The game has a 64 on Metacritic.
There are four single player campaigns, two for US and two for the Japanese, with cutscenes presented in a comic book-like fashion. Both start at Pearl Harbor and proceed through various battles, such as Wake, Midway, and Coral Sea in chronological order. Unlike most games, it is possible to continue a campaign after failing a mission - however, planes are deducted from the player's reserve, and the campaign ends in defeat once the player runs out of planes. Coming into the end of the first half of the campaign, no new aircraft reinforcements will be added, as is for battles coming into the end of the second campaign, and therefore, the war. This includes pre-Santa Cruz and pre-Okinawa operations for both the US and the Japanese.
Dogfight mode is similar to the Skirmish or Instant action modes of play in other games. After selecting a venue, weather conditions (which do not affect controls, only visibility), aircraft type, and difficulty, the computer will endlessly spawn AI craft, always of the opposing nation, at the player. There are three possible victory conditions which the player can choose from:
- Time Attack - the player must survive for a certain time limit (minimum 5 minutes, maximum 20, in increments of 5 minutes) to win.
- King of the Sky - the player must destroy a certain number of enemy craft (minimum 5 enemies, maximum 20, in increments of 5 enemies) to win.
- Fly and Die - the game ends when the player is shot down.
There are two modes of LAN or Internet play - either a deathmatch in which last plane flying wins, or a team deathmatch in which the last team surviving wins.