<div class=header> <div class=headerrow> <div class=headercell> <div class=headerlogo> <p class=image><a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/logo/hg101logo.png" alt="Logo by MP83"></a></p> </div> <div class=headerad> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5230184257141993"; /* HG101 */ google_ad_slot = "4961941287"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </div> </div> </div> <div class=headerrow> <div class=headercell> <div class=headermenu> <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm" target="_parent">Articles</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/features.htm" target="_parent">Features</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/books.htm" target="_parent">Books</a> | <a href="http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent">Blog</a> | <a href="http://hg101.proboards.com/" target="_parent">Forums</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/about.htm" target="_parent">About</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardcore-Gaming-101/109837535712670" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/facebook.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/HG_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/twitter.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://ask.fm/hg_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/askfm.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.patreon.com/hg101" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/supportsmalla.png"></a> </div> <div class=searchbox> <form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box" target="_parent"> <div> <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="partner-pub-5230184257141993:xfg3mydy24k"> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1"> <input type="text" name="q" size="30"> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search"> </div> </form> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=cse-search-box&amp;lang=en"></script> </div> </div> </div> </div>

<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
After Burner I & II

Page 2:
G-LOC
Strike Fighter
After Burner III
Sky Target

Page 3:
Sega Strike Fighter
After Burner Climax
After Burner Black Falcon

Back to the Index


G-LOC: Air Battle - Arcade, Genesis, Master System, Game Gear, Commodore 64, Amiga (1990)

Arcade Flyer

Japanese Mega Drive Cover

European Mega Drive Cover

Game Gear Cover

Despite the name change, G-LOC (which stands for "Gravity-induced Loss of Consciousness") is pretty obviously part of the After Burner series. However, now each level has a certain goal, usually being "shoot down X number of enemies". You're also timed, and clearing each stage will add some extra seconds to the clock. You can die as often as you want, but this naturally wastes a bit of precious time. The graphics have improved substantially, as the landscape is now comprised of scrolling textures rather than dozens of scaling sprites pasted together. The improvements are due to running on Sega's System Y board, which also powered Galaxy Force and Power Drift.

The viewpoint has been changed to a first-person cockpit view, although it zooms out whenever an enemy is on your tail. The game now focuses less on dodging enemy fire and more on shooting enemy planes that saunter up behind you. You have greater control over your plane's rotation, so you can also fly completely upside down. There are also ground based missions, where you fly low to the ground and dodge enemy fire as you blow up installations. There's now a "damage" meter, so you can survive a bit of gunfire or bumps against other fighters, but getting hit by missiles or slamming into bad guys will still kill you instantly. Unfortunately, the game is much slower, both due to its rather lackadaisical pacing and sluggish controls. While the original After Burners were a little too insanely fast, G-LOC is more relaxed almost to the point of sedation.

But fast paced action wasn't necessarily G-LOC's goal to begin with. In the arcades, certain cabinets (dubbed the R360) featured a seat that could physically turn back and forth and even upside down, greatly enhancing the immersion. A safety bar keeps the player in place (like amusement park rides) and an emergency stop button would turn the cockpit to its upright position. There's even an option to just sit back and let the game play itself, making G-LOC feel more like a ride. Naturally, this was an incredibly expensive machine, so it didn't exactly see widespread distribution in arcades.

Since this gimmick was the big draw for G-LOC, all of it was lost in the home translations, which weren't even powerful enough to recreate the game itself. The Genesis version, once again, can't handle all of the graphics, but most of the gameplay still holds up. It's a longer but easier game, which makes it less frustrating too. There's a bit of extra window dressing, like the mission maps between levels and the wingman who issues your orders. Also, some levels alternate between first- and third-person views. The third-person stages are a bit strange, since the horizon doesn't rotate and your fighter seems to move along a parabola.

The Sega Master System version completely alters all of the levels. Half of the screen is taken up by a HUD and the landscapes are now rolling colors, but while the game looks worse than the SMS After Burner it plays a little bit better. In addition to the time limit, you can only die a certain number of times before needing to continue. Additionally, since the after burners are gone, the chase sequences – done in third-person like the Genesis version – are simple annoying sections where you need to dodge enemy fire for a certain period of time. Sega also added strange boss fights to certain stages. While the original After Burner titles have some grasp on reality, these bosses look like things you'd fight in an outerspace shoot-em-up and feel really out of place.

The Game Gear version (available on the 3DS Virtual Console) goes off in a completely different direction. You're given a choice between several missions, with the usual goals of blowing up a certain number of planes or sinking a certain number of tankers. Depending on how well you do, you'll get points which can be used to upgrade your plane. You actually control a cursor with only limited control over your plane, making it feel like a static shooting gallery. The graphics are worse than the SMS version, and it doesn't run smoothly either. Your fuel meter also acts as a life gauge, and when you get blown up it's game over. An interesting experiment.

The European computer ports, published by US Gold, are all based on the arcade version. The Amiga and ST ports look much worse than the Genesis version, since the landscape is completely barren, but technically they play alright, and the plane controls well with the mouse.

The other versions, on 8-bit computers, are wretched – they're slow, choppy and ugly. The Commodore 64 port was so bad that British magazine Zzap! 64 surmised that G-LOC actually stood for "Great Load Of Crap".

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Yu Suzuki

Genre:

Themes:


G-LOC (Arcade)

G-LOC (Arcade)

G-LOC (Arcade)

G-LOC (Genesis)

G-LOC (Master System)

G-LOC (Game Gear)


Genesis Screenshots


Master System Screenshots


Game Gear Screenshots


Strike Fighter / After Burner III - Arcade, FM Towns, Sega CD (1991)

Strike Fighter Arcade Flyer

After Burner III Sega CD Cover

Strike Fighter is essentially a variation on G-LOC, except it's more faithful to the original After Burner. The pace is much faster, there's no time limit to worry about, and the level-based structure has returned. You also have unlimited missiles now, which is quite an improvement. The graphics engine is practically the same as G-LOC's, and the first-person cockpit view returns, except for when enemies get on your tail. There's a greater visual variety in levels, and some of them are excellent, especially the stage that takes place over lava. While the gameplay is faster, it still suffers from the slow turning speed of G-LOC, and the music is still fairly forgettable. While it's a pretty decent game, it lacks the intensity of the original After Burner and its sequel. Strike Fighter only saw release in Japanese arcades.

After Burner III is a bastardized port of Strike Fighter, ported by CRI. It was originally released on the FM Towns computer, before being ported to the Sega CD. Despite the relative strengths of both platforms, After Burner III looks noticeably worse than the Genesis ports of After Burner II and G-LOC.

There's barely any detail to the landscape other than a handful of tiny sprites which are spread sparsely throughout, and it's totally lacking the energy that made the previous entries so chaotically compelling. There are a couple of impressive visual tricks, however, like the take-off sequence and the transitions from first- to third-person views, both of which are exactly like the arcade version of Strike Fighter. Plus, some of the animation is quite nice, and the landscape rotation is the smoothest of any of the 16-bit versions.

The Sega CD release adds an optional third-person view to make it feel like the older games. However, your plane is gigantic and blocks too much of the screen. The only real advantage of the CD format is the opening cutscene, wherein some professional announcer rants about how awesome the F-14 Tomcat is. The soundtrack to the FM Towns version is a strange combination of jazz and electronica, and is far too laid back for a game about jet fighters. While the Sega CD version uses some of these tracks, most of the in-game music has been replaced with music from the FM Towns ports of After Burner II, which is far, far superior.

Although the Sega CD version is the better of the two ports, After Burner III is still an awful game. After this somewhat embarrassing release, it's easy to see why the public didn't exactly have confidence in the power of the Sega CD.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Yu Suzuki

Genre:

Themes:


Strike Fighter (Arcade)

Strike Fighter (Arcade)

After Burner III (Sega CD)




Sky Target - Arcade, Saturn, Windows (1995)

American Cover

Once again, Sega masks its lineage by giving a completely new name to what's obviously a new installment in the After Burner series. Sky Target is the first fully polygonal game in the series, courtesy of the Model 2 hardware. While the Vulcan/lock-on missile set up is the same, the pace is a bit slower, and the handling is more comparable to Star Fox 64. There are four different planes to pick from: the F-14D, the RAFALE M, the F-16C, and the F-15S/MTD. Each has slightly different movement capabilities and missile loadouts. Unfortunately the throttle controls, from previous games, have been removed.

After the first few levels the game branches off and lets you take different paths to the final stage. There are only a few alternate stages, and there are only 12 levels in total, but it does add to the replayablity. At the end of each stage you'll encounter some kind of boss – they range from gigantic planes to deadly blimps. These make it feel a bit more like a Panzer Dragoon game, especially with the multiple weak spots you need to hit to take them down. While these battles are unlike what you'd find in most of the other After Burner titles, they're less silly than the foes in the Master System version of G-LOC.

You only get one life per credit, although now your plane has a lifebar and can absorb a fair amount of damage. Unfortunately the music is the worst kind of generic butt rock, all done with very cheesy synth, though the composers tossed in a (rather limp) arrangement of the After Burner theme song.

Sky Target

Skies of Saturn

Beyond the arcade release, Sky Target was also ported to the Saturn and Windows PCs. The Windows version is a faithful port, but the Saturn version (pictured) isn't quite as good looking. The Saturn version also has a "Ranking Mode", which lets you replay any missions you've beaten in "Arcade Mode" in order to get high scores.

Sky Target isn't bad, but much like earlier efforts, the lack of speed makes the action feel slightly dull. It doesn't help that the Saturn port runs at an inconsistent speed, constantly shifting gears depending on the action. Plus, the textures are painfully low-res and the draw-in is quite noticeable. The missile trails also don't look right. On some level, it's actually more playable since you can see what's going on, but it's also not quite as fun.

The manual also elucidates on the silly plot, where you play as a pilot from Mad Dog, a secret military organization, fighting against the Deldine Corporation, which has stolen a top-secret weapon from the military.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Takanori Hattori
  • Masayuki Ao

Genre:

Themes:


Sky Target

Sky Target

Sky Target

Sky Target


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
After Burner I & II

Page 2:
G-LOC
Strike Fighter
After Burner III
Sky Target

Page 3:
Sega Strike Fighter
After Burner Climax
After Burner Black Falcon

Back to the Index