View Full Version : Aerodancing 4

THX 1138
07-20-2002, 04:09 PM
Does anyone know where I can find an Aerodancing 4 review with comments on how the force feedback flightstick made by Logitech works with the sim...........in english?:wink:

THX 1138
08-02-2002, 09:50 PM
??? So nobody here knows squat about Aerowings?
I guess:rolleyes:

xXx Beaver xXx
08-03-2002, 09:49 AM
sorry, I cant help you there.

- Triple X Beaver :spin smil

08-23-2002, 10:22 AM

They talk a little about it in there. You should try the GameFaqs boards. You'll most likely get you answer there :)


THX 1138
08-28-2002, 11:35 AM
Hey, Penance, who's butt is that in your sig.?
(I kinda like it!)

08-28-2002, 01:16 PM
The sig or the | )) in the sig? Me? I like them both. :D

Stick around long enough and you'll see the rest of the girl!

THX 1138
09-19-2002, 10:40 AM
Does anyone know when Aerodancing 4 is going to be released in North America?
BTW, I'm still looking for a review (in english) for this sim.
......also, will the TM Fox2 Pro flightstick work well with this sim.

THX 1138
09-19-2002, 12:45 PM
Fans of the AeroWings console flight simulation series have a treat to look forward to if a publisher like Crave picks up the latest gem in the series -- Aero Dancing i. Though the small i in the title stands for internet game play in Japan, here in the states it should mean intercept, because bombing tanks and ships and deploying a vast arsenal of weapons is what the bulk of the gameplay is all about.

Recently released in Japan, fans over there are going nuts with on-line play and contests. Unfortunately early importers will have to wait to see if Crave, translator and publisher of the other two American titles in the series, braves the waters of internet play. Remember the i is for real-time dog fights and a system has to be pretty darn fast to keep the lag time down between pressing a button and lobbing off a radar range missile. Oh yes did I forget to say that there are now three different air to air missiles from which to chose.

And herein lies the interest in importing this game. Though there is no internet play, for those of us who use a gameshark to import the games (and who wouldn't it's so darn easy), there is however a tripling of things to do and options. Suffice to say that if you liked AeroWings2 or Aero Dancing F you will find a lot to be pleased with in Aero Dancing i starting with the graphics.

Last year's incarnation of explosions have been updated, along with noticeable flares and chaff spitting out of the back end of the plane during defensive maneuvers ? did I mention you can now out run missiles. In fact just getting blown up is a whole lot of fun. Environmentally there are one to two new maps ? which are gorgeous but all in all the landscape remains flat to allow for both ground and air enemies. There is a city which is very nice and an European mountain valley in which to destroy tanks and dodge mountain peaks.

Story line ? there is no story line. But there is at least 32 new missions where you blow up balloons again (ugh!), blow up tanks and anticraft batteries which actually shoot back, (yeah!), and bomb the royal H out of seagoing battleships and oil tankers in your Royal Navy Harrier with real V-Tol and S-Tol ? of course most of the functions here are automated and the transition to V-Tol is linked to the ''gear down'' button, but just landing the thing is an art in itself. You also must refuel with a flying tanker, kill bogeys before they get to the cargo plane you are escorting (its no secret you also get to fly the cargo plane) and the typical free-flight mode where you can customize everything from the number of bogies to the time of day, weather and type of ammo both you and the computer controlled pilots carry.

Which brings us to a subject near and dear to a flight simmer's heart ? the flight modeling. Because I don't have the big bucks to buy a gaming computer, I am stuck playing only console games. Therefore I own every Aero Dancing game made (there are now five in the series ? oh what you miss by not importing), and both AeroWings versions which are tweaked for the better when it comes to the flight modeling.

Historically, the jets in the first Aero Dancing game rolled too much and the ability to drastically yaw was missing. When Crave got a hold of it they made the aircraft roll less and the rudder seemed to work better. Not all the aircraft in that game were modeled correctly. Suffice to say the model best suited the T-4 trainer and the F-86 (if all the armor were removed and the gun and it was stripped down for exhibition).

By Aero Dancing F, the designers have dampened the roll again, and increased the rudder control which made for some nice aerobatics (you can actually do a vertical side slip and execute side-ways hammer head ? try that on your PC flight sims!), but the aircraft dropped out of the sky vertically too fast and wobbled when turning too tightly. Again when Crave got it and they fixed it and made the ships and the enemy craft control much better. The second time around the flight model suited certain planes best and the Mitsubishi F-1 came out on top. By using F-86 as good MiG substitutes for enemies, many memorable hours where spent in the virtual sky on AeroWings2. The little 5 minute heat seeking missile duals were great fun! In fact the enemy A-I was excellent in mimicking the horizontal turning battles reminiscent of dogfights of the 1960's in Southeast Asia or over India. But when one got into an F-16 in AeroDancing F the pilot blacked out too much when you pulled too many G's which made the game frustrating. Any semblance of realism was quickly dashed to the ground along with your virtual aircraft.

Which brings us to Aero Dancing i. The year is 2001 and Japan has their new F-2 up and running and everything onboard is automated. But because the F-2 is designed for long range intercept, it carries more fuel, has a longer fuselage than its F-16 predecessors, and is designed to carry bombs. The developers appropriately tighten up the flight model for an air ship carrying a payload. No wobble or vertical yaw, and you can now depend on a rock-steady flight path. Unfortunately when that payload is dropped the fly model remains stiff. Too stiff. Crave take note ? there is a vast difference between an aircraft loaded out and one that is not. I miss the ability to drop my bombs and then turn and burn.

Because of this, dogfighting in old favorites like the F-4 and the F-86 are now like trying to road race in a tractor trailer. Where the game does excel is modeling the complete fly-by-wire modes of today's fighter bombers like the F-18. Here the game shines. I suspect that because Japan really didn't get their first F-2 into service until the middle of last year, the designers modeled this year's flight parameters around their perceptions of the Hornet.

Everything is customizable, right down to manual and automatic weapons and target selection, which comes in handy when you are on a bomb run and jumped by a MiG 29. Even an automatic over-speed governor kicks in when you reach 800 kts. This year don't expect to depart the normal parameters of flight, any sharp movements of the joy stick simply give you a wider turn. Blackouts are almost a thing of the past ? as are tight turns -- one of the complaints real pilot have with FBW.

All in all, if you stick with the ultra-modern aircraft and don't expect to explore history, there is a lot of dog fighting to be had. In fact the AI on the Harrier even cheats a little and kicks in a few seconds of Viffing ? using the V-Tol jet tubes to move the plane through vertical space while in horizontal flight ? which makes for an especially tough enemy. Speaking of enemies, they seem to dodge missiles with ease ? something I either haven't learned to do or the AI is cheating. Also, with the long range missiles, head-on attacks have appropriately almost become a thing of the past.

One major disappointment. The Mig-21 is present here and it doesn't maneuver very well. In the context of the flight model yes, but I still long for the days when I could pull some high G maneuvers, nearly black out and come around for the kill shot. I have to say that AeroWings2 ? using the F-1, F-4 and F-86, is still the best dogfighting experience on the console. Most of my encounters on nearly matched aircraft on AeroDancing i have so far lasted about 90 seconds ? which is realistic of course, but a tad boring. Only when I use an F-1 versus a Harrier do things heat up. Of course in the high tech craft, with dumbed down missles do you can also get a real challenge as speeds quickly become uncontrollable and that slower moving plane is now on you tail. Yes you can also elect to go guns only this time around, but the computer controlled flight envelop and the ultra high speeds keeps the enemy AI from ever getting off a shot.

Importibility is 95 percent as even the annoucers talk in broken English ? fortunately you can now turn that off too. The number of new planes here are too numerous to mention. And there are even some unique secret crafts to unlock.

Because of the customizable missions, with a little imagination, you can be flying for hours. I must say that this is the only incarnation of Aero Dancing that has me playing the set missions over and over. All and all if you stick to the attack aircraft, it is a fun game and certainly offers more for your money than any of the others in the series in terms of sheer options and customization. In fact you can still fly those neat stunt planes and prop jobs from the earlier games.

Oh did I mention you get to make your own emblem for your tail fin which will appear in those now famous replay shots. Yes with a VMU and a click of a button you can still jump in the cockpit and save yourself from that terrible crash of yesterday. If only life were so forgiving.

Gameplay: For sim maniacs a good 8 only because the flight model again needs to be tweaked.

THX 1138
09-19-2002, 12:46 PM
Story: Who cares, it's a flight sim not an RPG.
Audio: Crashes are a plus ? missiles are about the same. 7
Replayability: About an 8. I'd give AeroWings2/Aero Dancing F a solid 9 by comparision even with less options simply because the flight modeling and the enemy AI is so good.

Special gameshark note: To load finicky import games, first load the gameshark from desktop (the screen with the VMU, clock and settings) by inserting the game disk ? with GS in slot two of any controller ? press and hold L, R, A, X, Y, and start. After the machine says it can't read the disk, get it to read it again by lifting and re-depressing the A button while still holding the rest of the keys. Once the gameshark disk boots, insert your import, select your options and again press and hold L,R,A,X,Y and Start just after you tell your gameshark to start the game. For some reason this seems to reset the bio settings. One of the Aero Dancing games in the series is different from the others, and I need to do this from time to time.

Don't email me as I am very busy with my Dreamcast - just buy a gameshark and the game ;)
Reviewer's Score: 8 / 10