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  • Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: People who watched the trailers but never picked up the game will insist OFF mode is pointless action movie-esque nonsense and the 3/4 perspective it uses makes it impossible to keep track of where your plane is flying. OFF mode in the first game (less so in the sequel, see Sequelitis below) is in reality a massive gamebreaker; it actually has very little learning curve, the tutorial teaches it just fine, and enemies simply aren't good enough to handle it unless the player makes a major screw-up.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Su-37's you go up against in Operation Backhand. Moreso than any other highly-skilled enemy planes because your objectives require you to ignore them entirely and follow a complicated flight path to avoid heavy anti-aircraft fire, all while said Su-37's are continuing to chase and fire at you.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Ace Combat, though this may be confined to a few silly YouTube comments. Generally, H.A.W.X. fans disparage Ace Combat's gameplay and visuals while Ace Combat fans disparage H.A.W.X.'s story.
  • Game Breaker: You thought QAAM's were bad in Ace Combat? The All Aspect missiles here, save for lower range than even the default Joint Strike missiles, are even worse.
  • Sequelitis: The second game managed to have less landmark locations and less flyable aircraft than the first, combined with almost no choice in the matter anyway, and subsequently sold much less than the first installment. Enemies are buffed compared to the first game so it's harder to curbstomp them by easily evading their missiles and getting an angle to shoot one of your own, but the effect is so pronounced that there is no longer any advantage to OFF mode and, as such, no point in using it.
    • The buffing of the enemies was probably inevitable, given the unrealistic way that a single fighter could cut through entire armies in the first game. It can still happen in the second game, but the enemy planes are now smart enough to dodge some of your attacks.

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