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Airforce Delta
- Dreamcast

Kick the Tires & Light the Fires

Latest Update October 28, 1999  

In some respects, nearly every console system has at least a few titles where you get to pilot sleek jets and knock bogeys out of the sky. The NES has Top Gun, the SNES has Turn & Burn, the Genesis F-22, and the PlayStation Air Combat. Speaking of Air (Ace) Combat, this successful PlayStation franchise is quite similar to Konami's AirForce Delta for the Dreamcast. So much so that if you've played any Air Combat, you'd swear that AirForce Delta is a direct descendant. If (to borrow a cliche) imitation is the highest form of flattery, Konami seems to have appreciated Namco's work.

AirForce Delta is a fairly straight-forward action/shooter. The game starts you with one plane, an F-5E, and a single mission. After being briefed about the upcoming sortie, you are tossed out into the fly zone. Using the onscreen radar and HUD, you zero in on the targets and, just like Maverick and Goose, you ace the enemy with missiles and machine guns. Once the mission is accomplished, a reward is given for each of the targets destroyed. The reward is then used to purchase other, more powerful aircraft that magically start to appear on the tarmac of the airfield. In the ensuing missions, objectives include such tasks as destroying a naval convoy, ambushing refueling SR-71s, and, of course, dog fighting with some hot shot from an enemy squadron. Maybe it's the Jester, or possibly the Iceman? Anyway, completing more missions results in more available aircraft -- popular U.S. and Russian-built planes such as the F/A-18, A-10, MiG-31, and F-14 (Tom Cruise's favorite). There are 30 beautifully replicated planes in all.

Indeed, all the aircraft are nice to look at, as is most of the game's graphics. The aircraft spurn contrails on tight turns and the terrain is rich with textures. There isn't much time to enjoy the scenery when you're playing, but a Replay mode will show off the successes and defeats. Each entire mission, some of which take upwards of ten minutes to complete, is shown in dynamic fashion. Multiple camera angles highlight the action, and you can even see the pilots in the cockpit and the plane's flaps move.

Like the games mentioned earlier, AirForce Delta is by no means a true flight simulator. Even though each plane has different flight characteristics, aircraft all come equipped with the same firepower, and there are no take-offs or landings. Even so, this game offers a challenging array of missions and fantastic graphics.

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Special Features:
HUD & 3rd-Person Perspectives, 30 Authentic Aircraft; More Than 20 Missions; Ground & Air-Based Missions; 4 Difficulty Settings; Novice & Expert Controls
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Andy, The Game Hombre
Concept: 6
Graphics: 8.75
Sound: 7
Playability: 7
Entertainment: 6
"Personally, I'm not a big fan of good-old-fashioned plane games. They just don't do it for me. Now spaceships are a different story, but I digress. For what it is, Airforce Delta is pretty impressive. Sadly, there's no real story to it, but you do get to watch a quick briefing before you head out to conquer the world. The terrain in each level is convincingly realistic and really adds to the flying experience. The control of the plane is on par with the best that console gaming has to offer, with missions that give you plenty of chances to fire at will. And although this may sound weird, the game has a fantastic replay feature that is quite a joy to watch. It rotates through a number of camera views and lets you see what went right and wrong. A solid effort, but I would rate it as a rental at best."

Paul, The Game Professor
Concept: 8
Graphics: 9.25
Sound: 8
Playability: 9.25
Entertainment: 9.75
"Let me get this out of the way first. This game needs more choice of weapons, at least a few landings, and some work on explosions. Additionally, it needs some chatter on the radio. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed AD. I've always been a huge fan of the genre, and I am really blown away by the look of this game. The planes look fantastic - right down to the detailed paint jobs and moving flaps. It is definitely on the difficult side. I found the very easy setting to get pretty dang hard after a while. Even so, I am hooked and look forward to playing this even more in the future. This is easily one of my top picks for the Dreamcast, and I hope Konami is already working a sequel."

Reiner, The Raging Gamer
Concept: 7.75
Graphics: 8.75
Sound: 6.5
Playability: 8
Entertainment: 7
"Airforce Delta is a fairly decent flight sim. Its play is fast and accompanied by truly remarkable plane detail right down to visible cockpit instrumentation. The landscapes and cities are also breathtaking and a pleasure to navigate across. I don't know if Konami was rushed to finish this game or not, but the absence of voice-overs and an involving story makes this game seem more arcade-like than it should be. I also dislike a majority of the missions, and where are the additional weapons? However, later in the game there are some killer runs that push your skills to the limit. Play-wise, Airforce Delta delivers true-to-life physics, smart computer bogeys, and precise controls. This game isn't for everyone, but if you are into this kind of thing, hit the skies."