Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
‘Loss of consciousness through G-force’ is the inspiration behind the title of this new arcade flight sim on the Master System. Fortunately this loss of consciousness does not come in the game itself — it’s not that boring! Merely a fairly straight-forward pilot’s eye-view of air combat.
The game is set in the near future, when endless war has led to military forces taking control from civilian governments. The largest and most powerful of these independent forces is the CDF (Citizens Defence Force), who have raided government installations and accrued a massive army in air, sea and ground forces.
The UN have gone completely bonkers about this and decided to unleash their ‘Thunderfox’ fighters — the hottest thing in the skies, but as yet untested!
G-LOC is no flight simulator, but there a few sim-like options. You can upgrade through numerous Thunderiox models (all with varying features), a choice of machine-guns and auto-locking missiles, a damage level meter and other such realistic lighter features. You also get the chance to restock your plane and select new terrains between attacks from enemy forces, adding a degree of strategy to the game.
Basically though it’s an arcade style 3-D shoot-’em-up. The flight screen is impressive, with a great number of enemy targets shooting by as the ground rushes beneath your plane. But you’ll not be able to loop the loop or even turn that much, it’s just straight action until you’ve wiped out the wave of enemy attack. There is a radar showing approaching enemy fighters, and this must be used to either avoid trouble or bring them directly into your own sights. But there’s no map of the territory flown over and each enemy that appears is ‘gone’ completely once it’s left the immediate area around your jet.
These things considered it’s a pretty fast and challenging blast, although it’s somewhat repetitive. Battling it out over various land, sea, and desert scenes (all with that distant mountain range in the distance) you must pick off waves of enemy fighters, tanks, warships, and home bases.
Each wave is separate, your mission being to destroy a certain number of the enemy within a certain amount of time. There’s a mass of information displayed in the cockpit at the base of the screen, including time, hits (and hits still required), missiles left, the radar, the level indicator and other useful/vital into.
There’s also a Heads-Up-Display indicating when your missiles are locked on target. Using this vast numbers of enemy units can be destroyed, but your missile supply is limited so some caution is needed. Not that the trigger happy will be too disappointed, your machine gun can lire away all the time. One interesting feature is the under-attack sequence. Rather than simply hearing the explosions of your plane getting attacked from behind and being wiped out in complete confusion and ignorance, you actually get to view of your own jet from behind enabling you to see the enemy fire and accordingly dodge the oncoming missiles. This makes battling it out a lot more fun and less confusing than on many flight sims.
The graphic representation of all this is fast and accurate, with enemy targets approaching thick and fast, leaving a trail of fire across the screen as you blast them away. The various terrains behind the action scroll reasonably smoothly, but are somewhat pointless to the gameplay — you can’t crash.
The sound FX accompanying all this are sadly rather weak, with an abominably annoying beepy tune blasting out the whole time.
G-LOC isn’t for the serious flight sim fan, but Sega gamers will appreciate it as a reasonable arcade conversion.
Anybody who buys this game with any intention of reliving the graphics and sound of the coin-op needs their head examining. But take those away from G-LOC and is there much of anything left. Sega have at least added a fair amount of options, allowing you to change your weapon selection, game difficulty and so on.
Graphically the game isn’t too bad, the graphics are a little bland but the rather narrow viewscreen at least ensures speed; enemy fighters zoom at you and the horizon banks with nausea-inducing quickness — a bit more smoothness and controllability would be welcome, actually. The view is a little too restricted though, especially for a game supposedly about soaring through the wide blue yonder. You feel confined and lining up enemy targets in time is tough. Not a bad conversion of a game never intended for domestic hardware.
Elements of arcade and simulator, but unremarkable as either.