F-16 Fighting Falcon review
I've seen pigeons more deadly than these falcons
An unfinished prototype.
Let me just say that I love flight simulators, but unfortunately, it had a very, very rocky start. Only a couple of flight simulators back in the day were worth playing, while the others were failed attempts at capturing the spirit of a dogfight (two airplanes duking it out). F-16 Fighting Falcon is a frigging atrocity and doesn't even feel like a game. It made every other 8-bit flight simulator... well, to be honest, it makes every other 8-bit game look like Super Mario Brothers 3 by comparison, and we all know how legendary Super Mario Brothers 3 is...
The best way to put it is this - crap graphics, bothersome controls, aggravating gameplay and no fun at all. It fails in every aspect of game design, and it fails at being a game. This is what you'd force your enemies to play to get them to squeal. It's torture I tell you!
Dogs of war.
The basic goal of the game is to go through each of the 10 levels, and each goal there is to destroy all the enemy planes using missiles and bullets, then move on. Sounds easy enough. But you're forgetting one major problem... THE GAME DOESN'T *bleep*ING WORK THAT WAY!
A flight simulator seen through the eyes of the plane's radar.
First and foremost, the game looks like shit. Even though you can only just tell what the enemy looks like because it's the only thing that isn't a line or a dot, the game is unappealing to look at. You're looking at nothing but white lines and dots, as well as a plane-shaped object and a whole bunch of numbers and other lines. You think I'm just focusing on the radar? No. The game's radar is that green square with a couple of smaller squares. The rest of the game looks like a radar, though. This is the bare basis for graphics, and we're well past the Atari age at this point, so shouldn't Sega or ASCII or whoever developed this piece of shit be able to make surroundings? It looks like they just STARTED on the graphics.
Literally. Whenever you turn or switch altitude, the screen moves a lot of pixels in that direction per frame. Transitioning isn't smooth. It's rough, it's jerky, and it's almost vertigo inducing, which signifies lazy graphics work. This is pretty much a bad sign, because if the graphics are utter shit, then... uh-oh, the gameplay might suffer, too!
As for sounds, all you hear is the engine. Yeah, that's it. It's an infuriating sound to hear while you're playing a game. Then there's when you're going down - I can't describe it, because I only heard it once. I remember it being this really annoying low-pitch squealing sort of noise that peirces your eardrums and *bleep* your ears. Though to be fair, it compliments the shittyness of the experience, but if it becomes too much, just put some music on. Problem solved, but we shouldn't need to solve developers' problems! They should do something, like either some great music, or dead silence - anything is better than this mind*bleep*!
About as exhilerating as watching paint dry.
Actually fighting in this game is a joke! Good luck trying to get a shot in. You didn't? Well, WHO DOES!? Just about every shot you fire - bullets or missiles, which should be homing!!! - hits the air or ground! There's no way to actually hit your target! When firing your missiles, sure, there's a lock-on. Doesn't mean anything, though. 9 times out of 10, that missile is headed either for the ground or just right past the other plane. Just mash the 2 button a thousand times and you can switch to the gatling gun that misses 99% of the time. They say that dogfights last about 45 seconds; dead serious, these matches can last up to a good few minutes each, and that's per plane, and that's if you don't get shot. That's a pretty huge if, as enemies are pricks once they get behind you. Once they're behind you, they're hard to see and predict and that friggin radar isn't helping one bit, because it's as if they're circling you if you try to flip 180 degrees. Then they fire, and your plane begins to blow up!
If you get shot, you have to eject. Oops, can't do that with your controller. Gotta use the other controller so you can eject and land safely... I have two things to say about this. First, why should we need 2 controllers? If you couldn't fit certain commands on the controller, then go without them. Second, it's just to score extra points. Who cares? The scores aren't recorded, so the system is pointless! Screw this option, keep it all to one controller! Oh, the second controller does other things, but nothing worth noting or caring about or justifying why we need 2 controllers beyond maybe a 2 player mode (though I doubt anybody would want to subject their friends to this torture).
A pioneer, or a homeless veteran?
F-16 Fighting Falcon is utterly pathetic. It offers nothing worth anything, except the most traumatizing experience this side of Action 52. It tries to be a flight simulator, but instead, it becomes a pain simulator, working hand in hand with crabs to make sure that you never see your pubes ever again, because you'll be tearing them out over how much of a frustrating mess this is. If you value your soul and self-value, you won't touch this game. You're better off purchasing Action 52 at the full value of $200. I can't believe I just said that...
What's the status report?
The basic concept of a dogfight is wrecked because your shots keep missing, while you're guaranteed to die if the enemy shoots. It... It doesn't even try!
Half the time, you can't even move your plane when you should be able to. You have to press the buttons twice just to get them to work. You also need two controllers just to survive, which isn't inventive in the slightest.
Title screen looked nice, but the rest of the game doesn't look good at all. Looks like the bare basis of graphics. I've seen better looking Atari games. The jagged animation when moving is very annoying too.
Mostly non-existent, except for the roaring engine.