Sky Target certainly doesn't cruise into unfamiliar territory for long-time Sega fans. The game-which has been ported from the Model 2-based arcade standup-combines gameplay elements from some of Sega's greatest hits, including After Burner II. Panzer Dragoon-heck, even the Virtua Cop games.
Of course, After Burner M's inspiration is clear enough from the screen shots. The game hurls wave after wave of enemy fighters--as well as plenty of ground targets-at you in 12 levels. As in After Burner II, your fighter flies along a predetermined path over and through cities, canyons. H deserts, clouds, mountains and Щ other types of terrain. The only H difference now is that everything V is made of texture-mapped poly guns. The game does throw a few new tricks into the After Burner II mix, such as one level that has you flying straight toward the ground in a dive-bombing raid on enemy jets.
But what your fighter lacks in fancy aerobatic abilities is made up for by its missile-launching muscle. Besides your machine guns, you get an unlimited amount of missiles, which lock on when you sweep your crosshairs over oncoming targets (the lock-on zymology is awfully similar to that of the Virtua Cop games, by the way). Like in Panzer Dragoon, you can lock onto a dozen enemies, then unleash 12 missiles and watch them knock the doomed bad guys from the sky. Sky Target's end-of-level Bosses, too. are reminiscent of those in Panzer Dragoon. These enemies lumber onto the screen, bristling with gun turrets and missile launchers. You have to bring them down quick, though-the Bosses will take your abuse for a limited time before they fly away.
Control is tight but simple, even for an arcade port. You can't perform barrel rolls or punch on After Burner M's. All you worry about is lining up targets in your sights and evading enemy fire. When you start a new game, you get four fighters to choose from, the F-14, F-15. F-16 and the French Rafale superfighter. Each plane controls differently (the agile F-16 can fly circles around the sluggish Rafale), and each has its own intro cinema.
While the game controls just fine with the standard Saturn pad, you're best off plugging in Sega's 3D Pad or-even better-the mission stick. The analog control may feel a little sluggish at first, but once you get used to it Sky Target plays even better than the arcade version.
New to the home version of Sky Target is the Ranking Mode, which turns each level into an individual mission, then scores you on how well you flew it Shoot straight enough and you'll receive a promotion (you start as a lowly lieutenant), and as you go up in rank, new missions become available.
Of course. Ranking Mode doesn't actually open up any levels that you won't find in the regular game. But it does save your progress and gives you something to do when you beat the final Boss.
MANUFACTURER - Sega
THEME - Shooter
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
I'm really surprised that Sega resisted the temptation of naming this game "After Burner 2000," because that's what it really is (more or less). Underneath its 3-D skin, Sky Target is little more than a remade After Burner. The game is a third-person, 3-D shooter in which you helm one of four aircraft in a mission to destroy a stolen high-tech fighter. Gameplay is very basic and consists of moving your crosshairs over targets in order to lock on your missiles or fire your guns (before the enemy planes lock on you). Although you can move the plane around the screen to dodge and fire, you can't alter the game's set flight path for your mission. At the end of each level is an obligatory end Boss that you must destroy which consists of some sort of huge flying machine (one is a large missile you must destroy). While this simplistic gameplay is entertaining for the first hour or so, its lack of depth and difficulty makes Sky Target boring over the long haul. There are no power-ups and little variety between missions except for different types of terrain. The 3-D graphics are fast and furious, but look rough and blocky in spots. Although it isn't a big distraction, it gives the game an unpolished feel. With these lackluster visuals and plain gameplay, it isn't worth your while to lock-on to Sky Target.
Sure some of the background music sounds like anthem rock, but that's OK. Sky Target is a fun game that has plenty of action (that arcade type of action). Lots of creativity went into the levels, having you fly in all sorts of conditions and directions. The graphics could've been much better, but they're not bad. It's good, but where's the replay value, eh?
Sega has no excuse here. If they can put out a beautiful track shooter like Panzer Dragoon II, then why couldn't they here? Sky Target's shoddy graphics made it difficult to follow the action. You'll probably just press the buttons rapidly and hope you won't get hit. The music is ridiculous. and the game is way too short You can find much better arcade shooters.
There's nothing really mind-blowing about Sky Target. It's just an average shooter that plays a little like After Burner II, a little like Panzer Dragoon. OK, it plays a tor like ABII-except you can't perform barrel rolls or even kick on afterburners. Your battles with the huge Bosses are the best part of the game. The arena-rock soundtrack gets corny at times.
2016-09-19 Sky Target game added.