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Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy, released in Japan as Ace Combat 3D: Cross Rumble (エースコンバット3D クロスランブル Ēsu Konbatto Surī Dī Kurosu Ranburu) is one of the latest portable entries in the Ace Combat series. It released in North America on November 15, 2011 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. In many ways, the game is seen as a remake of Ace Combat 2; it bears little resemblance to Ace Combat: Assault Horizon despite the title and box art outside of Japan.
Main article: Usean Continental War
Three years after the Belkan War, the Osean Federation and the Union of Yuktobanian Republics continued to establish themselves as the greatest superpowers in the world. The northern and western nations of the Usean Continent decided to put aside their long-lasting mutual differences and band together to prevent either of the superpowers from obtaining Usean land. However, the southern nations opposed this and wished to join the Osean Federation, who extended a military pact to the leaders of those southern nations.
On the day of the treaty's signing, conservative extremists (likely originating from, but not backed by, the northern and western Usean countries) launched a coup d'état across the entire continent, fearing the presence of the Osean military and the loss of their mining rights. The Usean Allied Forces underestimated the rebels' power, and were soon forced to retreat. It was soon believed that the Rebel Forces would take over the governments of the continent.
As a last-ditch effort, Allied Forces HQ initiated Operation Fighter's Honor, in which they contracted the Scarface Squadron to assist in and spearhead an assault to tip the war back in the Allied Forces' favor. The player controls Scarface One through multiple battles across the continent.
Assault Horizon Legacy features standard Ace Combat gameplay, specifically that of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, designed for the Nintendo 3DS's controls, while using a slightly enhanced version of Ace Combat: Joint Assault's engine. The player pilots an aircraft of their choice through different missions, destroying all mission-important targets. Before each mission, the player can select which aircraft and special munitions to fly with, as well as which wingman to fly alongside the player (if at all). The destruction of an enemy will result in a congratulatory message, such as "Nice shot!" or "Good job!". However, the message appears on the lower edge of the screen, as opposed to the center of the screen.
Two new mechanics introduced in Assault Horizon Legacy are known as Attack Maneuvers and Evasive Maneuvers. These are not to be confused with Dogfight Mode, which is used in Assault Horizon. Attack Maneuvers require the player to stay as close to an enemy plane as possible to fill up the AM Gauge. When the gauge is full enough, the player can press the Y button to allow the game to move the aircraft behind the enemy plane. Evasive Maneuvers are performed to evade incoming missiles from any direction. The player must press the Y button while simultaneously moving the Circle Pad either left or right (whichever is indicated) to evade a missile that is closing in.
As in Ace Combat 2, the player can select to have a wingman to fly alongside them on certain missions, which will cost the player some money. The two wingmen from AC2 reprise their roles: John Herbert, TAC name "Slash," and Kei Nagase, TAC name "Edge." Unlike AC2, the player cannot give their wingman a specific order. Slash will always engage targets indiscriminately, whereas Edge will always defend the player.
Another feature of Assault Horizon Legacy, introduced previously in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, is special Ace squadrons. Each of the squadrons' appearances triggers an "introductory cutscene," taunting the player and setting the scene, not unlike The Belkan War. The four Ace squadrons are Lancer Squadron, Beast Squadron, Cocoon Squadron, and Albireo Squadron. Z.O.E., which has now been named as Zone of Endless, is also featured as another Ace squadron.
Main article: List of aircraft in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy
The game contains aircraft featured in the original Ace Combat 2, such as the Su-25 Frogfoot and the F-16C Fighting Falcon. New aircraft included are the PAK FA, Su-37 Terminator, Su-47 Berkut, F-2A Viper Zero, and F-22A Raptor. Original aircraft, such as the ADF-01 FALKEN and the XFA-27, are also available.
The development of Assault Horizon Legacy was first announced in September 2010, being featured in an article describing games that were then in development, being tentatively known as Ace Combat 3D. Months later, during E3 2011, the first footage and screenshots of the game were released. Through 2011, the nature of the screenshots (more specifically, the locations featured and fact that the player aircraft brandished the roundel of the Scarface Squadron) gave birth to speculation that the game would be a remake or sequel to Ace Combat 2. Said rumors became true on September 13, 2011, when Namco Bandai Games released the first official trailer of the game, confirming its name as Ace Combat 3D: Cross Rumble in Japanese regions. The second official trailer, released on September 26, 2011, confirmed the name in other regions would be Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy.
On November 4, 2014, it was announced that the game would be re-released as Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Plus for the New Nintendo 3DS with functionality for the improved 3D and added buttons, as well as special aircraft themed after Nintendo properties such as Mario.
- ↑ 4Gamer.net: バンダイナムコゲームス，「エースコンバット 3D（仮称）」「テイルズ オブ ジ アビス（仮称）」など，3DS向け新作5タイトルの情報を公開
- ↑ Cubed3: E311 Media | Ace Combat Nintendo 3DS Screens #1
- ↑ Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Plus announced for 3DS. Gematsu. Published November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- ↑ 【フラゲ】エスコン最新作『エースコンバット3D クロスランブル+』発売決定！新要素を追加した完全版。ハードはもちろん. はちま起稿. Published November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.