After Burner Complete – Sega Megadrive / Genesis 32X Review

Retro Resolution Retro Review
  

System: Sega Megadrive / Genesis 32X
Year:1995
Developer: Sega AM2
Publisher: Sega

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Graphically very close to its arcade parent, After Burner Complete on the 32X successfully emulates the super-scalar technology of Sega’s arcade original, but in an arguably less effective manner than Space Harrier. Pop-up, the blight of the first generation of true 3D consoles, is evidenced even here on last generation 2D hardware, causing scenery to appear Mr. Ben Style (‘as if by magic…’)

Perhaps I’m just sorely lacking in ability, but to me this game redefines ‘unfair’, even when played on the surely ironically-named ‘very easy’ difficulty setting. Enemy fighters, helicopters, missiles and bullets fill the skies to such an extent that you feel as though you’re ploughing head long into a wall of metal. To add to your woes the aircraft doesn’t appear interested in reacting to the player’s input; the experience is less fly-by-wire, and more like a rodeo simulator.

Soon abandoning any attempt to fly rationally as too suicidal, two modes of progression emerge through Darwinian forces. The first option is to follow Peppy Hare’s admonitions in Star Fox 64 and barrel roll, constantly. This works as an evasive manoeuvre, but only in the same manner as the hyperspace button in Asteroids; inevitably in avoiding one collision you emerge helplessly straight into the face of another. Alternately, apply the aeronautical breast stroke – repeatedly alternate between lunging towards the floor and climbing as fast as possible, in a bid to pull off the old Blue Thunder 360 loop (which sadly can’t be done in this game).

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After Burner Complete - Sega 32X - Crash and Burn

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Virtua Racing Deluxe – Sega Megadrive / Genesis 32X Review

Retro Resolution Retro Review
 

System: Sega Megadrive/Genesis 32X
Developer: Sega AM2
Publisher: Sega
Release date: December 1994 (Japan, US, UK)

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Virtua Racing Deluxe - Sega Megadrive/Genesis 32x

Life on Mars?

In January 1994 Sega CEO Hayao Nakayama instructed his development department to create a 32-bit console, a commandment which, along with the Saturn, resulted in Project Mars, the US developed 32X Megadrive add-on. It never stood a chance, launching virtually simultaneously with Sony’s Playstation and Sega’s own Saturn in Japan, and with a scant few months head-start over both in Europe and America, and priced at an eye-watering £170 in the UK.

Doubtless the Megadrive’s magic mushroom was too little, too late; nevertheless, viewed in isolation the machine is blessed with a number of hugely impressive games, Virtua Racing Deluxe ranking amongst the very best.

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