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Heroes of the Pacific combines great design and implementation of air to ground attack mechanisms with easy to learn gameplay elements that won't have the pilots writing home, but it is still a fun, enjoyable game that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The single player campaign is long and provides a variety of entertainment. It's well written with decently composed visual and audible textures that fill the senses at the appropriate moments.
Heroes of the Pacific has 36 actual WWII aircraft for you to fly, including fighters, torpedo bombers, and dive bombers, all of which required me to learn a slightly different style of operation, which was nice and much more realistic. However, this game isn't even close to being a real flight simulator. Still, the programmers made it easy to learn to fly each plane, and added visual and audible cues to help you remember things and to tell you when an action is required.
Image Source: gamefaqs.com
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Heroes of the Pacific doesn't provide a new experience for flight simulators, just the same basic experience and combat elements, although they did a decent job on making the gameplay fluid. If you were hoping for a realistic flight simulator, then this game isn't what you were lokking for. This game was never meant to be that, but they did a good job making the combat and flight easy to learn, making it very entertaining to play, if not realistic.
The online option for Heroes of the Pacific is the worst part of the experience. Dull and lackluster, it lacked any entertainment value of any kind. They would have been better off not including what little online content they did, as it only makes the gamer wish for a fun and enjoyable online experience.
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Heroes of the Pacific contains solid, beautifully conceived and rendered scenes of blue skies and seas, wonderful island vistas, detailed and textured characters, and historically accurate vehicles and planes. The outstanding environment presentation of every scene is an experience of its own, the smoke makes you want to choke when you fly through it, the bullets seem real, and the game seems to leap off the screen at you while playing.
Keep the game graphics in the middle of the road as far as game resolution goes, on the highest setting the details became a little less attractive and the presentation of the game suffered, but the game performance on the highest graphics depends on the computer that the game is being played on.
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Sound Effects and Soundtrack
A solid soundtrack accompanies the impressive presentation of Heroes of the Pacific. Well coordinated to be appropriately energetic when engaging in combat and slow during the quiet moments, the songs were enjoyable and added to the entertainment level of the experience.
The voice acting in the scenes is outstanding, the dialogue based on the slang and talking style of that period, and puts you in the moment, making you feel like you're back in history. The language used appeared to be historically and ethically correct, with a large amount of air-chatter between planes.
The sounds of anti-aircraft fire, cannon, artillery and ordinance had me ducking at several moments, putting me in the moment and for a few seconds immersing me in the world of a WWII pilot.
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You play William Crowe, a new navy flyboy who, along with his loving brother, signs up to serve his country in her time of need. They find themselves in Pearl Harbor on December 07, 1941, just in time for the Japanese to arrive bearing explosive gifts. In the beginning of the battle, you will find yourself in the air, and if you're successful, you will battle your way through and survive the battle. Your brother isn't quite as lucky, as he is killed when his ship is sunk by Japanese Zeros. Later on, you'll meet the same Zero squadron responsible for sinking your brother's ship and you can avenge his sacrifice.
The game progresses through the historical battles of Midway, Coral Sea, Wake Island, Iwo Jima, and Guadalcanal; in fact you will play an important part in many important historical engagements of WWII, and emerge a Hero of the Pacific. Just as thousands of normal American men heeded the call to arms and eventually defeated the Japanese in these battles, so will you in this entertaining WWII simulator.
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The game gives you two options to pick from before the beginning of each level; the Professional Controls or Arcade Controls. Professional Controls are harder to learn and use, but are more precise, allowing you to control of the movement of your plane during flight and battle with greater precision. The Arcade Controls are simpler in design and implementation, but also less responsive and precise in action.
The variety in planes, each requiring you to fly a little differently, gives you unlimited options for flying fun when combined with the huge campaign and 4 difficulty levels. The easy setting is the default setting, but took me a day of playing to complete, and the amount of hours to complete all four difficulty levels is immense.
A two button mouse and mousepad work almost as well as a game pad with two sticks, which worked like a dream, enhancing the experience and making the flying a lot easier to learn and use during game play.
If you want to enter action immediately you can give the Instant Action mode a try, instead of the lengthy campaign, and jump into battle beside Heroes of the Pacific as they joust with Japanese knights of the air.
Heroes of the Pacific also has a number of historically accurate missions that you can unlock once you're a certified Hero of the Pacific.
The 26 missions included with the campaign show good variety, with several mission types, including patrol duty, escort duty, bombing runs, and combat in the air, on the sea, and over land.
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Heroes of the Pacific is a pretty good game, with great presentation and a marginal story that obviously wasn't meant to be the main entertainment for the game. Heroes of the Pacific feels more like an Arcade flight simulator, even when using the Professional Control scheme, but is still solid fun, enjoyable and full of hours of on the edge of your seat entertainment.
Not perfect, certainly not an accurate flight simulator, but overall still a game that will entertain you, challenge you on the higher difficulty levels, and leave you with a good feeling.