The same can be argued about Namco's long-running Ace Combat franchise. This is a series that is almost always at the top of its game, even though it rarely bothers to change things up at all. The upcoming Ace Combat: Assault Horizon looks like it's going to be a full-fledged reboot, but Ace Combat: Joint Assault is content to go with the flow. Rest assured: if you love Ace Combat, you know exactly what you'll be getting with Joint Assault. If you have no experience with the series, this might not be the best one to start with. However, it's still a quality combat flight game from nearly every perspective.
If you played the franchise's last portable outing (Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception), you have a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of graphical prowess. By that, I mean the game is a powerhouse. The planes look great, environments are varied and interesting, the digitized head-up display is as engaging as it ever was, and the explosions are vibrant and fiery. There really isn't anything to complain about here.
There are a few minor foibles with regards to the aural department. The voicework isn't great. Commanding officers aren't known for turgid, gag-inducing, Crisis Core - esque dialogue, so their straight-down-to-business tones are quite welcome. The rest of the cast ranges from slightly sub-par to abysmal. The traitors of Rigel Squadron are the worst offenders; Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation presented its antagonists as somewhat sympathetic. Joint Assault's bad guys run the gamut of badly-voiced characters: from the sulky, silent type to the chest-puffing poser to the killjoy who goes out of his way to make it clear that he's not a good person. This often reduces the storyline to camp, which I'm confident the developers were not going for. Luckily, the fantastic orchestral soundtrack more than makes up for the low quality performances.