Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters

Nothing to offer.

By Daavpuke, Posted 14 Apr 2012

It took a long while for Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters, abbreviated as JASF, to release on both PC and consoles and one could wonder where that time went to. However, the inevitable result of this is an arcade flight title that feels horribly dated, frustrating and boring.

JASF starts its campaign in a non-descript land far away and quickly devolves into a nonsensical plot about some civil war. Admirable as the attempt at pointing out Western to Eastern tensions is, it never takes off beyond the initial snip and then drones on without real motive. The missions follow the same path, interlaced with Scooby Doo mystery banter. It’s not as fun as it sounds. In fact, it lands more on the term ‘cookie cutter’ than anything else. Smear this across its similar bland, generic visuals and ever-recurring map points and the game’s presentation won’t leave much incentive to work with. JASF better have some solid gameplay underneath those monochrome landscapes and dreary dialogues.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as rarely has it been this unexciting to fly fighter jets. Mission objectives involve casually guiding along checkpoints, taking out arbitrary dots that only become visible at nose length or performing some truly disgusting escort missions. The worst of all is that this comes paired with a total lack of balance. In particular, the second mission has a probability of success so low due to all factors running against it; it’s hard to believe any playtesting occurred at all. Either that or the developers spent so much time testing it in a closed circle that they lost all objectivity about the skill required.

Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters - NoobFeed Review

It’s not that the game makes tremendous errors that make playing impossible, but rather that there is no consistency to be found. Some missions have so much as 20 opponents grouped against one plane and that several times. Bombing is absurd in its awkwardness and enemy missiles rarely connect, which makes launching heat-diverting countermeasures rather pointless. Missions require staying underneath the radar, while at the same time having to bomb the opponent in several places, which would reveal an assault. There are a ton of examples that don’t add up and not even going online for a cooperative mission solves any of these issues; it just makes it slightly more bearable.

Once this is taken into account this constant annoyance is surmountable, but that only reveals how little enjoyment there is behind its flaws. Dogfights or aerial conflict is tedious as there’s never any sense of confrontation. The endless missiles shot at opponents only require a radar signal and jets are only visible when it’s too late. The same goes for ground units for that matter. That reverts JASF to an 80s game of fighting pixels and that barely makes any connection to its plight. To make matters worse, getting a lock on the proper target is equally annoying, as the lock chooses a target at random. It’s a right old mess and not even the heap of differing plane loadouts can save any of that. Though, in its defense, some planes do offer a different gameplay style.

Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters - NoobFeed Review
You could fly like this...if you really wanted to.

As a final nail, some missions or bombing sections also turn the camera around while flying. There is no logical conclusion why flying a plane low to the ground with obstacles in its path should suddenly switch to a camera position that isn’t on the plane itself. If maintaining a position or not crashing wasn’t hard enough, some instances require doing so with controls totally switched around due to the camera’s position.

There is an online component present, though it’s deserted with not much chance of any signs of life. As mentioned, dogfights are extremely dull and therefore pretty much all modes related to it become obsolete. There are several modes present though, for those that want to twirl around with human dots. That leaves 2 slightly better options with the first being cooperative missions. The second is Base Assault, where players need to take down the opponent’s base and then eliminate the remaining jets. It’s not much, but then again nothing in this title really amounts to anything. Just having some mediocre aspects work out is actually this game’s high point.

Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters - NoobFeed Review

Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters is a bad game, even though it doesn’t really fail anywhere. Rather, it’s subpar across the line and has absolutely 0 things that are entertaining, in any sense. Add to that some absolutely horrid design choices that cripple its already bland core. The result is a haphazard game with nothing to offer. It works though, but so does a good dentist appointment.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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  • Truth is I waited this game with huge excitement, remembering myself being quite addicted to ATF some decase plus ago. Pitty...


    Posted Apr 20, 2012

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Deep Silver, Maximum Family Games
Developer(s): Trickstar Games
Genres: Flight
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2011-10-18

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