After Burner 2 (Mega Drive Review)

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Flight AA131 to Alaska took a turn for the worse...

Flight AA131 to Alaska took a turn for the worse…

Let’s not kid ourselves, After Burner is our guilty pleasure, strapped into the seat at the arcades, feverishly flinging the joystick about not knowing what the hell was going on, just trying to hang on for dear life!  Good times.  I wasn’t a big fan of the Master System version but loaded the sequel up full of anticipation.  I mean, an extra 8-bit’s worth is surely enough to bring this kamikaze “flight sim” to home entertainment?  Ish.  Graphically, most of After Burner 2 looks really, really good.

 

The fighter jets all look fantastic, including yours which is doubly important.  They swing through the air as you’d expect them to.  The theme of your HUD so to speak is nice, the US Navy/Top Gun crew/any kid in military school would be very proud.

 

This mother’s teat offered a lot more than milk

This mother’s teat offered a lot more than milk

The backdrops are sketchy, but as everyone who’s seen Top Gun will testify, blue sky + Kelly McGillis = good enough for a dogfight.  The sound is, patchy, and I say it’s patchy due to one thing.  Some smart alec has decided that it’s best to have the gun on the plane fire ALL THE TIME.

 

You have to manually choose option 4 of 4 for the control option to opt when to shoot your Vulcan gun. Leaving it on leaves a nasty burrrrring noise for the entire game. However, when you start to play the game, and when in fact you reset the gun setting, you realise why the auto-fire option is there.  It’s because it’s too bloody hard to hit anything!  Using the A-button (mostly, can be configured) to speed the action up can be great and you don’t expect to be accurate.  It’s when the game is plodding on at its usual speed and enemies whizz by you, you still finish the stage wondering what the whole point of it was.

 

If the restaurant wasn’t east they were all buggered

If the restaurant wasn’t east they were all buggered

Like the original coin-op all you seem to do is go round and round, flying past uninterested foe, occasionally blowing something up with your missiles.  And thank heavens for the missiles, get a lock-on, hear the famous “fire!” and boom!  A massive mothership comes to refill your missiles in between stages and you’re good to go. Why would you want to?  I struggled to find any reason to play this game longer than ten minutes.  

 

With a little invention, a few varied levels and some mammoth bosses, this could have worked.  The sheer repetition however, should stay in the arcades.

 

After-burner-2-review

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