Top Gun: Air Combat II

-Mforma (2004)

-played on a Sanyo 8200


The Story:

Maverick and Iceman thought they had eliminated the Ruskie threat, but they were wrong. The Ruskies reformed with some Middle Eastern allies. What's more, they have dug up Goose's grave and now zombie Goose is commanding the Russian / Middle East merger. The unstoppable force of the undead zombie jet pilots is bigger and more powerful than the Ruskies could ever have been alone. They must stop Goose and avenge him at the same time.


My Thoughts:

Top Gun II: Air Combat is a big improvement over its predecessor. The game has better graphics, a bigger challenge, more variety, a couple more stages, and a nice strategy element.

Just like the first game you can choose between Maverick and Iceman. Before, their only discernable difference was in the way they shot off their big missiles. Now Iceman is noticeably faster then Maverick. The game itself is pretty challenging, but playing as Maverick for the second play through will give you an even greater challenge because of his slower speed.

The stages can become tough very quickly, so itís up to you to appropriately upgrade your jet. Certain enemies will leave behind wings which you use to purchase upgrades. You can improve the F-14ís guns, sub-weapon, ammo, and purchase more fuel or special weapons. This is the only way to acquire more specials, as they donít appear during the normal game play. It takes a certain amount of strategy and experimentation to figure out what to purchase when, and how far to upgrade it. I found that upgrading everything to the max actually hindered me in the final stages.

The stages have more variety than the previous over water stages of the first game. Youíll be dog fighting in the sky, over a desert, an airbase and over water with glaciers. There is also a better variety in enemies and bosses. Tanks and subs will try to take you out along with the usual mix of fighters. The bosses put up a mean fight and have attacks that seem to come from nowhere. You donít see any weapons there, but there sure is a lot of ammo dispensing from that spot. Three of the bosses are big planes, with two of them being exactly the same. The other two are a big platform tank and a battleship ripped with firepower. A couple bosses also get ally jets to assist, making the battles more difficult.

From time to time there was some slow down when the screen was chock full of bullets and hardcore Top Gun action. The sounds consisted of ugly cymbal hits whenever a fighter exploded. I think I preferred the  This time around there is an auto-fire option and the game again automatically saves after each stage. The many improvements make Top Gun II a solid mobile shooter.

Score: 7.5



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