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Air Rescue – Sega Master System

Air Rescue – Sega Master System

cover artPlatform: Sega Master SystemFusion364 Emulator

Developer: Sega

Project ObscurePublisher: Sega

Release Date: 1992

Genre: Action

Nerd Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Dovahkyle

It’s amazing how one can really grasp the point of a game if one just reads the title, which I didn’t do first. It’s called Air Rescue, so yea, it’s about rescuing people. I thought I was going to be flying around, killing mass amounts of enemies, ultimately “Rescuing” the people they were tormenting. No, this is a 1992, Coast Guard style helicopter rescue game. I was pleasantly surprised by the SMS, as this is the first game for it that I have ever played. The Fusion364 emulator has a lot of options, so it took me a few minutes to figure out what I was doing. This emulator can handle pretty much anything Sega, from Game Gear to Saturn. Air Rescue was the 3rd game that I ran on the emulator, because with the first two I was really just testing out the BIOS, key-mapping, and in-emulator screenshot function. Trying to watch Prison Break on Netflix and play this game simultaneously was tricky to say the least, but nevertheless it is done.

True satisfaction. I save you people...me...

True satisfaction. I saved you people…me…don’t forget it.

Interestingly enough, this game was released for the home in ’92 around the same time as the arcade game of the same name for the Sega System 32. Here’s the kicker, the arcade game was first-person perspective, with an all out war theme, and was as 3-D as a game could be in those days. This home version of the game holds almost zero resemblance to the arcade, as it is a side scrolling, 2-D rescue game.

Gameplay

Dangerous Holiday

DangerThe stage introduction scene sure misleads the player into thinking this is a shoot-em-up or the like. Even the in-game menu allows the player to switch between four different guns and bombs. This is not a shooter; yes you can shoot a baddy or two, but that is not the goal of the game. All through the map there are little dudes waving their hands, just hoping for some do-gooder, fearless, helicopter pilot to come along and save them. The maps are filled with obstacles of all kinds, from buildings to cramped, little spaces where the pilot must fly extremely careful. For some reason people are trapped in the weirdest of places, from the bottom of caves to the top of wrecked roller coasters.

At the beginning of each stage, there is a map introduction scene that can be skipped if desired, but it shows the player the whole map in a sweeping motion. It was kind of a cool way to let the player know what he/she is up against on the current level. There are 5 stages, and as far as my research led me, there are no cheats that could help me on the emulator. I saw many-a Game Over screen and believe it or not, it wasn’t the enemies that were shooting me down either, it was the obstacles that had me crashing into them. The stages are fun, to an extent, and the rescuing is satisfying. I could see myself at age 10 spending a few hours on this one, just not anymore.

Story

Air Inferno

Ladder down

Drop it like it’s hot….the ladder bro, the ladder

Terrorists are on the rise! Apparently terrorists are destroying amusement parks, hi-jacking airplanes, and burning down skyscrapers, all the while taking hostages and leaving people stranded. What a bunch of cold-hearted blaggards. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to lend your flying expertise to the military by rescuing hostages, killing terrorists, and lending assisstance in any way that is needed. Maybe at the end you will gain some satisfaction when you are presented the opportunity to wipe out all of the remaining enemies, or maybe not, I’m not going to spoil anything for you.

Controls

Countdown

Simple and effective are the words I use to describe this one. Unlike Choplifter, the game this one was clearly designed after, the helicopter doesn’t have to land on the ground to pick up hostages. No, this lean, mean, flying machine is equipped with a quick drop-and-receive rope ladder. All the pilot has to do is fly directly over said hostage, and drop the ladder. When the player moves the directional controls to move the chopper, there is a realistic delay, as if there is really a chopper flying, and the player is really controlling it. I like the feel of it, and the dang thing is fast, so it’s easy to lose sight of where you’re flying or what you’re flying into. Overall, there are two action buttons, one for the ladder and one for the weapon. Besides rescuing and shooting, the player must learn how to land, gently so as not to explode. Apparently this chopper is fitted with highly explosive weapons that will be triggered if the chopper so much as touches anything. No thanks, I think I’ll walk bro.

Graphics/Sound

Ocean Fire

This is why I don't like roller coasters. Crap like this happens. Stupid.

This is why I don’t like roller coasters. Crap like this happens. Stupid.

These guys spent some time on the map details. No it’s not ridiculously impressive, but it doesn’t look half as bad as the other stuff I’ve played from that era. Shooting weapons on the other hand could have been a little better, instead there is just an ugly looking “bullet” kind of things that just sort of falls out of the helicopter. The music isn’t anything memorable, but if you like early ’90s arcade game music, you won’t be dissappointed.

Replayability

Breakdown Darkstar

As much as I personally want to collect every console that has ever been released, this game really brought the Sega Master System up to the top of my list, right up there with the Atari 7800 and the Game Park 32. I can’t say how this game will look on your TV from the console, but I can say it looked great on my PC monitor from the emulator. This game has endless replayability, as it is difficult, but not impossible to beat. Every time I played a stage over again, I got just a little farther, which was enough to keep me going. If you have a SMS, go get the game and give it a go, if you don’t, I wouldn’t go buy one just to play this title. Good job Sega, I miss you.

*Note: All screenshots were captured with the in-app screenshot function of the Fusion364 Emulator.

Gameplay: 7

Story: 4

Controls: 8

Graphics/Sound: 8

Replayability: 10

Overall: 7.5

Written by Nerd Bacon

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Project Obscure - Nerd Bacon Reviews

  2. nerdberry
    nerdberry says:

    Great review DK! Glad to see some seriously obscure retro gaming at work here. Project Obscure in full effect!

    Its odd that the 2 games (the arcade one and this one) are so different yet share the same name. I would probably rather play the 1st game, but that’s just my style of genre.

    Excellent review dude

     
    • Dovahkyle says:

      Thanks NB. I am currently trying to track down the BIN files for the arcade version. Then I should be able to run it on my MAME emulator. We’ll see.

       

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