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  • Joined: 01 Nov 1986
  • Posts: 28
  • Location: Radaxian
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G-LOC - Air Battle (ジーロック) (Game Gear)
Post Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:27 pm
This topic contains reviews of G-LOC - Air Battle (ジーロック).
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  • Joined: 12 Jan 2005
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Reconquista, Santa Fe, Argentina
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:17 pm
Ok, so here's my first review. My very, first-GG-game-ever-played influenced, subjective review.

Let me start with this: G-LOC for the Game Gear is a terrible, bad port. And a great game in its own right. Yes, a game can be both.

If you've played the original arcade game and then rushed to the store to buy this game, you surely felt disappointed at first and surprisingly good a few minutes later. This game shares the name, logo and genre with the original arcade - and that's about it. But then again, it's a great, fun game.

Being an early title, this game and others (Columns comes to mind) have a great responsibility: attracting users and show the system's abilities and capabilities. And I think G-LOC succeeded.

I played this game first in 1994 when my cousin purchased his Japanese Game Gear. This cartridge came with the system and we were very, very impressed. Back then, this game had the "wow factor", at least for us. Currently I own a copy (a Tec Toy cartridge) and like to play it now and then.

Being an early title means also that the system is not pushed to its limits and the game is short and a bit repetitive.

The gameplay is simple but effective: choose a mission, complete it, buy beter armor, weapons and replenish fuel. Then choose another mission. The game is divided in nine missions. Eight of them can be completed in any order while the ninth mission is unlocked only after completing all the others.

Your success (and your life) depends, among other things, on your fuel tank. It serves both as a fuel tank and a life bar. As you advance through each mission, your fuel bar will decrease. If you take a hit, it will affect your fuel bar a lot.

Each mission consists in destroying a certain amount of enemies. Each mission requires you to destroy a certain type and amount of enemies, e.g. 10 fighters, 15 tanks, 10 warships and so on. The other, non-required enemy types also appear on each mission but killing them will award you nothing. You have to destroy them if you want to survive anyway. Some of the missions have attack choppers with missiles. Destroying the choppers is not required by any mission, but they are lethal. It's you or them. Oh, and while you are at it, don't forget to keep an eye on you radar. Some fighers are chasing you!

Strangely enough, sometimes the game doesn't realize when you have completed your mission. You must battle a few more seconds. Every extra enemy (of the type required by your mission) will award you extra points. Killing one extra enemy gives you a special bonus of 1,000 points. If you kill two, you will get a bonus of 10,000 extra points.

Buying the correct supplies is vital to your mission - start a mission to destroy warships with less missiles than the number of warships to destroy and you are doomed. So please be careful.

Graphics look great, but the water, deserts and prairies are the same thing with a palette swap. Same goes to the mountains present in each level. However, I woudn't dare say they are boring. They work great somehow. Believe me, I love to play the game over and over again. With an intelligent use of the color palette, the developers managed to create levels with sunsets, nights and fogs. My favorite mission is to destroy 20 tanks. It has an amazing "fog". That illusion disappears quickly though, as the palette cycles several times in each mission. If you don't complete the mission quickly enough, the palette cycle will start over and you will see the fog again.

8 bit systems are always limited in resources and processing power. but the Game Gear seemed to be willing to show that it's no NES. There's no sprite flickering in G-LOC. The game takes no prisoners - If the screen becomes too crowded, some sprites will disappear completely. See? No flickering at all.

The tunes are as repetitive as the graphics, but they are catchy enough to become a great part of the experience. But if Sega wanted to impress us, it would have been a great idea to trade the tunes for the digitized voices from the arcade version. Sound effects are nothing to write home about, but they do their work and that's all. Then again, some voices would have been awesome.

Controls are good, except for a small detail: there is no pause button! Your Game Gear has limited controls and sacrifices had to be made. The Start button serves as a burst button. Use it wisely, or you will waste your fuel. Button 1 is used for your normal shot and button 2 for missiles. The D-Pad is used to move up, down, left and right as yo can expect. Don't be afraid to move up or down too much - you can't crash. If you press Up twice, your fighter will loop. It's a great way to escape from enemies, but (guess what!) it drains your fuel bar.

G-LOC is a bit short and on the easy side. I guess this is because of the short battery life of the system.

The game also has a two player mode, but I wasn't able to test it because neither my cousin nor me have a Gear-To-Gear cable.

Overall, G-LOC is a cool game. Not a good arcade port, but a cool game. Do I recommend it? Sure. Now grab a copy and experience it for yourself.
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