Rating

F

Specific Ratings

GameplayF
GraphicsF
Learning CurveF
Replay ValueD-
SoundD

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Opening music isn't bad
  • Title screen is pretty decent
Cons
  • Poor/bland in-game graphics
  • Laggy controls
  • Extremely choppy animation

F-16 Fighting Falcon (Sega Master System)

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Summary

One of the worst flight simulators ever made!

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Description

This game was one of the Sega Master System games to come on a card. These games didn't have much to offer, but some of them were pretty fun like Teddy Boy and Transbot. One in particular however just could not translate to the Sega Card at all. This game is F-16 Fighting Falcon.

This game is based on an old MSX computer game, which I have not played, so I cannot make comparisons to that version. From the screen shots, both versions look the same.

The title screen isn't that bad with a pretty well-drawn plane and some surprisingly upbeat/catchy music.

Once gameplay starts however, it's a whole different story. The game moves in a frame-by-frame manner, which makes for some of the worst animation ever in a video game. The graphics themselves lack color with there being more colors on the bottom of the screen than on the screen where gameplay actually occurs. Just check out the screenshot on the side.

Sound effects are fairly sparse in this game. Just the same engine sound along with when you shoot and the warning of when you are about to be shot by other planes. Pretty mediocre stuff.

Controls suffer severe lag and it takes at least a second from the time you press the button to the action on-screen. This is one of those games like Raiders of the Lost Ark on Atari 2600 where you have to use two controllers in order to play the game. Unfortunately, the game tries for complexity too much and the two Master System controllers are not well-suited to what was trying to be done. I can imagine that the MSX version wins out on controls because of this.

Unfortunately, the manual doesn't do the best job of explaining things well either and as soon as you know it, your plane will be shot down. At least it shows your score at the end, but it's interesting that a game like this even has a scoring system like an arcade game and not something with stats like how many planes you shot down.

This game is a really early example of a flight simulator and this one has not aged well at all. Even games like Top Gun and Stealth on the NES delivered more and were better games for their time than this. Even Tomcat: The F-14 Simulator for the Atari 2600 was better than this. It would probably be in your best interest to avoid this one, although this game is very common and cheap, so at least you won't be out much money.

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