Graphics are a poor way to judge a game. The ground is blocky, but an F-14 is not supposed to get near the ground. You donít want some $100,000 piece of ordinance bringing down a 25 million dollar jet. If this game has a problem, it is sending an F-14 to do low level strike and reconnaissance missions.
There are some nice things. The missions in the grand canyon, which give you a view of what the Top Gun school is really about is nice. There is nothing more satisfying than finishing in the top of your class at Top Gun and buzzing the tower upside down. I loved it.
The virtual cockpit is virtually useless as instrumentation goes There is an invisible cockpit mode which is more satisfying to fly. The full motion video (FMV) between mission sequences are well done and really pulled me back to the school. The FMV resulted in your having to keep the other essential wing persons alive throughout the game in order to get to the next mission. While this is an annoyance, since the wing persons act in an absolutely improper manner, it is somewhat realistic. In the air, protecting the wing person is more important than the kill.
The best feature of this game is the chatter from motor mouth Merlin in the back seat. Another fun thing is to listen to Raven as she chickens out of most encounters and Stinger as he blasts off into the fray without orders only to get into serious trouble that you have to bail him out of.
Another nice feature is the artificial intelligence of the aggressors, who constantly check their airspace for activity in a complete sphere around the cockpit and respond to any activity. If you get a bead on an aggressor with those long range, 150 mile, Phoenix missiles its a good bet that the aggressor will acquire and pursue you. Like most Russian trained pilots, your enemy will throw a lot of planes at you. This is accurate. If the Russians could make tractors fly, they would put them up in the air looking for and American jet.
Some guy named Al Giovetti reviewed this one for Computer Player and
liked it. But then what does he know.
Alfred Giovetti, Computer Player, Dollar Value: 7, Originality: 9, Playability: 6, Graphics: 9, Music: 9, Sound FX: 9, Voice: 10, Overall: 9 (90%)
Next Generation, volume 2, number 18, pg. 125-126. 2/5 (40%) "For the record, . . . the plane doesnít fly like an F-14 Hornet." Absolutely correct, it flies like an F-14 Tomcat. Most of the comments made about the game are true.