Review by Macintosh User

"Air Zonk Really Can Fly..."

Dark Introduction...: The Turbo-Grafx 16 remains a system clouded by obscurity. As an avid video game player, I do own a Turbo-Grafx 16, but most kids I knew around the time I got mine did not know what it was. In 1989, for Christmas I received a Turbo-Grafx 16 and a Sega Genesis. This was because my parents mixed-signals and each one bought me a system, thinking that they were the one supposed to do it. My father bought me the Genesis, my mother bought the Turbo-Grafx 16. And so it goes, a journey into a world of 16-bit glory, with two of the coolest systems in history. The Turbo-Grafx 16 provided gamers with many high-quality titles, but it really did go above and beyond its calling with 2D shooters. Air Zonk just so happens to be one of those.

Gameplay: 9: First of all, this game is very simple, and is truly a classic shooter. The controls include a rapid-fire button, and a charge button which saves up energy for devastating attacks. Power-ups can be found along the way, and collecting them is essential. Honestly there isn't much wrong with the gameplay engine here, it is rock-solid, and very responsive as well as speedy. The Turbo-Grafx 16 controller does an outstanding job with this game, and there should be no need to purchase a 3rd party controller for Air Zonk. All in all the controls are near-flawless, except the d-pad is a bit sensitive, but once you grow accustomed to it, the controls are fluid and virtually flawless.

Story: 8: The simplest explanation of the storyline is this, King Drool has attacked the world with robots, and Zonk along with his friends decide to save the planet from the imminent robot invasion. Air Zonk is a rather simple game, with not much meat to the storyline, except for that you are the hero in the black sunglasses out for revenge and victory over the evil King Drool. Zonk looks a lot like Bonk... wonder why this could be?

Graphics: 10: I wish I could give this game a higher score, the 10 does not justify the quality of the game's visuals. The graphics look like something straight out of a cartoon and this really works for the game. The weapons, bosses, and enemies are large, and very colorful, full of detailed animation, several color shades, and the backgrounds are a feast for the eyes. Sometimes I find myself staring at the background instead of the action. What this game needs is cutscenes, to give the player a full chance to enjoy the eye candy and high-quality visuals.

Sound: 8: The music in this game is very fast-paced and suits the game well. It is very catchy and will have you carrying it around in your head soon enough. Air Zonk delivers in the sound department and does so with flying colors...

Replayability: 10: Excellent. This classic shooter just never gets old. Air Zonk is an incredible fun game that has garnered a rather cult-like following among TG-16 owners. Playing through this game repeatedly may bore the younger gamers of today, but I continously come back to it, after months of sitting in its plastic sleeve locked away within the TG-16 Hu-Card case. The game is short, consisting of only 5 levels, so defeating it shouldn't take very long if you're a good player.

Recommendations: Buy this game, immediately. Air Zonk is a classic shooter with a new twist on the genere, it really is a treat visually and sound-wise, and for the TG-16 this game really looks good. Air Zonk is a must-have for any PC-Engine/Turbo-Grafx 16 owner. Before Air Zonk, my TG-16 went relatively unused. Now I just leave it hooked up alongside my GameCube, Dreamcast, Atari Jaguar and countless others. I just can't seem to get enough of Air Zonk, and I am willing to bet that you'll feel this way too if you give it a shot.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/10/04


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