I noticed you had the "Expensive" icon in your previous review. I think it's still holding much of its value. I recently picked this up at a flea market from this huge tub of GBA games for $10, which is near the lower end you'll find for it these days.
After Burner to me is totally unplayable, if only because the white smoke from your missiles totally block out any of the enemy's, killing you before you even realize it.
Outrun is probably the best out of them, although I found it a bit easy to complete than the arcade original.
I'll agree that the presentation & graphics and sound are spot on for all of them, and it's still a great purchase.
I wish they hadn't seemingly ran out of time with Afterburner though since it's a very incomplete conversion with many missing details and even some missing gameplay elements (Compared to something like Outrun where it's extremely close, beyond the eased difficulty and a few minor things here and there like the missing highway destination signs).
But I suppose with the constraints of the GBA's resolution that make a difficult task of seeing incoming missiles an almost impossible one, this ruthless quarter muncher probably was never going to be very playable.
Looking forward to downloading the 16:9/60 FPS arcade perfect renditions on a New 3DS XL sometime next year of Afterburner and Outrun (Space Harrier and Super Hang-On released last December).
And I am in love this title. It's pure fan service. 3 of the titles on this are completely worth the price, and provide the retro pixel brick super scaler experience we would have killed for back in the 80's. Outrun, especially, is a great variant for experienced players looking for a quick adrenaline rush, since it gives you much less room to make mistakes in.
But you're really giving the Afterburner port too much credit. The tiny pixels representing the enemy's high speed missiles are missing their massive smoke trails, which was the only way for players to track them when the enemies vanished behind the giant jet in the center of the screen.
Without this subtle gameplay mechanic, atheists can't win - now it feels like your plane exploding is just part of it's normal animation cycle. In terms of how it actually feels to play the game, Superman 64 was a better port of Afterburner.
This, I don't understand.
You're not the first person that I've seen speak about this version of Outrun being more difficult, but it's the complete opposite in my case. Getting to any of the five goals is very relaxed and I bet I could crash 8 times and still squeak by, where as the arcade original and more accurate home conversions like on the Saturn, still throw up a challenge for me and require a minimum of mistakes. Out of hundreds of races, I don't think I've failed once over the past 10 years.
Same with Super Hang-On (Although I do occasionally crash 5 or 6 times and run short of time on the GBA), where as with the arcade original (or the Wii, 360, and 3DS emulations), I need to be on my game. I can't really afford more than about a single crash on the basic course if I'm to successfully reach the finish line.
I wonder if there was a revision of this GBA compilation with adjusted difficulty and two production runs?
[QUOTE=Tron]You sure like Outrun. Have you reviewed every version possible?[/QUOTE]
No TG16/PC Engine review for one. And it's a pretty solid effort that blows away most of the home versions from the classic era, particularly the poor computer adaptations like the Amiga saw. Too bad North American fans missed out on it back in the day.
Only the Genesis version really surpasses this, and it's a much closer race than Sega fans would care to admit (Such as the fact that your Ferrari isn't silent like it's an electric car).
My prelimary findings, which may be subject to change:
It feels like the Genesis port features much more forgiving handling, at least in the early going. I'd slide across the road attempting some of those turns in the GBA version. At times, it felt as if the developer was a genie giving me infinite wishes, instead of attempting to simulate an actual arcade physics engine.
But I still didn't get very far. Due to a lack of true sprite scaling, the Genesis port had no problems with jump cut scares. The lack of an overall polish meant some accidents were unavoidable. Meanwhile, the GBA version seemed to expect mistakes, and it was possible to recover from them...
Another factor going for it, was the fact that it mapped the gear shift to the shoulder buttons, instead of the d-pad. Hallelujah. Out of all of the versions I played, it's the only one where I felt in complete control at all times, even if the car was more likely to resist that control, and get us both killed. There's an actual learning curve involved, for those willing to take the time and explore it all more in-depth.
Out of all the versions I played, this one was by far the most rewarding - I don't know that I'd call it easier than the other versions, but victory at least seems more achievable.