Airforce Delta is a Konami made arcade-style flight sim for the Sega Dreamcast. This game borrows a bit from the Ace Combat series, such as mission briefings and the ability to purchase real-world planes with points earned in missions. Though, spoiler alert, it’s not as good.
Graphically Airforce Delta is right around what you’d expect for a Dreamcast launch title. It somehow looks both better, and worse, than Ace Combat 3, released in Japan just 2 months earlier. The resolution is better, and the Dreamcast is a more powerful machine pushing more detail, but it lacks the polish of Namco’s franchise.
The action in Airforce Delta is hit or miss. When everything goes right you feel like a badass strafing cruisers in the water or performing a loop to position for an attack on an enemy pilot. Unfortunately, because of the controls, that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.
By default the controls are set to “Novice,” which only allows you to pitch the aircraft and allow a small degree of control over the roll. This can be changed to “expert,” which allows greater control over the pitch, roll, and yaw of your fighter. If you aren’t familiar with terms like roll, pitch, and yaw, this YouTube video provides a pretty simple visual aid.
I recommend switching to expert immediately, since the ability to roll the plane fully allows you to make tighter turns, which is crucial for dogfighting.
I know it seems like I’m harping on the controls, but it gets worse. The Dreamcast’s lone analog stick just isn’t comfortable when you’re yanking it hoping for a tight turn. My thumb slipped constantly, leading to me grasping the edge of the stick— which hurt with extended play and just isn’t fun.
Pricecharting currently has a complete copy for $13. Which, in Dreamcast terms, is almost-free. So, If you’re like me and just consume arcade flight sims, this is one to try. Otherwise, pick up an Ace Combat game.