Ace Online, also known as AirRivals, is a fast-paced 3D dog fighting sci-fi MMO shooter that plays a bit like Starfox. Players take command of their own starfighters called "gears" and battle others in large-scale PvP battles. The game was originally called Space Cowboys Online years ago, but is now known as Ace Online.
|Publisher: Suba Games
PvP: Duels / Faction Wars
Release Date: May 26, 2006 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Unique dog fighting gameplay. +Large scale PvP battles. +Good customization.
Cons: -Early game feels repetitive/easy. -Lackluster translations.
Ace Online Overview
Ace Online is a sci-fi action MMO developed by MasangSoft and published by Subagames. It is heavily PvP oriented, with two nations duking it out in Starfox-style battles. Players can join in on a variety of game modes, including conquering territories, defending motherships, and fighting in the arena. If you love massive PvP and sci-fi dog fights, Ace Online is the game for you. The game used to be called Space Cowboys Online when it first launched back in 2006. The NA version is available through Suba Games titled as Ace Online, while the EU version is available through GameForge titled as AirRivals.
Ace Online Key Features:
- Large-Scale PvP – wage war against the enemy nation in massive PvP battles, shooting your opponents out of the air in unique airships called "gears."
- Customize Your Ride – equip your ship with awesome loadouts and even invest skill points to increase attributes, such as agility, fuel, etc.
- Sci-Fi Anyone? – fans of the sci-fi genre will appreciate the futuristic anime atmosphere of Ace Online.
- Strong Community – a loyal playerbase forms the foundation of the game, bolstering the impact of PvP battles as players fight in parties and guilds.
- Unique Dog Fighting Gameplay – reminiscent of games like Starfox 64, experience dog fighting once again in Ace Online.
Ace Online Screenshots
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Ace Online Featured Video
There are four ships, or gears, to choose from in Ace Online. You have:
- A-GEAR – the A-GEAR is a mobile AA platform, which performs best when it’s close to the surface of the planet.
- B-GEAR – B-GEAR is a powerful damage dealing gear, that has a very balanced stat distribution, making it the most customizable.
- I-GEAR – the I-GEAR relies on evasion and damage, making it a formidable gear that will keep most opponents on their toes.
- M-GEAR – the M-GEAR can be compared to a flying fortress. What it lacks in speed and damage, it more than makes up for in defense. It also gain the ability to repair friendly units at higher levels.
Ace Online Review
By Toan Layne
Ace Online is a PvP-oriented 3D sci-fi MMO shooter developed by MasangSoft and owned by YD Online Corp. It is published by YD Online Corp in Korea, GameForge4D in Europe, Suba Games in North America, Axeso5 in Latin America, Winner Online in Thailand, VTC Online in Vietnam, Yetime in China, Gamon in Taiwan, Arario Corp in Japan, Innova Inc. in Russia, and OhLaLa Interactive in South East Asia.
Ace Online was originally titled Space Cowboy Online in North America. It was released on May 26, 2006 internationally. The European version of the game is known as AirRivals, and it was originally known as Flysis in Europe. Ace Online has been around in one form or another since 2006, meaning it's been in service on and off for over nine years. The game has enjoyed quite a few major updates, called Episodes, along the way. Despite its age, Ace Online has managed to survive all these years.
Do a Barrel Roll!
Ace Online is set in a sci-fi anime universe where the Bygeniou City United and the Arlington National Influence duke it out. The BCU and ANI represent the forces of chaos and order so to speak, with the BCU representing the largest Decan (human) nation, and the ANI representing the rebel forces seeking independence from the BCU's tyrannical rule. Players control spaceships known as gears, playing through missions for upgrades, experience, and equipment. There are four gears available: A-Gear, B-Gear, I-Gear, and M-Gear, each with different strengths and weaknesses.
Upon login, players are asked to choose one of the two nations and are then asked if they want to go through the tutorial. Even though it comes strongly recommended by the game, it is by no means a necessity. The controls are connected to the mouse. The gear follows the mouse cursor, with the left mouse button firing the primary weapon and the right mouse button firing the advanced weapon. A and D are used to strafe, with double taps on these buttons initiating barrel rolls. The Spacebar is used for boosting and Shift is used to switch targets.
Ace Online has a ‘hub’ where players walk outside their ships to receive missions and purchase consumables (ammo, health, fuel, etc.) and items from the item shop. The game also has formations (parties) and brigades (guilds). Missions award equipment, weapons, and consumables, such as temporary boosts to exp and stat rerolls. Ships can be customized using an inventory system that is not very different from what you’d find in a regular MMORPG. In fact, you’d find a lot of the infrastructure of Ace Online is similar to that of an MMORPG, including the leveling and skill system. Upon leveling, players can spend points in the main attributes of their gear, improving damage, agility, fuel, shields, and health. Skills are assigned to the number keys and they can be purchased from the skill shop. They can be either active abilities or time-limited buffs.
PvP is the bread and butter of Ace Online, and I have to say it’s something to behold. If 100v100 fights sound appealing to you, you wouldn’t want to miss out on Ace Online. The PvP system in Ace Online is called Nation Wars, and within this system there are Raids, Skirmishes, Mothership Wars, Strategic Point Wars, arena battles, and duels.
Raids are battles that take place on one of the nations’ zones. Raids are conducted in order to take over the opposing nations airspace, and thus gaining strategic and economic advantages. For example, a boss might spawn in a single area, making that area an important target for any faction that wants access to the loot that boss can drop. Taking over an area also means that the occupying nation spawns NPCs which can help in mothership battles.
While Raids are organized, Skirmishes are more akin to world PvP. When a player enters the opposing nation’s territory, an alert is sent out to the nation leader, who can then send players to respond to the situation. The intruder can also request reinforcements from his own faction, which can lead to a chaotic battle between the two nations.
Mothership Battles take place every week. The nation leader, which is a player elected each month, chooses when the mothership spawns. Each mothership is spawned deep behind enemy lines and players have to either defend or destroy the mothership. Destroying the mothership grants a 5% buff to the recovery rate of shields, energy and skill points, and allows access to two exclusive areas. Defending the mothership, which stays spawned for two hours, denies the opposing nation these bonuses.
Outpost Wars take place on three maps. The brigade that does the most damage on each map, during the first Outpost War of the month, gets to take over the outpost. The leader of the winning brigade gains access to leader chat and war funds. Once an outpost is taken over, the losing nation has a chance to take it back. The players of the nation that end up controlling the outpost at the end of the event receive 300 War Points and an Ordinance Box, filled with useful items. The players of the losing nation still receive 100 War Points. War Points are the PvP currency, which allows players to buy unique items, such as stronger equipment and a variety of bonuses. There is also a Personal Contribution reward, which is awarded to every player participating in the Outpost War based on players’ performances. The Personal Contribution awards in-game currency.
Strategic Point Wars are also timed events. Strategic Points can spawn anywhere in the world at random for one hour. When a Strategic Point is spawned, players from both nations are alerted. The purpose of a Strategic Point War is to either defend or destroy the Strategic Point, depending on which nation’s turf it spawned upon. The winners receive 300 War Points and the losers receive 100 War Points. Strategic Point Wars also have a Personal Contribution reward.
Arenas and Duels are a more classic form of PvP. In Arenas, players face off against other players in 1v1 or team v. team scenarios (up to 24v24). Arenas run a Deathmatch type of scenario, in which the goal is to reduce the opposing team’s tickets to zero. War Points are awarded for fighting in the arena. Duels are very similar to the arena, but there are no rewards and they serve the purpose of sparring. Duels can be either 1v1, Formation v. Formation, or Brigade v. Brigade.
The item shop in Ace Online features equipment, consumables, boosts, and aesthetic items. There is also a membership system in the game, which comes with significant benefits such as double War Point rewards from PvP events. There is also a slot machine system, which allows players to gamble for cash shop items. Some players have complained that the cash shop is P2W – however, there is not enough information online, and I have not played the game long enough to be able to confirm this. It does seem a little imprudent of the developers to create a cash shop system which causes imbalance in a mostly PvP game. It’s probably the case that the cash shop offers shortcuts to players looking to get ahead.
Final Verdict – Great
Ace Online is a great game. I personally love PvP, like League of Legends and Bloodline Champions. But the PvP in Ace Online is on a different level. If you are a fan of PvP, huge battles, and a game that has an intense focus on the community, Ace Online is something worth checking out. If you love Starfox 64, if you love sci-fi and anime, Ace Online is for you. It has tactics and gameplay tricks that you need to learn. It has a need for coordination and team play. It has server-wide benefits for the best players and brigades. Like I said, it’s a great game. However, it does have poor graphics and weak end-game PvE, which can be a turnoff for some players. The playerbase isn't what it used to be either, but the game is still well worth checking out.
Ace Online Videos
Ace Online Links
Ace Online System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 98 / ME / XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Pentium 3 1 GHz or better
Video Card: Any 32 MB DirectX compatible GPU
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
Operating System: Windows 98 / ME / XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Pentium 4 1.8 GHz
Video Card: Any 64 MB DirectX compatible GPU
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
Ace Online launched back in 2006, so practically any modern computer should be able to run the game smoothly. The system requirements listed here are the official requirements, but modern computers with more bulky operation systems like Windows Vista, 7, and 8 require more powerful CPUs and additional RAM than listed above. The system requirements for the both Air Rivals and Ace Online, since they're the same game.
Ace Online Music & Soundtrack
Ace Online Additional Information
Closed Beta Date: August 18, 2008 (Suba Games)
Open Beta Date: August 29, 2008 (Suba Games)
South Korea: 2005 (MasangSoft)
Japan: 2009 (Arario)
Vietnam: 2006 (Published as Phi Doi by VTCGame)
Europe: 2010 (GameForge)
South America: 2011 (Axeso5)
China: 2007 (Published as Ace Online or Top Gun by YeTime)
Several localized versions of Ace Online have shut down. The versions available through Suba Games and GameForge should be the most reliable.
Development History / Background:
Ace Online was developed South Korean game studio Masangsoft. Development for Ace Online began back in 2004, when Masangsoft Inc was first founded. Ace Online has been remarkably successful for its developer, as the game has been licensed and commercially serviced in 18 different languages. Ace Online was the first major project for MasangSoft and continues to be its most recognizable game. Mgame in South Korea agreed to publish the game back in early 2004, but they ended service for the game and the developer now self-publishes the title themselves. Ace Online first launched in English through gPotato (Gala-net) as Space Cowboys Online in May 2006, but shut down on December 26, 2007. MasangSoft decided to self-publish the game globally with no IP restrictions as Ace Online International, but they gave up and shut the game down within a year after launch. The game is now available in Europe through GameForge and North America through Suba Games.