to the gameplay, you take off from carriers and recreate battles from WWII. With a squadron of planes at your command and machine guns and bombs equipped to your plane, this flight simulator could easily become very addicting.

The controls, though, is what stops people from playing an awesome game. Literally, every button on the keyboard does something. You must control each engine, the speed your going, altitude, and keep watch on your gas, and that’s just the easy part. Landing and take offs are MUCH harder. Taking off is hard, as you must control your speed while you brake to build up acceleration and make sure you don’t crash into the control tower on the carrier. Landing though, is much more difficult. Many times I have lost a mission because I couldn’t land my plane right. Landing involves a series of complicated air maneuvers and slowing down at just the right time. Luckily, there is an easy mode that lets the computer take off and land for you. There is also a multiplayer mode, which does add to amount of time you can get out of this game. This does require a friend with this game, so don’t expect as much fun if you don’t meet these expectations.

The thing I MUST say about this game is that really isn’t a plane simulation rather a very realistic arcade shooter. “The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving,” Ulysses S. Grant said. That is what this game involves and requires, which is what makes it an arcade shooter.

Sure this game feels realistic, but it is no where as realistic as a real plane simulation. A real plane simulation would be that of the likes of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2004. Arcade shooters tell you to go from place to place, and shoot everything in your way. A flight simulator gives you a lot more control and freedom. Pacific Fighters doesn’t give you that much control. Is it a good arcade shooter? You’d better believe it!

The graphics are pretty good, though you do need a pretty good computer to run this game. The environments are nice to look at and the ships and planes are almost flawless. Weather effects are top notch, I might add. The mission briefings, however, can screw you over, again and again. The maps are badly drawn, making the game more annoying than it should be. The sound effects are decent, but could be much better.

This game is extremely aesthetic. The controls are definitely very realistic and complicated if you play it on hard mode. But the missions and islands recreated are all based on real battles during WWII. However, like I said before, this still is more of an arcade shooter than a plane simulator.

“The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it,” George Orwell said. But if you are a newcomer the genre that has a lot of patience to certain annoyances, you will get many hours of gameplay. Veterans to the genre will get a good 20 hours with the game (if they choose to play the multiplayer features).

Overall, this game is a challenge and can become pretty frustrating, because the controls are just that confusing. Nonetheless, it is a great arcade shooter that could become extremely addicting once the controls are mastered. All you need is patience, a love for the genre (or the will to love it), a friend with the game, and of course, a voice that can say “Roger that� without sounding stupid.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 8.4
Written by Simon Review Guide

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