After Burner II
Remember the arcade version? Ah yes, so do we. Read our full review.
Me and the After Burner games go way back in terms of the hours of enjoyment it provided. If it wasn't about riding around in a huge moving cabinet shooting down planes, it was looking on in awe at the teaser footage of the next-generation After Burner game that Sega was showing off at E3. Yep, nothing beats the pure thrills of one of AM2's earlier arcade efforts, so I was most interested in checking out how the game would fare on a portable front with the release of After Burner II on the cell phone market.
The basis of the game is simple. You're put into the pilot's seat of a fully stocked F-16 that takes to the skies and blasts the hell out of enemies, either with the typical gunfire or with lock-on missiles. The game utilizes a lock-on system where, if an enemy is painted with a red target, they're instantly vaporized once you fire the missile at them. However, keep in mind these enemies are armed themselves. They shoot missiles at you that must be craftily avoided before you explode into a gigantic fireball. Some will also fly behind you and rain gunfire down on you, forcing you to become even more tactful in your defensive maneuvers.
Sega Mobile has done a pretty good job emulating the arcade game in terms of looks and sounds. The game moves along at a smooth pace, and not that much detail has been lost in the translation to mobile. The game still moves fast enough to satisfy arcade fans, and has cool little effects like the fireball explosions or the cool feeling of doing a dizzying loop-de-loop. Sound-wise, Sega checks in with classic After Burner music that's simple but still brings back memories, along with the occasional sound effect.
But not all is right in classic arcade land. If After Burner II suffers from any given aspect, it would have to be the control. It feels a bit sluggish and somewhat unresponsive at times, forcing you to think ahead when all you should be doing is flying rapidly. Now, I can understand that transferring an arcade experience that uses an arcade stick to a cell phone has to undergo some kind of change in its translation, but would it have hurt Sega to do a little concentration on the game development and given us something with a solid control scheme? As is, it still works but I can't help but feel weighed down at times, especially when all I want to do is avoid some incoming attacks.
If you're a fan of the arcade game or you're looking for a quick shooting fix, After Burner II has enough sufficient thrills to make you sign up as a wingman. However, those expecting every part of the arcade experience to be in this mobile version might be somewhat let down by the game's lacking control scheme. It's like trying to fly your jet through molasses sometimes- not exactly what I call a "danger zone".
What's Hot: A decent shooter for your mobile.
What's Not: Wasn't the arcade version a lot better?