I owned Ace Combat 6 and never got into it. It just seemed way too focused on traditional combat-sim style, and not on making a fun, exciting experience for players. Considering most console gamers are FPS players (including me) it was definitely a good idea from the developer to make this more accessible to the average gamer.
The storyline is very good and the game features a lot of real-world locations and contemporary politics. Ace Combat 6 was all based in some fantasy world, and the storyline was pretty lame. This feels far more like it could sit alongside CoD or BF games, story-wise, which is a definite plus for me.
As for the gameplay, it's brilliant. You get to fly around in not only amazing fighter jets, but also helis, the AC130 gunship, and tactical bombers. The combat is also a definite improvement on all former combat-sims with the addition of a up-close-and-personal style system where, once you're locked onto an enemy air or ground unit, you go into a focused view mode where you can engage on a much more exciting level. The cinematics of flying through skycrapers as buildings fall down beside you, is absolutely amazing, and overall the combat experience is brilliant.
The music and voice acting is all top-notch as well and overall this game provides a lot of enjoyment. I only stuck with the campaign, so I cannot rate the multiplayer experience, but that is also another aspect to the game for hardcore fans of flight combat games. This has put Ace Combat firmly back on the gaming radar and, although taken the series in a new direction, is a definitely positive one which should hopefully attract a lot of new fans.