The enemy is airborne, and so are you. You are the best pilot the country has ever seen, and millions of people are depending on you. The ride isn’t smooth, and if it weren’t for the seatbelt you’re wearing, you would’ve banged your head into the cockpit walls a couple of times. With the engine roaring behind you, you haven’t got all day since time’s running out as you pursue the enemy plane into a vicious dogfight. Just when you are about to raise those victory flags, the time runs out and you are dragged out of the arcade cabinet as you hold on to whatever you can, begging for one last game.
Today, we talk about the era when your neighborhood arcade shop was the best of best as it had the G-LOC: Air Battle arcade cabinet. The era when 16-bit games were considered the games of the future, and it was beyond the capabilities of your 8-bit home gaming console to provide you the pleasure of combat flight simulation.
This year, Sega is killing it by bringing in their old arcade games on the millennial consoles. So far, they have released two of the most anticipated arcade marvels, back to back on the same day. One of them being Streets of Rage 4, the review for which you can read here. Though in this review, we’ll talk about Sega Ages: G-LOC Air Battle that has finally been released on the Nintendo Switch.
For the feel of it, G-LOC Air Battle has not seen the tiniest change in the last thirty years. It’s a Sega Ages release after all! The developers have tried bringing you a pure arcade experience from the comfort of your couch. Well, it only took them thirty years to do so! As you steer your aircraft to the victory, you notice the HUD changing its position on your screen accordingly. You will often find yourself straining your neck without even realizing it. However, the feature becomes quite frustrating as the game is extremely fast-paced, and the Sega ages mode takes the game to a whole new level. This feature can be turned off from the settings and you don’t really have to follow right into the footsteps of the arcade’s gaming experience. There are a lot of other retro features in the game that have transitioned over the years, as it is.
It’s all fun and games until we consider the fact that arcade games were designed for a specific era. Arcade zones were on the rise as people could not afford expensive 16-bit gaming consoles, and there used to be endless queues of players at the arcade zones waiting to jump aboard. Hence, the games were not made to last long, and a similar problem exists with the Sega Ages version of the game as well. Playing the game on the hardest of difficulties could give you at max 15 minutes of the gameplay, and there is honestly nothing else in the game that would make you want to play it again.
Sega Ages games are not developed for the generation that has not seen the inside of an arcade cabinet; they are for people who respect the culture. But hey, who doesn’t like a good dogfight?