Perhaps this is a little known fact, but when I bought my Playstation 2, I didn't buy it for Final Fantasy or Madden or even Gran Turismo. No, I bought it for Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, Namco's fourth installment in the Ace Combat series. I logged hours into that game, blowing enemy Su-37 jets out of the sky and making bombing runs to save my allies on the ground.
Since then, the Ace Combat series hasn't been that good. Ace Combat 5 and Ace Combat Zero both felt like sub-par efforts to me, and I had been yearning for a game that could recapture the same excitement I'd felt when playing AC04.
Finally, I can say without a doubt that my wait is over. Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation for the Xbox 360 (and eventually, the PS3) is that game I have been waiting for, and the amazing demo is just a taste of what I hope will be an impressive title.
Ace Combat 6 opens with fighter jets being scrambled to defend themselves against enemy forces. You soon find yourself flying high over a capital city, chasing after jets and bombers, trying to stop them before they do too much damage. It's in this part of the demo that you'll get the basic controls down.
The more advanced control setting in the demo is where it's at, allowing you full movement of your fighter jet. As it stands right now, the button layout on the Xbox 360 controller is very easy to use, with no real issues concerning awkward button placement. It's an adjustment from the PS2 DualShock for certain, but within a few minutes, you'll have no problem pulling off whatever moves you want.
Enjoy it while it lasts, though, because once that last bomber goes down, you jump to a cutscene where there is perhaps the largest bomber I have ever seen, and it's got cruise missiles a plenty. What makes it worse is that those missiles are aimed at you and your buddies, and for the second half of the demo, you'll need to book it on out of the combat zone before you get blown down. It's old-school Ace Combat game play at its finest.