G-LOC Air Battle was an incredible experience back in the day when arcades were a thing, but how does it hold up on the Nintendo Switch?
Title: SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: April 30, 2019
Having played a bunch G-LOC Air Battle a ton back in the day when arcades were real things filled with people, I was thrilled to be able to play it on Nintendo Switch, courtesy of the SEGA AGES remaster.
Back in the day, G-LOC Air Battle was a thing people got excited about when you’d encounter one in an arcade. It was a sign of quality if your arcade could net one. If you never had the chance to play it in an actual arcade, it was a massive cabinet that tilted, raised and rumbled to give you the feeling you were sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet.
Now the game is available on the Nintendo Switch and it is a vastly different experience. The main attraction of the game was the arcade cabinet itself. Developer M2 understands this and added a mode that actually looks like you’re sitting in the arcade cabinet, complete with the screen moving as the cabinet would and the background changing to make it look like you’re moving. I thought it was a nice nostalgia kick but let me tell you, the system rumbles so hard in this mode to make you feel like you’re in the cabinet that I could watch my battery drain as if the percentage was sand in an hour-glass.
The game itself is a faithful recreation. I will say though, the game isn’t that fun without the original authentic arcade experience. It’s a weird, claustrophobic experience as you fly through what feels like a rush hour of fighter jets. You will often be flying in close proximity of 8 to 12 planes. It’s quite possibly the most I’ve ever crashed into other planes in the flight game ever.
While fighter jets are often portrayed as incredibly agile and nimble, this thing turns with the grace and speed of a paddle boat. I would see an attack ship in the distance and not be able to aim my plane enough at it to shoot it in time. It felt really weird and sluggish.
Another thing the game does that I completely forgot about until playing this remaster is often flex its 3D capabilities. When this game originally came out, G-LOC was a visual spectacle. A polygonal battleship would launch your polygonal jet into the air. If a plane gets behind you, the camera passes through the back of the cockpit and shows your entire plane and the plane behind you until you dodge. Sometimes, your ship will explode and the camera will pan up to show the underside of your pilot as they eject and deploy a parachute. The visual effects are nice but also add to the confusion as there are just way to many things happening on screen to keep track of.
At the end of the day, SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle was a fun trip down nostalgia lane but I don’t see anyone sitting around and playing this for hours on end. It was an incredibly well-done port but without the cabinet, this game is like receiving an incredibly well made horse saddle. You can appreciate the quality and craftsmanship that went into it but you’re not going to get a lot out of it without the horse it was designed for.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.