While other companies wrestle with Web 2.0, moral dilemmas and the DRM mushroom cloud, Namco Bandai still sits around painting planes with anime characters and charging a couple of quid for them. It's a living. And here's more of it thanks to several new plane skins and a miscellaneous bolt-on for Ace Combat 6.
Released on Xbox Live yesterday (we can't see any reference to this on Major Nelson but we'll take distributor Atari's word for it), the update is headlined by "Ace of Aces Mission 03" for 350 Microsoft Points (GBP 2.98 / EUR 4.20), about which Namco says: "Just like the mode included in the game, Ace of Aces is a very hard mode."
Then there's the Dark Shining Set (300 MS Points - GBP 2.55 / EUR 3.60), which includes a golden Rafale M and a black F-2A along with a "modified sky-painting aircraft for shows and exhibitions" that's been equipped with "collared smoke missiles", with the payload "maximised for show purposes".
Otherwise it's all individual plane refits: a Distant Thunder A-10A (200 MSP - GBP 1.70 / EUR 2.40) that has a lighter body and increased weapons payload; a Typhoon remade to the Ace Combat 3 spec (200 MSP - GBP 1.70 / EUR 2.40), which valued speed and durability over turning response; a Gault Su-47 (200 MSP - GBP 1.70 / EUR 2.40) with improved turning performance in reduced-speed zones albeit with less thrust; and a Wardog Emblem F-14D designed for emergency interception. That one's free.
Last but not least, there's another pair of planes based on Idolm@ster - a Japanese-only Namco Bandai series - called The Idolmaster Azusa (an F-14D refit described thus: "She's got lots of potential, but she doesn't like to be rushed. Just let her go at her own pace as she takes you on a smooth ride to victory!") and The Idolmaster Ritsuko (an F/A-18F: "She tires easily, so use her precise movement to take out the enemy as quickly as possible! You've got the brains, she's got the moves - let's get lots of enemies!") Both of those go for 400 MS Points (GBP 3.40 / EUR 4.80).
For more on Ace Combat 6, check out our review.