Majesco Flight/Vehicle Simulators
2 41. F-18 Thunder Strike - Game Boy Color
4 102. F-14 Tomcat - Game Boy Advance
The Main Vehicle: Grumman F-14 Tomcat
Based on the Super Nintendo title Turn and Burn: No Fly Zone, this game marks the second in Majesco's series of vehicle simulators. And, in many respects, it remains the best.
Story: The game pits you smack dab in the middle of an Eastern struggle, monitoring a no-fly zone between the Republic of China and Taiwan.
Gameplay: You control the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, and have various weapons at your display. There are 20 levels of dogfighting in all, and beating any multiple of five earns you a higher rank - from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander, to Commander, to Captain, and finally to universal respect. Beating the game in either Ace mode or Novice mode will get you a password to change the enemy fighters to something a tad bit more interesting.
Graphics: the scenery is pictureque, but not entirely that detailed. The enemy fighters are just one sprite blown up larger and larger as it comes near you. But the graphics represent what's there, and that's what's important.
Music/Sound: The two - count 'em, two - theme songs are fantastic, and do a good job of giving the game some background music that doesn't grate on your nerves (they're both quite good, actually). Still, only two theme songs is too little, but all the sound effects really add to the experience. The huff of air flying by the cockpit, the sirens alerting (and alarming!) you when missiles are on their way, the confirmation at the end of a mission giving you a feeling of relief. It all gets the job done.
Difficulty: While Novice is certainly easier than Ace, it's not entirely a pushover mode either. The missions can still be hard, but for those who play it all in one period of time, it's easier since the difficulty progresses and one can get better as they go. I wouldn't rack my brain over Ace mode if it's too hard - it's there if you need it.
Replayability: 20 levels may not be enough for many, but it's a good start for the series. You might be inspired to play the game over again just because it's fun. At any rate, there is a multi-player function, but unless you have the will to buy multiple carts of the game it's likely going to go unnoticed. Supposing you do buy more than one copy, you get to play against friends for an extra challenge. And at the low price F-14 Tomcat goes for, it's worth it. Adjustable are the time of day, maximum kills by one player till the game ends, and maximum time passed till the game ends. It's simple, but it's fun. Unfortunately, one must find fellow people who like this game, and I've had difficulty in that arena.
Pumpkinate's Helpful Tips
Tip #1 - When fighting MIGs with bullets or the circle/square target-shaped missiles, turn the F-14 sideways so the horizon line goes vertically as straight as you can make it. Then merely click up or down to turn around and shoot down enemies. [A word of caution: doing this in a real F-14 might cause you to fall into the sea below you.]
Tip #2 - Unless you can shoot down MIGs right off the bat with Tip #1, use all your triangle target-shaped missiles first. If you have to go back and refuel/rearm midway through a mission, you'll want to have splashed enemies as efficiently as possible so you have enough missiles/fuel/hit points to destroy the rest of the MIGs and complete your mission.
Tip #3 - Take down MIGs slowly but surely on the way to accomplishing missions unless the occasion calls for a different strategy, such as when destroying an aircraft before it reaches its goal or when MIGs get in the way of a mission and you have enough time.
2 23. Operation Armored Liberty - Game Boy Advance
Think, basically, Robot Tank. You can play this game for ten minutes and pretty much get the gist of it. Fuel runs out very, very easily and it's very easy to die by way of getting smoked by other tanks. Fortunately the story doesn't require that you always succeed, as it'll progress even if your vehicle goes down a couple times, but it's just too frustrating to bother with. It also takes flight (not literally, of course) from the then-fresh War on Terror. It clearly takes a conservative approach, which is easy to look over if you live in the Southern US like myself and are used to hearing what these people say. I appreciate that Majesco tried to do something different with this one, but they clearly learned from their mistakes and went back to doing flight simulators.
2 64. Super Hornet: F/A 18F - Game Boy Advance
The Main Vehicle: Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
It's like F-14, pretty much, but a bit easier. Like Armored Liberty, it derives its story from the War on Terror and thus one fights mostly in the Middle East. I've taken one star off in my rating for not doing anything new besides adding desert regions to fly over, and another for the lack of multi-player mode (which one probably won't need if they've stocked up on enough F-14 Tomcat carts).
1 65. F24 Stealth Fighter - Game Boy Advance
1 86. F24 Stealth Fighter - Nintendo DS
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