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Airforce Delta
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  1
Developer:  Konami
Publisher:  Konami
Features:  VMU
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://konami.com
Airforce Delta is the best flight game on the Dreamcast. Okay, it's the only flight game on the Dreamcast, but it does not rely on the lack of competition alone. It boasts great detailed graphics, a good combination of arcade and simulation, and a good level of fun. The main weakness is the control, which is simplified to the point of being difficult. However, the game is still very playable and a good alternative to all of the racing and fighting fare currently available.



The set-up of the game is pretty simple. You are a flying mercenary sent on specific missions that no one else would dare to do. If you beat the mission you get paid based on the speed of your completion and the number of flying dirtbags you sent to hell. Each mission has a number of required "targets" that must be hit and a bunch of other "enemies" that are just gravy. Hit them all and you will get paid the big bucks. Money can be used to buy faster, stronger planes and the shop.

This is a required practice if you hope to get very far. The initial plane gets pretty useless around the third level. The graphics of the game are pretty amazing. Every plane, mountain, building, and explosion are very detailed especially up close. Flying around and through buildings has never looked so realistic on a console before (Ace Combat, eat your heart out). There is no clipping or pop-up to speak of. The only thing that I found a little silly about the graphics is the lack of shadowing or light sources on the planes. They look good on all sides from any angle. Other than this minor detail, the graphics really enhance the realism of the flying experience.

Okay, let's talk control. The analog stick on the Dreamcast controller is no the best when it comes to flight games and there is no flight stick in the near future. This leads to very jerky movements and makes it very difficult to have precise control. The biggest problem was the constant circling and circling trying to get the targets in view. However, the game can easily be played and won with sloppy flying due to the poor enemy AI and the heat-seeking missiles. Just shoot one off in the vicinity of the target and it'll make contact. There are different difficulty levels if it is too easy for you.

And that's about it. Airforce Delta strongly relies on its graphics to woo players. There are no that many options and not that much depth. Pick a plane, shoot the enemies, pass the level, and repeat. However, for a first generation title it shows off the graphical ability of the system and makes for a pretty fun flight sim/shooter game. Kinda makes you anxious about what the guys and Namco can do with this machine.


Chris Shade


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