Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Those fiendish Japanese engineers have taken the Hang-On motorbike and carried out some major conversion work. No, not like the stuff your dad does with a 15lb sledge hammer up in the loft -these guys have turned it from the sleek but meek high-speed cruisemobile into a mean, lean high-speed fighting machine. Now, not only does it go very fast, but it can also shoot missiles and, with a few bolt-on goodies, turn into a car and a jet. Yessirree, this sure is the deluxe version, alright.
You are the lucky owner/driver/pilot of this amazing gadget, but that privilege also means that you're always first in the queue whenever the forces of evil raise their ugly heads...
This particular five-stage mission starts on land in motorbike mode. Push forward on the joystick and the land scrolls beneath you as you speed off. While you're still under the laws of gravity (and the local police force) you have to stick to the twisting roads and highways of suburbia (you don't have to, but you'll crash and die otherwise).
So, you keep speeding along the road and bashing traffic out of the way. Amongst the traffic there is a large truck, conspicuously marked 'Sega' in big letters. Steer right behind it and you’ll get swallowed up - only to reappear as the car - gasp! Not only that, you now have ultra-hard forward firing missiles and a surface to air missile so that you can waste the pesky helicopters which occasionally buzz around. After a while, small red tokens slide into view and have to be collected in order to make the transformation into jet fighter.
Once in the air, the mission turns shoot ’em up as you run the gauntlet of enemy craft. As well as missiles, you can now launch bombs to destroy ground-based targets.
Eventually, after much swerving and blasting, you finally reach the stage 1 target - three submarines which you have to sink. Manage that, and it's back onto the ground for the next target, and so on.
Speeding through the city streets.
Dealing out death while airborne!
Action Fighter has lots of nice features in it, but suffers from being a bit too 'samey'. It’s a good blast until you’ve finished the first couple of missions, and then things start cycling round again... and again...
The visuals are pretty much up the standard of a talented six-year-old, so there's nothing to get excited about there. Sound is instantly forgettable... so we have.
Negotiating the ground-based section is by far the most enjoyable, since both bike and car move really well, and the fast-paced action is quite a thriller. The airborne section is pretty pallid stuff, though, and the end-of-mission meanies don't exactly fill you with fear and dread.
With a frustrating pause between goes, and yawnworthy play, AF doesn't really get the S-vote here...
Nice idea, but just too repetitive to make it a worthwhile purchase.