Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ Game Poster Image
Not much bang for the buck, but still unique flight combat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Fighting against evil overshadowed by constant use of weaponry to destroy opponents.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You're a pilot fighting an evil regime. Some parents may not like the heavy focus on combat, especially on the kid-friendly Nintendo 3DS.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

You don't see any human casualties, blood, or gore, but heavy focus on aerial combat. Players use machine guns, missiles, and bombs to destroy targets in the sky or on the ground. Fiery explosions often light up environments.

Sex
Language

Words such as "damn" and "hell" mostly heard in the radio chatter.

Consumerism

Supports Nintendo's amiibo characters, which adds additional functionality -- but you have to buy these characters separately. Part of a larger Ace Combat franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ is an action-packed aerial flight simulation game. Combat is the main point of the game, as you take part in a war to overthrow and destroy an evil regime. As a pilot, you will shoot guns and missiles at enemy planes and drop bombs onto targets. Cries of pain echo over radio chatter, with large explosions heard and seen. There are slow-motion replay scenes with targets erupting into flames. The game also has some mild profanity, such as "hell" and "damn." The game is part of a larger Ace Combat series but also takes advantage of Nintendo's new amiibo characters to provide new features, but these are sold separately.

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What's it about?

Dogfighting in the unfriendly skies is what you can expect in ACE COMBAT ASSAULT HORIZON LEGACY+, the latest in the aerial-combat simulation from Namco Bandai. Similar to in its predecessors, you'll fly modern military aircraft and perform a number of missions -- most of which involve locking onto air, ground, or sea targets and destroying them. This flight simulator takes advantage of the New Nintendo 3DS XL, which includes support for Nintendo amiibo characters -- plastic action figures that come alive inside the video game when placed on the 3DS -- allowing pilots to decorate their planes with "skins" that represent popular characters such as Link (from The Legend of Zelda games), Mario, Luigi, Samus (from Metroid), Pac-Man, and others (along with the ability to unlock new plane abilities).

Is it any good?

If it weren't simply a slightly modified version of its 2011 Nintendo 3DS predecessor, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy -- which came out the same year as the similar Ace Combat: Assault Horizon for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 -- it might be easier to justify the $40 price tag. But with only adding amiibo support and extra controls (with the New Nintendo 3DS XL only), Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ isn't worth it for those who've played the past games -- unless you want a dose of deja vu. New players, however, might appreciate the white-knuckle action. The game can be fun when you're soaring around an environment, picking off enemies, and taking on new, more challenging missions. Plus, the graphics, smooth frame rate, and 3-D effects all add to the important immersion factor. The sound effects are quite good, as well.

But it's too bad Namco Bandai keeps going back to the well with this game. Perhaps if they added more gameplay, it might be worth it, but with only about four hours of play, that's just not the case. There isn't even a multiplayer option for local wireless or Internet play. Perhaps you can save yourself some cash and buy the original 2011 title, as it's virtually the same experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Is the impact of the violence here lessened because it's limited to explosions, or is the depiction of war and combat a problem in itself?

  • Talk about the amiibo functionality. Do you think that all content should be unlockable through gameplay, or should you have to spend additional money to gain new game features? How much would you be willing to spend?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
  • Price: $39.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Release date: February 13, 2015
  • Genre: Simulation
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: T for Mild Language, Violence

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love simulations

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