I love air combat games, and it's really impressive how good the graphics have gotten. Ace Combat 5 takes place in a fictional world, with real life planes. Of course, there are very clear similarities here - your team has all English names and phrases, while your enemy seems to have very Soviet sounding names. Their abbreviated names is the "Yukes".
You're part of the 108th Squadron and you, with your wingmen, fly around in a variety of situations. You help defend a civilian airport against attack, having to shoot down the tanks and planes before the airport falls. You fly over a snow-filled arctic ocean, taking out submarines. It keeps you on your toes.
I find it a bit amusing that all of the enemies here speak English - and none use coded channels. You can hear all of your enemies' conversations and radio chatter while you fly around. So much for military planning ...
The graphics are really quite impressive. You see every tilt of your plane's flaps, the firing of your afterburners. The water, mountains, ice floes, cities all have an impressive level of detail, including shadows and lighting from the sun. The HUD helps to organize your attacks - at times it can seem a bit excessive, getting in the way of what you're trying to see, but you get used to it.
The cut scenes actually move the plot forward and have interesting insights into what is going on.
The joystick controls might be good or bad for you depending on your playing style. I know some people who love them - but others who are used to their regular controller might find it hard to switch and get used to a new control system.
The patch that comes with the set is rather large - it's a full back sized patch and not a shoulder or front-pocket size. It's about a full foot high. It has the dog logo on a blue field, with gold accents.
Well recommended for fighting plane fans!
Buy Ace Combat 5 from Amazon.com