AR­CADE WATCH

EDGE - - KNOWLEDGE TALK/ARCADE -

Keep­ing an eye on the coin-op gam­ing scene

Ace Com­bat: As­sault Hori­zon was built to be more ac­ces­si­ble, alien­at­ing fans of the se­ries in the process, but the AI-as­sisted pur­suit se­quences you’d en­ter when you suc­cess­fully en­gaged an en­emy pi­lot tail were a suc­cess­ful piece of game de­sign, if not a suc­cess­ful piece of Ace Com­bat de­sign.

Mach Storm takes them as its cen­tral me­chanic. The Paris, Wash­ing­ton, New York, Mi­ami and Tokyo maps have been ap­pro­pri­ated, too, and given a slight vis­ual makeover, while the HUD has been re­designed for the cab­i­net, com­plete with a score counter and colos­sal on­screen text af­ter each kill. You’re dragged from en­emy to en­emy on rails, with none of As­sault Hori­zon’s open world be­tween dog­fights.

Like the game, its cab­i­net is a re­pur­posed bit of tech. Orig­i­nally home to Namco’s Gun­dam games, the Panoramic Op­ti­cal Dis­play al­most com­pletely sur­rounds play­ers, while con­trols rest on a sin­gle flight stick and throt­tle. Add a rud­der con­trol and there’s noth­ing about the Ace Com­bat games it couldn’t han­dle. But ar­cades are about five min­utes of fun and Mach Storm isn’t risk­ing any­thing in an all-out sen­sory as­sault on short at­ten­tion spans.

Game MachS­torm Man­u­fac­turer Namco Bandai

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