Ever feel like defending a third-world country that's being torn apart from within? Hey, who doesn't? Air Force Delta puts you in the role of a mercenary pilot and commands you to do just that. During the course of your battles you'll do everything from assault convoys of battleships to escort civilian transports away from the danger zone.
Air Force Delta is eerily reminiscent of Ace Combat 2. So much so, in fact, that you could easily call AFD an Ace Combat clone. You'll watch briefings play out with a large arrow depicting your course, and earn money to purchase all sorts of different real-life planes, each with its own pluses and minuses. Heck, even the briefing font seems as though it were taken directly from an Ace Combat game.
That's not to say that Air Force Delta is a bad game. I, for one, welcome the concept of an Ace Combat game on the Dreamcast, and since Namco's commitment to Sega's system seems temporary at best, AFD is the next best thing. Still, the game probably could be a bit better.
The graphics, while nice and sharp, still look a bit bland at times. The buildings and other ground-based graphics look much better than the blocky, distorted textures found in Aero Wings, but the horizon is quite close. Fogging masks what would otherwise be some fairly annoying pop-up.
The game controls pretty well in both the novice and expert settings, but the button configuration can be a bit awkward. Since your speed setting automatically returns to the default speed when you let off the speed up or speed down buttons, you're forced always to keep an eye on your speed. Also, setting the speed buttons to the analog triggers (the default in novice control mode), you aren't given any finer control over your speed. Even lightly hitting the trigger will move you up to 140 percent thrust or down to 30 percent.
The wide array of missions keeps the game interesting, and the briefings manage to move the story (what little there is of it) along without bogging the game down. In fact, the whole game has a real stripped-down feel to it. Just read the briefing, buy a plane or two, and start shooting. And sometimes, that's all you really need. If you're looking for an epic storyline in your air combat games, then look to Ace Combat 3. But if you're more interested in pulling some Tom Cruise-like maneuvers without any Kelly McGillis-style subplot, Air Force Delta will satisfy.