Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
EL's bells! Bad pun, but that's the name of the most destructive weapon ever created - EL. Designed by the terrorist organisation N.A.C, the huge laser emitter is capable of destroying the Earth's ozone layer, which would allow the sun's deadly ultra-violet rays to penetrate the atmosphere, spelling doom for the entire planet!
The Earth would be in dire straits were it not for mysterious Freedom Fighter. No country accepted responsibility for him, but all of them owed their very existence to the shadowy figure and his daring raids into N.A.C territory. But he'd strayed into danger once too often - N.A.C had ready an immense offensive force and were on the brink of an all-out strike which would mean the end of civilisation as known.
You control the Freedom Fighter in a one-man fight for survival against a wall of land, sea and air attacks. Spread across four levels, with a huge enemy guardian lurking at the end of each mission, your work will be cut out from the word go. And if you survive all that N.A.C can throw at you - a thankless task in itself - you'll still have the terrifying EL laser to contend with. Not a very nice prospect at all.
First impressions of Air Assault are decidedly iffy - the graphics are titchy and colour is rather bland. Soon, though, your mind turns to the action and you begin to enjoy the game. The trouble is, it's too easy, even on the highest difficulty setting and, with only four rounds, it's not going to take even the most Inept shoot 'em upper very long to complete the game. Had Aerial Assault been tougher, it would have been a very appealing game - the graphics get a lot better once you reach level two, where you're greeted with a beautiful sunset and some effective parallax scrolling. If you crave for a demanding shoot 'em up, spend your round, golden bits of metal on the likes of Submarine Attack - Aerial Assault is best left to the beginners.
A reasonable-looking shoot 'em up, but suffers from lack of difficulty and too-few levels.