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LTTP: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - DFM can go F its M with its D

Keikaku

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Jul 28, 2009
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As a long time AC fan (I've played and owned every entry in the series but 2) I've said this before and I'll say it again: I think this is the best AC since 4.

It's the only AC that I've ever managed to get my non-fan friends interested in, it's the only one since 4 that's really made any attempt to bring anything significantly new to the table in terms of actual gameplay (no, I don't think the Knight/Mercenary/Soldier paths in Zero or the Wingman commands in 5 really counts) and it has a godly soundtrack.

I never had any issues with the DFM mode, found it to be easy to understand, decently surprising with the addition of counters and it was a welcome change from the now boring turn-and-burn of previous games. It wasn't perfect by any means but I think it was a good exploration of new ways to approach dogfighting in the series.

The story isn't very engaging but it's in no way worse than the overly sentimental crap that's been pushed on players after AC4.

Links to some of the aforementioned amazing soundtrack:
Rebirth
Inferno
White Devil
Launch
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
Jan 16, 2009
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Yeah it's fucking awful.

You forgot to mention how everything looks brown and desaturated. It's aesthetically ugly and unappealing. I don't understand why this game exists. :| I do understand the need to do something different too, Zero was feeling a bit too much of the same ol' same ol' to be honest, but this is just wrong.

The cut-scenes are also mind-numbingly boring. AC4's story is so fantastic. Why Scamco, why. Redeem your sad ass selves by giving me Ace Combat HD Trilogy, you losers.

The planes themselves look amazing, but the only thing that truly looks good are the special effects.

I think that's why on some level I don't love Zero as much as everyone else seems to, it was amazing definitely but I already felt that 4 and 5 had already done everything zero did.

Finally, I would also like to know where the shit my ACE COMBAT HD TRILOGY IS! I would buy 20. Not even kidding.

Never played any of these games before. I was on the edge about getting this one when it came to Steam. Not hearing any good things.

Do not play this game. Pick ANY OTHER ace combat, emulate the PS2 ones ANYTHING EXCEPT THIS GAME!
 

Rei no Otaku

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Jul 4, 2008
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He always stole the show every mission he was in. The following missions after the incident were absolutely depressing, but that final moment with chopper was hands down one of my favorite moments of last gen. So well executed!
Right after he gets shot down and you just start laying waste to the enemy planes as they scream in fear was so awesome. Never has vengeance felt so good.
 

Alessandro

Member
Jan 19, 2010
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AC0 is the most refined of the bunch: it it's not an arcadey flight sim, it's a darn RPG.


Needless to say I would buy an Ace Combat HD collection in a flash.
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
Jan 16, 2009
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AC0 is the most refined of the bunch: it it's not an arcadey flight sim, it's a darn RPG.


Needless to say I would buy an Ace Combat HD collection in a flash.

I agree that it is definitely the most refined title in the PS2 trilogy, but I think that the three paths wasn't the best mechanic ever introduced. The Ace Squadrons in AC0 were so deliciously top notch though. Each one was an absolute joy to fight and the live action cutscenes took me by surprise and were absolutely fantastic.

I think Pixy is easily one of the coolest characters ever introduced in the Strangereal universe. The only man who has been on par with our playable lead ace. Part of the magic of the older titles vs assault horizon is how ambiguous your character is, almost all the stories are told through some one else point of view which really makes your character feel like he has a very ominous presence. More of a force than a character, that stuff is really cool when executed properly.
 

Evolved1

make sure the pudding isn't too soggy but that just ruins everything
Sep 24, 2006
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Never played any of these games before. I was on the edge about getting this one when it came to Steam. Not hearing any good things.

You might like it. ACH was actually made for people who've never played an Ace Combat game before.

:/
 

SkylineRKR

Member
Jun 22, 2011
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Zero is hands down the best game in the franchise to me. I see it as a perfected AC5 without all the melodrama. And the final battle, need I say more? Its one of the best fucking best boss songs ever.

I also love AC5 though. It has one fact;

Best briefing music in a game

And I love AC3: Electrosphere. It was actually very ambitious as you could defect to other factions etc.
 

Evolved1

make sure the pudding isn't too soggy but that just ruins everything
Sep 24, 2006
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It does look cool. Arcadish. That's what caught my eye. Maybe all the negativity is from those who are fans of the series or sims?

Ace Combat is not a sim. And neither is it an arcade game. It is the perfect balance of both. Imo.

Now, the games have aged. But even so they are leagues better than the putrid shit that is ACH. And yes, it's the fans who are negative, because we know what Ace Combat is, and ACH isn't it.
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
Jan 16, 2009
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It does look cool. Arcadish. That's what caught my eye. Maybe all the negativity is from those who are fans of the series or sims?

Try it if you are really curious, but if you read my OP again you'll notice that the game is fundamentally busted it takes away large portions of control away from you. It is also not a very arcade experience compared to the earlier titles, this is a straight up attempt to de-aracdeify the series and move to a more cinematic approach. In my experience most of the people who are huge fans of ace combat do not play it as a sim because it is definitely not a sim at all.

If you only have a 360, opt in for AC6, it''s cheaper and a lot more fun. If you have a 3DS AC Legacy is a fantastic starting point, if you have a PS2 go for 2,3(ps1 releases),4,5 or 0(ps2). I personally have no experience with the PSP titles but I've heard good things about skies of deception.
 

Keikaku

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Jul 28, 2009
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It does look cool. Arcadish. That's what caught my eye. Maybe all the negativity is from those who are fans of the series or sims?
I'm a fan of the series and I whole-heartedly recommend Assault Horizon. It's much better than the staleness of AC5, 0 or 6. Definitely arcade-ish but then all the ACs were straight up arcade games.
 

Evolved1

make sure the pudding isn't too soggy but that just ruins everything
Sep 24, 2006
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I'm a fan of the series and I whole-heartedly recommend Assault Horizon. It's much better than the staleness of AC5, 0 or 6. Definitely arcade-ish but then all the ACs were straight up arcade games.

Afterburner is an arcade game. Ace Combat is something else.
 

Keikaku

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Afterburner is an arcade game. Ace Combat is something else.
You go into missions with 120+ missiles and anywhere from 10-24 bombs. Killing 30+ planes or 70+ targets in a single mission is completely normal. It takes a ridiculous amount of work to make a plane stall and there is no need to do anything beyond turning and burning to take down enemy planes. It's an arcade game and, while the handling of planes may not be completely arcade-y, it's nowhere close to any sim that I've played.

It may not be as arcade-like as Afterburner, but it's definitely a very arcade-like experience.

EDIT: I forgot to mention the ridiculous "boss battles" and giant, flying fortresses and hugely impractical superweapons.
 

MrSilentGuy

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Feb 19, 2013
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Well, as PC gamer and Xbox 360 owner I played only Ace Combat 6 and Assault Horizon. Comparing only those two I have to say that Assault Horizon was definitely worse than AC 6 and only a bit better than HawX. I really liked AC6 melodramatic story and all mission were a way more interesting than those in AH. In AC6 I had a feeling that I was one of the cogs in giant war machine. In AH I didn’t feel anything except of boredom and anger. I don't understand how they manage to make everything worse. Our wingmen were useless, you could destroy certain enemies only with this ridiculous DFM and story was nothing more than usual Tom Clancy stuff. Even the graphics didn't look better comparing to AC6. From my perspective Assault Horizon did only one good thing - it introduced this very nice series to PC players. I hope that next one will be definitely better.
 
Sep 1, 2011
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I loved it, much more than 6.
nowhere near 5 but that is in another league and is one of my favorite games of all time.

soundtrack as always was one of my favorites around.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbapsli9er8 - Rebirth felt like a combination of all the Ace Combat themes.


Never played any of these games before. I was on the edge about getting this one when it came to Steam. Not hearing any good things.

Is a must play
 

MechaX

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Jul 25, 2007
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I came into Assault Horizon with an open mind, but I was still thoroughly let down.

The turret missions and the bombing mission literally right out of CoD4 are pretty awful. The plane missions suffer from never, ever having very much unique premises to them. Yeah, the DFM changes the normal "brake, roll" gameplay of the others, but it just replaced it with a new kind of tedium. Either the DFM sequences are extremely scripted (where planes won't die until the game says that you progressed through this interactive QTE long enough), or you'll see the exact same maneuvers again, and again (and even on the highest difficulty, normal mooks are absolutely helpless to the DFM). The DFM becomes so abusable that you can trivialize most of the plane segments on any difficulty save for a disappointing bullshit final boss.

It never felt like I was actually doing anything; it felt like I was just engaging a bunch of interactive cutscenes.

And don't even get me started on the multiplayer in Assault Horizon...

Ugh, fuck that game.
 

Kolgar

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Oct 24, 2004
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Yeah, I wondered what the hell was going on when all of a sudden I COULD NOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME hit an enemy plane with missles.

OH, you want me to use Dog Fight Mode. How the fuck do I do that again?

After producing so many games in the series, you'd think they'd have mastered some of the basics of game design by now.
 

SpyGuy239

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Mar 28, 2013
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I might be one of the few here but I actually really like assault horizon alot, just for the amount of fun it gave me after playing all them DCS sims like flaming cliffs etc.

I think it's just a fun and new take on ace combat and arcade sims in general. The effects were fantastic as well, and the first person views when on the ground were incredible!

But yes, Nothing beats Ace Combat Zero!!! The trailer is forever etched in my mind. It was so amazing!
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
Jan 16, 2009
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I don't really get how "arcade" became a synonym for "unrealistic".

Arcade whenever I say it means that the game plays very much like something you walk up to in an arcade pop 3 quarters in and shoot for a high score.

It's exactly what Ace Combat games feel like, because that' what they are at their core. AC1 was an arcade game that went console release. All other games simply built upon the AC1 formula and then assault horizon shot itself in the foot.
 
Sep 1, 2011
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I know people disliked the non-jet parts in AH and will definitely disagree but I always thought it would be cool to have a really short stealth based on foot section after getting shot down.
That one mission in
5
from
Nagase's
perspective could have been awesome
 
Sep 2, 2007
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About the 3DS version, let me say like others here that I loved it!
It was really fun and addictive, I always wanted to play an Ace Combat game and sadly never had the chance, but this was my first and I really liked it to the point I want to look for the older ones (seesm to be and old school ace combat becuase from what ive heard is a remake of 2).

And the soundtrack is one of the best of the 3DS, its just amazing playing the game with headphones. Now that I have a 3DS XL maybe I pop up the game again to experience on a bigger screen.
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
Jan 16, 2009
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I know people disliked the non-jet parts in AH

To be perfectly honest the helicopter missions were more bearable to play than the DFM fest that the fighter missions were. The choppers themselves controlled like a mix between metroid prime and zone of the enders, except a lot more sluggish.

Is it too soon to start hoping for a new AC reveal at this E3 or TGS?
series isn't officially dead yet right?

Depends how well ACAH sold I guess. I'd rather it die than see another real world follow up. AC7 or bust. Or more hand held remakes!
 

Mengetsu

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Mar 20, 2011
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I feel like a bad person for not playing 5 or zero when I played and loved 4 to death. From the story to the music it was like a love letter being written to the player. I need to pull out the PS2 and play these.
 

Sephzilla

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Feb 13, 2013
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I heard this game severely lacks a lot of the silly over the top stuff of the previous Ace Combat games, like dogfights with laser-jets and flying down the barrels of Godzilla-tier rail-guns.

I'm glad I passed.
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
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ElyrionX

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I have almost the exact same opinion and experiences as you, OP.

But Ace Combat 5 is not the pinnacle of the series. Ace Combat X on the PSP is. You owe it to yourself to check it out.
 

katsubento

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Apr 14, 2010
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Assault Horizon was a disappointment since it was so different from the previous entries. If they got rid of the DFM, or just...made it optional....it would have fixed a big problem with the game.

I'm hopeful for AC7 on PS4 with a return to the roots.
 

sketchsanchez

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Jun 1, 2011
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Motherfucker. I was literally about to post a lttp thread about this game but decided to play some more. Darn.

Oh well, here are the notes i was taking as i played.

-Actual aircraft parts not bad it is fun new mechanics interesting
-Can't believe there's a turret sequence, trying to be like Call of Duty is stupid.
- only played Ace Combat 6 and Ace Combat 3ds as a fan of those and the hawx games, 1 not 2, game is enjoyable as an air combat game. Especially with classic controls.
-The music is good too
-Who cares that I can control my pilots head when he walks
-No attachment to old is Ace Combat story but kinda wish there at least stuck to the fictional country aspect of it
-I feel like the plane is flying for me in dog fight mode
-Helicopter controls took some getting use to but once I did they were fun
-Press y to look is dumb
-Gunship mission too? Cmon man.
-Health regeneration so ridiculous I purposefully crashed into a plane in order to beat a mission knowing I would be fine in a few minutes and it worked.

So yeah, so far so good. The game is just ok but the turret and gunship missions are so stupid. DFM could have been cool, and I really liked the Close up camera angle, but the minute you realize the ai is flying the plane for you at certain points all coolness goes out the window.

As far as plain jane aircraft plane fighting games go? HAWX is the best of the gen, with Ace Combat 6 as a very close second (imo, of course. I speant more time playing Hawx for what its worth.). Makes me sad that HAWX 2 turned out so bad considering how much I dug the first.
 

kn1ves24

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Sep 17, 2009
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I agree, DFM absolutely kills any fun in this game. It becomes such a crutch that you can't beat missions without it and I just have no desire to play with it. This is the first AC game I can't be bothered to finish.

The PS2 era games were just on a another level. AC04 holds a special place for me. I just loved everything about it, the story, the presentation, mission structure, music, everything. AC5 and AC Zero are both amazing too. I really enjoyed AC6 too except the story just contained alittle to much cheese...(dance with an angel)

Needless to say, I would pay a large sum of money for an HD remaster of the PS2 era games. A large sum. Some of the best games I've ever played.
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
Jan 16, 2009
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So yeah, so far so good. The game is just ok but the turret and gunship missions are so stupid. DFM could have been cool, and I really liked the Close up camera angle, but the minute you realize the ai is flying the plane for you at certain points all coolness goes out the window.

I do have to say there is a very little amount of fun to be had in a few missions, most notably missions 8, 9, 13 and 15. Most of the fun mainly comes from the fact that by this point you've given up on the game but the cool explosions and the set pieces are interesting enough on their own. Shame about the rest of the game.

I am glad there are only 2 gunner and 2 chopper missions in the whole game because after the 2nd gunner mission i was ready to just throw my disc out the window, those missions are stupid, aggravating and quite possibly the stupidest things ever. The Chopper missions play better than the fighter missions if you ask me but they are also more boring.

This is the unquestionable high point of the entire franchise for me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mYEXEooM2VM#t=238s

I've been listening to AH's soundtrack outside of the game, it's actually really good. You can barely hear it in the game, sigh.

That sequence is soooooooo goooooooddddd!!!
AH's soundtrack isn't bad, it's super quiet in game but the problem is most of the track come of very samey, there is little identity to each song. Or at least that's how I felt about the music while playing. It feels like the same song with different effects and with a twist some where in it.
 

shalshaska

Neo Member
May 6, 2013
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Yeah, I would buy the PS2's Ace Combat HD remastered in an instant too. Some of fondest memories in my video game history.

Do you guys know any news from Project Aces since Assault Horizon? Rumor or anything at all?
 

scsa

Member
Apr 5, 2010
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AC5 was the best in the series (chopper getting shot down was memorable), and I agree completely with your take on assault horizon. I couldn't even get myself to complete the game.

But seriously, you typed that out on a phone?
 

jett

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Jun 6, 2004
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I do have to say there is a very little amount of fun to be had in a few missions, most notably missions 8, 9, 13 and 15. Most of the fun mainly comes from the fact that by this point you've given up on the game but the cool explosions and the set pieces are interesting enough on their own. Shame about the rest of the game.

I am glad there are only 2 gunner and 2 chopper missions in the whole game because after the 2nd gunner mission i was ready to just throw my disc out the window, those missions are stupid, aggravating and quite possibly the stupidest things ever. The Chopper missions play better than the fighter missions if you ask me but they are also more boring.



That sequence is soooooooo goooooooddddd!!!
AH's soundtrack isn't bad, it's super quiet in game but the problem is most of the track come of very samey, there is little identity to each song. Or at least that's how I felt about the music while playing. It feels like the same song with different effects and with a twist some where in it.

There's a unifying middle eastern flavor in the soundtrack. I'd say overall it's more serious and movie-like than the previous games, it's definitely different, just like the game itself. :p Sound quality is great, everything was recorded by live instruments unlike the PS2 games. I'm digging it.
 

Not Spaceghost

Spaceghost
Jan 16, 2009
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Do you guys know any news from Project Aces since Assault Horizon? Rumor or anything at all?

Well we know that Assault Horizon either did well enough, or was easy enough to make into a PC release almost a year after it came out on consoles. But honestly beyond that we know nothing.

I hope we see something from project aces that isn't totally disappointing some time soon. If they though releasing ACAH on the PC was an idea worth green lighting then that means it must have done pretty well, which can only mean two things.

ACAH2, which would be terrible

Or now with financial security and a "new" install base move back to classic style set in strangereal, probably with new flair though.
 

sketchsanchez

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are any of the Ace Combat games on pc or am i gonna have to buy a ps2 to get them?

It wasnt til last year after trying out HAWX for the hell of it that I realized my love for this kind of game (modern fighter jet combat) but it seems this past gen has a severe lack of it. After HAWX, i went to Ace Combat 6 and silly story aside I loved it. But are those 2 games it for the gen? How depressing is that? HAWX 2 was like a million steps back and I've tried ww2 era fighter games like lL-2 but its not the same (though good). Modern jets or bust baby.
 

jett

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Jun 6, 2004
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are any of the Ace Combat games on pc or am i gonna have to buy a ps2 to get them?

It wasnt til last year after trying out HAWX for the hell of it that I realized my love for this kind of game (modern fighter jet combat) but it seems this past gen has a severe lack of it. After HAWX, i went to Ace Combat 6 and silly story aside I loved it. But are those 2 games it for the gen? How depressing is that? HAWX 2 was like a million steps back and I've tried ww2 era fighter games like lL-2 but its not the same (though good). Modern jets or bust baby.

You could buy the PS2 games and theoretically run them in an emulator.
 

sketchsanchez

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i've wondered about that, and if my laptop could even handle such a thing. It CAN handle ps1 though, i could buy those games. Are they any good?
 

jett

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Jun 6, 2004
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i've wondered about that, and if my laptop could even handle such a thing. It CAN handle ps1 though, i could buy those games. Are they any good?

Man it's been too long since I played them, I really couldn't say. The first two are probably really dated by now.
 

Pooya

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Aug 12, 2009
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Let me think err.. the QTE in the last cutscene was cool...
That's the only good thing I remember from this game right now :(
 

MechaX

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Jul 25, 2007
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i've wondered about that, and if my laptop could even handle such a thing. It CAN handle ps1 though, i could buy those games. Are they any good?

Eh.. AC1 hasn't aged all that well, and if you want to play AC2, then the 3DS version is the one to get.

Electrosphere/AC3 is an interesting game, but the only localized version has the actual story cut from it.

In terms of seeing if your laptop can handle it, check your video card first. If you have a decent video card, that alleviates a lot of the troubles with emulation, even in a laptop. My laptop has a shitty Intel HD card, but it can play some games decently (no substitute for the PS2 though).

God, now this topic really wants to make me play through AC4 through 0 for old time's sake.