The Master System version of After Burner is in
fact based upon the original game and not After Burner II like so many
other conversions. To be honest though I’ve never actually seen the
original After Burner so I can’t really say if this Master System
version follows it well or just a lazy port.
One of the first things you’ll notice about After Burner on the Master
System is that there’s no throttle control. This is could be mainly due
to that fact that the Master System only has two trigger buttons which
are used for your gun and missiles. Another thing I noticed is that you
don’t seem to be limited in the amount of missiles that you can fire,
yet you still have the missile reloading sections. Talking of which, in
every other version of After Burner I’ve ever played the missile
reloading section is automatic however in this Master System game you
have to fly your F-14 to the reloading hose. Miss, and forget about a
reload (not that it seems to matter).
As far as looks go all is well for a Master System. Decent sense of
movement coupled with some nicely sized sprites. The audio on the other
hand is slightly disappointing. Even though this game uses the FM sound
chip the audio is still pretty weak. No speech, no samples, no real
sound effects at all. To top it off there only seems to be one music
track. God only knows why this is a 4MB cartridge.
So the game looks ok and sounds ok however it could have been a lot
better, but how does it play? Hmm, not too bad to be honest. Collision
detection seems to be well in place and even with the lack of the
throttle you still manage to get by without too much trouble. There is
one massive problem though. It’s possible to go throughout almost the
entire game without being shot down at all by keeping your F-14 in the
top right hand corner of the screen! So as you can guess, this is not
going to last you very long if you cheat. Apart from that After Burner
on the Master System isn’t all that bad. Far better than the versions
available on the Famicom that’s for sure.