Back in 1988, Afterburner came out in the arcade. It was a great game that was popular enough to be ported to no less than twelve systems. The Sega 32x version would be the last American standalone console release of this series, though would later appear in two SEGA collections.
This is an arcade shooter in the purest form; there is literally zero depth to this game, shoot, dodge, shoot, dodge, GO FAST!
The Genesis controller is not analog, so it is not really up to the challenge of handling this game. This lack of analog means that you are going to need quick thumbs; and your hands will hurt will you play. That said; the controls aren’t necessarily bad. They are very responsive, and there is no pause between input and sprite movement. Overall the control is adequate.
The sound is better then most games of its time, clear voice-over tell you when you have a lock or when there is a missile or enemy plane on your tail. The missiles sound powerful, not muffled like in most games of the period.
The graphics are definitely in this games favor, up to 15 planes are on the screen at once sometimes. This game also makes amazing use of 2D scaling with huge draw in distances. Giant plumes of smoke come from behind your plane when you shoot missiles, the enemies blow up in fireballs, and your plane crashes spectacularly on the ground. The ground looks great when you are moving, but when you pause it looks like crap. I, of course, have to mention how colorful this game is, after all, that’s what the 32x was good at. In all, this game has some of the better 2D graphics ever seen at home.
Unfortunately this is a direct port from the arcade, which means it is very short. But it is very fun, give it a week or two in between completions and it's fun again. If you own a 32X you must own this title. If you don’t there’s no reason to track one down.