After Burner (Sega) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


After Burner
By Sega
Sega Genesis

Published in Computer & Video Games #103

After Burner

Roaring in from over the horizon comes After Burner, Sega's own conversion of their smash hit hydraulic air combat coin-op.

The scene is set with things looking grim for your air force. It only has three fighter aircraft left and an entire enemy air fleet is flying over the horizon. Guess who's got to save the day? Yeah, you.

The fighter is equipped with an infinite supply of bullets, and a limited amount of homing missiles, which are best fired when your computer targetting system locks onto an enemy aircraft. If a missile is fired when no target is available, it's wasted.

The object is simply to take out as many planes as possible - obviously, they're not sitting ducks, and fire missiles back at you. Dodge them by nifty flying, or try rolling the plane out of the way, but don't get hit. Collide with a missile and you lose a plane - lose all three and it's game over.


To be perfectly honest, I'm not a great fan of the coin-op. The hydraulic version gives you a pretty good ride, but the trouble is that its massive joystick is so sluggish that when you react to a situation, the plane moves a half a second later - usually half a second too late.

However, that criticism doesn't apply with this conversion since control is with the joypad, and response is instantaneous. So, the controls are alright, but what about the game itself? Well, it's marvellous - damn near arcade perfect.

Enemy planes and missiles zoom in at supersonic speeds - the 3D is easily the fastest and smoothest I've ever seen in a game of this type.

In fact, it all seems too fast at first, and games tend to end quickly with you thinking "What the @*&$ hit me?" But although it's a very tough game (and I do mean *very* tough), practice makes perfect, and once you get used to the sheer speed of the action, you start dodging and a-weaving missiles, ducking and a-diving hails of lead and blasting squadrons of planes out of the sky!

Brilliant!! If you want to get a game not only to show your mates how completely amazing your Megadrive is (not only are the graphics superb, but the hard rock soundtrack and sampled coin-op effects are the best I've heard on the Megadrive) but also want to play one of the hottest, most addictive and definitely the most impressive coin-op conversions yet seen, get this.

Julian Rignall