Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
and being a trainee pilot in the Air Force, you are plunged into the thick of it. Many missions await you. with the object being to wreak as much havoc behind enemy lines as possible, destroy their special war machines and reach a high enough rank to keep you on the ground forever.
G-LoC is a cockpit-view 3D shoot 'em up in which the player uses missiles and a high-powered cannon to obliterate the enemy forces on land, sea and air. One point is scored for every enemy vehicle or craft destroyed, and these points are used to buy things at the between-mission shop But their real value is as decorations - get 160 points and you're elevated to too ranking and are judged to have won the war!
The opposition often attempts to sneak up and blow your plane apart from the rear. If this happens, the view changes and the action is seen out of the enemy's cockpit - you must twist and turn your aircraft to evade the deadly barrage of lead and missiles heading its way.
Between missions an info section appears which briefs you on your next mission and details your successes so far. From here it's also possible to buy more missiles and extra time and also repair your plane. One point buys either one missile or ten extra seconds or repairs a single hit. This allows you to choose your tactics for the upcoming mission, buying time if there are lots of targets, or loads of missiles if there's just one, powerful target.
By far the most impressive version of arcade G-LoC is the R360. This giant, round cabinet in which the player sits is able to turn through 360 degrees in four directions as the player guides his on-screen plane! Needless to say it’s great fun, but the big problem is that the machine is so expensive there are only a few permanent machines in Britain - London’s Trocadero is the most famous site.
Blast the first end-of-level boss!
Finish off the boss by striking the base of it!
Tanks ahoy! Use missiles here.
Bandits at 12 o'clock! Dust them with your cannon!
Watch out for the enemy missiles!
Cannon shots close in!
Squeezing the rather awesome arcade game into the Master System was an ambitious project to say the least - but amazingly, Sega have pulled it off! The graphics are neat - there's a little sprite flicker, but the 30 update is fast and convincing. The sound isn't quite so hot however, with some dire tunes that make you want to hide under a blanket. What's best, though, is the gameplay. It's best described as what NES Top Gun II should have been, with lots of missions and detailed briefings. The points trade system is a marvellous idea, introducing an interesting strategy element alongside the action. The action is fast and furious, and offers challenge and addiction unmatched by any other Master System 3D shoot 'em up. Potential Top Guns shouldn’t miss it.
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by G-LoC. Okay, the graphics are awful and sound scores very highly in the sadness stakes, but gameplay-wise, G-LoC is quite a good laugh, with plenty of airborne thrills and spills to enjoy. My biggest gripe with the game must be the fact that it's very hard to dodge missiles (and this isn't down to a lack of skill on my part - they just suddenly seem to appear in front of you from nowhere!). The variety between each level could have been more pronounced, it always seems to be a case of just shooting anything without using tactics of any description. The thing is, even though the game has its limitations, it’s still rather addictive and the sheer fun factor will doubtlessly bring you back for more! G-LoC isn't an essential buy, but it sure beats the hell out Afterburner (and Top Gun II on the NES for that matter!).