Aces High III VR

I understand that Aces High has been around the PC world for over 20 years. But… For me, (a 40 yr console player) its newly discovered.I’ve been a console player since 1974 when I got Pong for my birthday. Of 40 yrs gaming, over 25 has been flight… any and all, especially the Ace Combat Series where I gained a bit of fame as 3rd globally.
In 2017 I got an Oculus Rift and never looked back… As expected I immediately downloaded every flight sim I could find. I own and have played all the sims you have here and although DCS has incredible realism, graphics ect… playing in VR is exhausting and frustrating not to mention very taxing on my gtx980. IL2 is also an old favorite of mine from the console days but I wont play anymore because the VR UX and UI are so horrible.
Then I found Aces High III from Hitech Creations… since then I havent played any other… Furthermore I can’t believe there are not any reviews, guides or even any reference to Aces High anywhere on your forum. Yes, I understand that Aces High’s graphics are not equal to DCS, But I have learned it’s by design so it can run fast on any machine and for me, in VR, the graphics are awesome engough for me to spend near 4 to 8 hours daily playing it.
Another great point is that it takes literally 43 seconds from when I laaunch the game to in the air dogfighting. In VR, the mapping and use of touch controllers for flight is unmatched. Not a single flight game is even close. In fact, it is so good that I don’t even use my HOTAS anymore.

Now, I just kick back in my lazyboy, feet up while I’m downing 190’s and Yaks in my BF110G2.
For me, when it comes to dogfighting in VR, Aces High is the absolute champion. My question to any and all who have read this. Why don’t you play Aces High?

Thank You,
Lt. Col SAAM I AM

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OK, I’ll bite.

Frankly? The main reason is the cost for what you get. In general, I’m against subscription-based games unless there’s a really good reason and I just don’t see it with AH3.

There are competitors that are far superior in nearly every aspect, perhaps with the exception of server player capacity and overall vehicle variety.

To be clear, I enjoyed the time I spent in Aces High and I have a lot of good things to say about it. But, that was almost 20 years ago. From what I can tell, they’re still charging the same subscription fee for a game which seemingly hasn’t changed or evolved very much. While it was novel and cool in 2002, it has not held up well with age.

So, until something changes I’ll continue not playing it and spend my money elsewhere. $180 per year for a game that barely looks any different from what it was 20 years ago? No thanks.

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Hey Boomerang, thanks for the honest reply. I appreciate it very much and would like to add some counter points and questions. My goal is to best understand why more people dont play it like “back in the day”… Again, for me, Aces High is still new and fresh so I can really get it for a lot of old school players that just got sick of it.
Counterpoint 1.) The cost of subscription…
This seems to be the biggest complaint I hear but it really makes no sense at all to me as the $14.95 per month I pay to play AH complete with all vehicles and planes is far far less expensive than playing the competitors like DCS and IL2 which charge anywhere from 29.99 to 79.99 for just a single plane. The cumulative expenses for a year in DCS and IL2is roughly 300% more expensive than playing AH. Just look at the dlc price list below to fully grasp the cost of dlc.
You say there are competitors with FAR superiorin every aspect… Please educate me and tell me who these competitors are so I may play them. What specific aspects of these other games are far superior? Now, I am not a real life pilot but many who play AH today are and when it comes to flight modeling, these real life pilots swear by it that Aces High flight modeling is about as close to real life as it gets but maybe you were not rferring to the flight model…
Question good sir… Seemingly hasn’t changed in 20 years… To this I can not comment as I didnt know it even existed 20yrs ago, I was too busy on a console playing Ace Combat. :slight_smile: My question is this, Do you happen to own a n Oculus Rift or HTC for VR? As VR was not a thing 20 yrs ago AND Aces High has full VR support, I would have to say that that single thing alone is a significant change to Aces High from 20yrs ago. If you do play VR, I would suggest at least trying AH again in VR and try it withouit your HOTAS… Try it with the touch controllers.
Anyway, I’m actually looking for an alternative to AH so I look forward to seeing that list of competitors that are far superior…
a personal note on VR for those who dont yet have it… So, I’m 50yrs old, a true first gen video gamer. I grew up and witnessed first hnd the inventions of consoles. I have owned them all and for 43 yrs I have literally spent 4 to 6 hours a day playing games. I feel that much experience lends to my credbility in evaluating games, gameplay and user experience from the perspective of a player. Like all of you in this forum, I am a die hard flight sim, air combat sim fanatic. If you dont have VR or haven’t played your favorite dogfighting game in VR yet, don’t wait another day. Get on craigslist and pick up an Oculus Rift (about $150 on CL full setup). Do not cheat yourself out of this experience any longer. I’m sure many of you have watched vr gameplay on youtube to see what its like. That is a misrepresentation because eventhough its VR gameplay, you are still seeing it on a 2d screen. The true difference is this simply. Maybe you play on a 4k curved widescreen display and it truly looks awesome, but its still just a view, a view of a cockpit on a screen whereas in VR you are not looking at a cockpit, you are literally INSIDE the cockpit. As for experiences that boggle the mind here is a true story… I was once landing a Typhoon. I came in hot, touching down at about 190mph. It took the entire runway to stop and when I finally came to a complete stop, the momentum threw me out of my chair and i faceplanted the carpet in the living room. My brain was tricked and didnt know I was in a simulation. If you dont have VR and you love flight games, you are only cheating yourself.GET VR>> you will thank me.

God Bless and thanks again for sharing boomerang, I really appreciate it.

Hi @SAAMIAM and welcome to Mudspike! :mudspike:

Have you tried the ”new” IL-2 Great Battles series?
It is mostly considered one of the best VR implementations in a Flightsim, so I’m surprised to see your comment about it.

I honestly didn’t know AH was still a thing, nor that it had VR support.

Mostly because I need a realism oriented group of players to enjoy online gaming and that means synching my schedule with a bunch of other people, and that’s generally impossible, these days.

You are Correct, but they charge that once. Not monthly. Once it’s paid you own it. Plus you are not obligated or required to buy any plane, terrain or campaign you don’t actually want. I own 75٪ of available modules and pretty much have everything I want.

It comes down to personal opinion. If you like AH3 then that’s cool but in my sims, from take off to 43 seconds later being in a dogfight does not sound like the most fun thing to me. Mission planning, aircraft operation and procedures are far more important to me than “air quake” if I want to scratch that particular itch I use War thunder. Which is totally free and has tanks, choppers and early and late model aircraft.

I also cannot personally stand the development teams (his) attitude. I’ve been on the forums watching him berate his customers and seen the many MANY screenshots of people being silenced on the forums. He doesn’t want to innovate (which is totally fine) but still wants to charge more than MSFS or Xplane for a 20 year old product.

If I want to fly a 20 year old product and have a much more interesting and engaging time…

B.M.S
Those guys give their everything to that sim and its totally, completely and utterly. Free.
Dynamic campaign, aircraft flight model and weapons modelling that is 2nd to only DCS, regular, worthwhile and completely functioning updates and future roadmap and no subscription.

I don’t knock you for enjoying AH3. But there are far far easier and more fun ways to spend your money. I suggest VTOL VR.

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Hey Troll, Thanks for the warm welcome!!
The only [email protected] I have right now is Battle of Stalingrad and I’m with you, the VR is terrible and can’t even compare to the VR in Aces High, which is, in my opinion the hands down best VR in a flight game. If you ever want to give it a shot, I will hook up with you. Im retired now and am available whenever. Again, I highly reccomend using the touch controllers for flight in leiu of the HOTAS. I swear the brain forgets you are holding a controller and not the flight stick.

Hi Victork, What I meant by that was the game load time is near zero so when I click the game icon on my desktop and launch Aces High, I am online and in the air in less than a min. With DCS and IL2 it takes from 5 to 10 minutes for the game to load and navigate before you even start… :slight_smile:

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I agree with you 100%, Dale is a complete douchebag. Fact is he banned me from those forums permanantly. for speaking the truth he didnt want to hear. search his forums for saamiam and you can see.

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What is BMS?? Does it have VR support? Actually, the sole reason I love AH is the VR implementation, smooth gameplay and the best in class touch controller support for flying an aircraft. Don’t get me wrong, I love my HOTAS, but for some reason, in AH when I reach down and grab that stick in my 51D or Spit14, I literally forget im playing a game… I do own VTOL and it… ok i guess. DCS is a definate no go for me because the VR is just wretched. I have over 40hrs on DCS and still haven’t spent a single minute in the air. very frustrating.

Not what I said though. Not what I was trying to say, at least. :slight_smile: I think VR in IL-2 is great! Good performance and really great immersion.

yeah… I saw that… sorry… Maybe we could hook up sometime in IL2 and you can help me with HOTAS profiling for VR and help me with some things in VR that makes the experience so horrible for me.

Oh I see, my mistake I thought you meant time from start up to fight lol. Well that is a benefit of an older game isn’t it. Cant argue with that point.

BMS is an acronym for Benchmark Sims. A group of enthusiastic people have been heavily modifying the Falcon 4 engine for a good few years through various iterations and have created one of the best combat flight sims in existence. It is truly something spectacular especially if you had the god awful mess that was F4 on release and see the love and hard work lavished upon it by a group of unpaid guys doing for the shear love. Its beautiful.
VR is coming, not sure as to when but its on the horizon. I am a proper DCS groupie and ill be dropping it for a while when VR comes out just to experience the dynamic campaign.

Welcome to Mudspike by the way :grin:

Welcome to Mudspike SAAMiAM. I got into AH about the same time that the original IL2 was released. I’ll admit that at the that the AH community and events were really well developed, but that developed somewhat with time for the IL2 series. Perhaps not to the extent that AH has, but for the core IL2 player, the graphic, environmental, audible, and perhaps more importantly, the single player experience outweighs the desire for community events. This is a difference between players. One weighs the community experience most importantly, while the other is more interested in the look and feel of the product, especially in single player. The latter places a higher value on the finished product than the multiplayer experience.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t find outstanding multiplayer experiences in the current IL2 product. Check out this video for an example of how you can have it all.

Looking at the AH3 product, I’m sure that these guys are having fun, but the views in and out of the cockpit are quite inferior, IMO.

And FYI, the VR experience in IL2 Great Battles is considered one of the best in flight simulations.

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I am aware that is what is percieved, however, for me, Aces High VR blows IL2 away. Not in terms of graphics. In that category IL2 has em beat. What makes Aces High VRn so much better is the user interface, the integration of Touch Controller as well as the speed which the game loads. It’s all very comfortable and smooth in AH. In IL2, the button mapping is all screwy and they dont even support the native touch controller…If Aces High did not have VR, I would not play it. For Single Player action I play IL2, Project Wingman, Ace Combat. Personally I like Multiplayer as it is more challenging and I just love blowing people up… :slight_smile: I’de be happy to spend more time in IL2 should any of you want to help me get the settings and profiling set up and smooth…

Here is a snippet of me blowing the turret off of a T34 and flying under said turret as it seperates from said tank… :wink:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GaPIzqRnHPwRMnZW6d7nHIrZ9A-oif9_/view?usp=sharing

Can’t argue with you there, but I never use those in a flight sim, preferring that most critical part of interface feedback to be mechanically connected rather than virtual. However, there are some Mudspikers here whom are in your camp. In fact, @smokinhole wrote an article in the very subject.

I’m more in the “you can have my flight controls when you pry them from my cold dead hands” affiliation. And at my age, my wife probably has a clear image of that in her mind :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:.

Anyway, as they say “It’s your journey.” We have chosen different paths, and I’m as satisfied with mine as you are yours. Enjoy!

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Not the case at all, I’ve been playing DCS for right around ten years. Looking at my purchase history, I’ve averaged one or two purchases and roughly $73 spent per year. Less than half of what a year’s subscription to AH costs and it’s aircraft that have much higher complexity of systems modeling, avionics, and flight model - which is something that is important to me.

Also, as @Victork2 mentions, at the end of the day it’s a product that I own. I won’t lose access to it if I forget to update my credit card on my AH account when the card expires.

I honestly can’t say much about the flight model, I’d be guessing based off my experience from nearly twenty years ago and that wouldn’t be fair. But as far as graphics, systems modeling, single player content, and historical content (IE not fighting over fictional islands), DCS and IL2 are absolutely superior.

I do, but admittedly I don’t use it as much as I should. I have games with fantastic VR experiences (DCS, Elite Dangerous, etc) but the wife, baby, and a busy house keep me from being able to escape into the VR headset all that much.

Again, nothing wrong with liking AH3! But it does come down to personal preference as far as what you desire in your experience. For me, I really enjoy learning the nuances of a complex aircraft and the sense of progression that comes with mastering it, and I think a lot of other users on here share that mindset.

Sure, it sucks when I have to bail out after takeoff because I didn’t have a fuel pump switch in the right position, but to go from not knowing anything about an aircraft to being able to effectively work all its systems and put bombs on target is very satisfying. That alone would probably keep me away from getting back into AH. I’d rather learn one very detailed aircraft than have access to a very large collection of aircraft with more simplistic modeling.

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@SAAMIAM welcome.

I have no particular exp with AH, played mostly WB back then. From what I heard/read AH has better battlefield supply simulation comparing to WB for example.

I always understood attractivity of such flight sim titles - they are Massive Multiplayer Online and not limited to e.g. 32vs32 maps like War Thunder or 100 players dedicated servers like IL2.

Nowadays these MMO titles have to face much larger flight sim market. So even the MMO part of it is not that massive anymore (correct me if I am wrong).

People have many more options to choose from in regards to graphics, flight sim mechanics and oc payment model.
I also decided for better graphics, less populated dedicated servers and payment model which is flexible and dont force me to pay even if I dont play. My go to flight sim from WWII is IL2 BOX.

Regarding the MMO payment model. I always praised WWII Online for trying something new with the subscription model.

I have fond memories of playing Aces High and Fighter Ace as a kid. I think I even played a two-week free trial of Aces High II when it launched, but didn’t have the free time to justify paying a subscription by then. I have a lot of nostalgia for those games, and they were truly awesome at the time, playing on a Pentium II machine with Windows 98 over a 56K modem or ISDN connection. Being able to actually fight in a large scale battle was really awesome, and the huge array of planes and ground vehicles was staggering.

I look back and remember how amazing it was, I think because it was the first time I’d seen anything like that. Nostalgia is a powerful thing; thanks for bringing back fond memories of a teenage boy sneaking down to the den where the family computer was and starting to download Aces High, hoping it would finish overnight before my Dad saw it and asked what I was tying up the phone line for!
I think I got a mini-CD (remember those? Haha, now I don’t even have a disk drive in any PC in my entire house!) with Aces High on it one year at Oshkosh (1998?) and a free trial period. I couldn’t wait to get home from the camping trip at the airshow to install it. I think I managed to snag three of them over the course of the airventure… :rofl:

Now, DCS (and IL2 when I get an occasional WWII urge) fulfill this role for me, especially because I can pick them up and put them down for weeks (or sometimes months, depending on how life goes) at a time without feeling guilty for paying a monthly fee.

I’ll tell you what I wish had VR support, and that’s IL2: Cliffs of Dover. The level of systems modeling, clickable cockpit and damage modeling (both visual and physics) were head and shoulders above IL2:BoX, IMHO. But once I went VR, it was impossible to go back.

Well said, I agree completely.

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Amen. I’ve been waiting for this (and Falcon 4) since I first put a VR headset on.

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So, I come back a day later and find all these comments… I got as far as this quote and had to stop and say…
Thank You Boomerang, Very excellently stated sir. I believe that sense you describe is why we all spend so much of our time immersed. Especially me. Honestly, I’ve tried DCS 3 times and never got my engine started. and IL2 getting there. One thing I will say though about touch controller flying,and this is just my own experience… I too used to sleep with my Thrustmaster… Had the full DIY cockpit so switching to touch controllers never crossed my mind. Then my stick went out and was forced to use touch. After about 2 months of using the touch controllers I noticed that I could swear I was holding the actual flight stick with natural feedback and everything. I haven’t used my HOTAS since. Now when I put on the headset my brain switches and its all near real. Try touch flying for 1 month straight and you’ll know.

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