Review by Bentone

Reviewed: 01/16/02 | Updated: 01/16/02

The longest dogfight EVER. (not a bad thing, mind you)

Many people could look at this game and ask, ''Just what is it that makes this game so well loved by it's fans?''. Indeed, from all angles the game just doesn't look that great. But remember, this is a Nintendo game here, and none of them really look or sound good nowadays. What shines here is not the varied gameplay, the immersive storyline, the absurd fact that this is a Japanese game about killing Japanese pilots in World War II. The hook is the sly addictiveness, the kind that forces you to stare at a screen full of crappy pixels for hours and liking it.

First thing you'll notice are the graphics. Boy, are they bland. They probably looked amazing for a first gen Nintendo title, but...wow. About two steps from Atarii here. But this is also one of the game's strong points. They're not distractingly bad and aren't there to impress, like so many laughable NES shooters out there. Basically, this is the Super Mario Bros of shooters - crude graphics that aren't really that bad supporting a great game.

Almost immediately after seeing your plane take off, you'll hear a high pitched screech. I'm not entirely sure if that's supposed to be music, really cool morse code, or the sound of dolphins crying underneath the waves, but it's friggin' irritating. And I mean MUTE button irritating. Don't worry, you won't miss anything by muting the game. Well, there is that propeller sound as you lift off, and quite possibly the weakest 'Game Over' music you'll ever encounter. So yeah, just listen to the radio or something.

ANYWAYS, The gameplay is where it's at here, folks. It's simple, like everything else in the game, but it's also addicting to boot. You shoot with the 'B' button, and do a somewhat useless dive-maeuver with that 'A' button. The difficulty gradually rises as the flood of kamikazes keep coming. The powerups are cool, although much harder to come by than future NES shooters. There aren't any real boss characters to speak of, just tons and tons and tons and TONS of planes. Oh yes, and infinite continues make sure you don't get (too) frustrated.

Bottom Line? Do yourself a favor. Buy this game, hit the mute button & put some Trance cds in your stereo and prepare to blissfully zone out for a couple hours.

Fun: 10
Graphics: 5
Sound: 0
Replay: 10

Annoyance:
The music, or whatever the heck that is.
Great Moment: There really isn't any. The whole game is just really good.


Rating:   3.5 - Good

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