Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Scramble! Scramble! Bandits at two o'clock! Scramble Spirits is a one or simultaneous two player, vertical scrolling shooter in which the players become daring WWIII fighter pilots doing their bit for King and country across six levels of 21st century terror!
Blowing away the enemy fighters scores points, while destroying helicopters gives you a friendly mini-plane which either assists in battle or becomes a kamikaze smart-bomb, flying toward any opposing planes and exploding across the screen. Massive craft guard the end of each stage and these must be trashed (sometimes one bit at a time) before the next level can be tackled. There are bonus stages in rounds one, three and five which reward the player with extra points for disposing of various attack craft.
Just when you think Sega have done away with the Master System's horrible, flickery scrolling, back they go to the bad old days with Scramble Spirits, a coin-op conversion which generally fails to impress. The sprite flicker is absolutely atrocious, making it very difficult to keep tabs on either your plane or the craft attacking it. Graphics themselves aren't very good either, come to think of it, although some of the end-of-level ships are fairly well-drawn. Had presentation been a lot better than it currently is, perhaps I could have enjoyed Scramble Spirits. In its present state, however, no thanks.