The best way to start the New Year seems to be playing nostalgic games. SEGA starts it off by giving us 3D After Burner II, a re-mastered version of the classic arcade game but now bringing 3D for the Nintendo 3DS. A scrolling flight shoot’em up, you pilot a F-14 D to save damsel in distress Lucy from Match, the villain of the story. You get to fly through 23 stages in which you must destroy enemies or dodge their attacks in rapid succession in order to survive and hopefully reach Lucy in time.
3D After Burner II
Developed by M2 / Published by Sega
Available on the Nintendo 3DS
*Review code provided by Sega
The game plays very smoothly on the 3DS, as the controls feel great when you control your F-14 D. The movements and way that you can skillfully dodge your enemies’ attacks, like barrel rolls, are really exiting and look amazing on the small screen. Attacking is also pretty effortless and cool, as you can lock on to various targets to destroy them with a single button.
Gameplay is very immersive, as you take to the skies, pass through villages, riddle enemies with missiles, and destroy enemy houses and watch towers. It is also very fast-paced, as you have to have good reflexes to dodge missiles and enemy fire at every turn. Sometimes you won’t even know how you died by how fast everything is and how much is happening on-screen.
3D After burner II also features touch screen controls and arcade cabinet layouts. The touch screen controls are nifty, but the only significant difference is that it gives you throttle control. The arcade layouts make it seem like you’re playing on the machine, but also makes the screen smaller, therefore it makes it harder to play for people with bad eye sight. Enemy aircraft and enemy fire can be seen, but it’s better to play the game full screen.
The game only consists of 23 stages that you can easily pass if you survive long enough, thanks to the fact that if you die you can continue right from the last stage attempted and keep going from there. The game seems short at first, but after you complete the game, there is actually an additional game mode that lets you play the whole game again, but with a new upgrade called Burst, an ability that lets you slow time for a while while navigating through the stage. To use it, you must charge it by destroying enemies. This special mode is harder however, because if you die and run out of lives, you’ll have start right back at the beginning.
The only bad thing I can see from 3D After Burner II is that the game lacks the wow factor it had back in the day. The game will be bought mostly by nostalgia driven consumers who miss going to the arcade and popping quarters in a machine.
3D After Burner II is a good game to play for a quick, arcade fix. With a lighting-fast pace, straight-forward story and challenging stages, it don’t take much time to go through, and it’s easily one of the best from the Sega 3D Classics.
Andres Estevez Couvertier
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