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The SEGA AGES sequence works greatest when it shines a lightweight on a forgotten or unavailable sport. Enter G-LOC Air Battle, a comparatively obscure arcade title from 1990. Whereas G-LOC noticed a number of console ports within the 90s, the arcade model has by no means been out there on dwelling programs—till now. All the pieces good and not-so-good concerning the sport is retained on Nintendo’s hybrid, buttressed with on-line leaderboards, some nifty presentation choices, and a model new “AGES” mode.
Typically thought of an off-shoot of SEGA’s extra well-known After Burner sequence, G-LOC—which stands for G-force induced lack of consciousness—is an motion sport the place gamers pilot a fighter airplane via a number of levels full of enemy vessels. In contrast to After Burner, the motion takes place from a first-person cockpit view, besides in uncommon circumstances when the digital camera pulls again to a third-person perspective to establish a tailing bogey.
The controls and motion are easy and easy. You may pilot your jet via a number of scrolling levels, downing enemy plane (and typically ships and marine installations) with a rapid-fire Vulcan gun or heat-seeking missiles. On increased problem ranges gamers have entry to thrust and afterburners plus better management of the jet’s roll, permitting extra breakneck maneuvers and even inverted flight. The purpose of the sport: destroy every stage’s requisite variety of enemies earlier than a timer runs down. On this approach, G-LOC is one thing of a cross between the aerial daredevilry of After Burner and the time-based driving of Out Run.
It makes for a enjoyable and thrilling expertise—to a degree. Whereas G-LOC‘s sense of velocity, top, and motion is nice—SEGA’s arcade system Y Board does some heavy lifting right here—the sport finally sits on the quick, repetitive facet. That is an arcade title via and thru, with easy instructions, unvaried gameplay, and temporary levels. A single playthrough may take solely 5 to 10 minutes, relying on the issue setting (increased settings embrace extra levels).
G-LOC, then, is designed with excessive scores in thoughts. Figuring out this, the port masters at M2, who introduced this title to Swap, added in on-line leaderboards for all three problem ranges. Whereas G-LOC‘s moment-to-moment gameplay is merely first rate, pushing your self to complete the sport extra shortly and effectively—and in so doing climbing the leaderboards—is surprisingly satisfying.
M2 additionally added a brand-new “AGES” mode, to offer some further substance. It takes the core gameplay loop, limits it to a single problem setting, gives a single credit score, and provides extra enemies, extra missiles, and a extra highly effective lock-on system. With a brand new set of 16 ranges, it is a enjoyable bonus that, alongside on-line leaderboards, makes G-LOC on Swap rather more than a easy port. That is merely one of the best ways to expertise the sport—outdoors of the costly and uncommon R360 motion-based rotating arcade cupboard.
One other reward from M2: a wide range of display filters and HUD choices, together with a transferring cupboard show designed to recreate the unique hydraulic-powered arcade cupboard. You may also experiment with a smoothing filter and scan traces. Even with out these extras, G-LOC is a deal with for the eyes because of scrolling textures, sprite rotation, and pre-rendered 3D graphics—all courtesy of the Y Board. There are additionally some neat particular results like a cracked cover. 30 years later it nonetheless appears rattling good.
G-LOC is the proper type of sport for SEGA AGES. It is a comparatively unknown arcade title by no means earlier than out there on dwelling programs, some watered-down console ports however. Whereas the Swap model inherits the unique sport’s unvaried, repetitive gameplay and short-lived periods, it mitigates these points because of on-line leaderboards, a model new AGES mode, and a transferring arcade cupboard show—no quarters required.
This evaluation relies on a digital copy of SEGA AGES G-LOC: Air Battle for the NS, offered by the writer.