While not as obscure as Ichidant-R, G-Loc Air Battle is another forgotten Sega arcade game that has been given new life as the latest SEGA AGES title thanks to M2’s dedication. A high-speed aerial combat simulator, the extra features introduced in this Switch download easily stand out.
The G-Loc arcade experience is rather unique as the entire cabinet moves with the gameplay. Since this isn’t possible in a home setting, the developers did the next best thing by including a moving cabinet display feature. The borders of the screen sway with the gameplay so the player has the illusion of a moving cabinet. It is a pretty cool effect and found it to be my preferred way to play. If this feature is too much, there are other visual options available just like the other AGES titles that include screen filters and numerous border options.
A new gameplay option is found in the Ages mode which basically turns the entire experience to the extreme setting. Here, the player has access to more missiles, more enemies, and a stronger lock-on feature. Just keep in mind it was designed to provide one type of experience so there is no option to adjust difficulty here. It is also worth pointing out that the player only has one life in this mode but that is what makes it unique and entertaining. Cool to see the developers take an old game and tweak some settings to create a new experience.
There are numerous gameplay options as well such as activating auto-lock, auto-fire modes, the difficulty setting can be adjusted, and the player can even unlock a sortie option that gives the player a set number of liver per (virtual) quarter inserted. Purists will be also happy to know that both the international version and Japanese versions are included. Just like the other AGES titles, once a game is completed, the score automatically gets posted to the online leaderboard which only takes about five seconds to upload. There are also leaderboards for each individual mode, which makes competition heated and accurate.
At the time, G-Loc originally launched in the early 90s, it was an impressive looking game and still holds up today. Combat is fast and smooth but the most impressive feature is how the player’s aircraft accepts damage. If you get nailed at the right spot, the glass in the cockpit will shatter, leaving you to be exposed to high winds. The camera also transitions from a 1st person perspective to a 3rd person view when an enemy is on your six. If the stick is flicked to the left and right, then a barrel roll is performed to break free of the enemy’s lock-on. Even the cutscenes are still impressive. For example, if you get shot down you might see the pilot hitting the ejector seat in a quick FMV. Visually the game is rather impressive. Fans will also be pleased to see the music player available from the main menu. The player can even adjust the ambient arcade volume; this is a feature only M2 would take seriously and include.
Although combat can get tough, turning is a little weird, and the difficult spikes can be annoying, G-Loc Air Battle is still a pretty cool arcade game. More importantly, the wizards at M2 continue to pour their passion into these AGES products, making this Switch download the best way to play this neglected arcade title at home.
Did You Know: the full title of this game is actually G-Loc Air Battle: Loss of Consciousness by G-Force
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