"Oh yay, another shooter" is what I thought when loading this game up ... not that the SuperGrafx was lacking any shooters. What set this one from the rest is that it is in faux-3D. Not one of those side scrolling games we have been dealing with so far, but a straight pitch and yaw shooter. I LOVE this game. I could spend a few more sentences just gushing over the game's innovativeness, but I would rather go further in depth.
Let me put it this way, if After Burner (the Sega shooter much-loved by the Defunct Games staff) is the Madonna, then there's no doubt that Battle Ace is Cindy Lauper. The Graphics handle the same, just not as much detail - which should be expected considering After Burner's arcade roots.
It is pretty simplistic, and shouldn't take long for the average person to get a handle for the game -- the sky is filled with clouds and the landscape goes from day to light. There are also some weather effects with lightening and such. It was sure fun to have to dodge and shoot at oncoming missiles and enemies, and then swerve around the lightning bolts at the same time. There sure is enough eye-candy on the screen at one time to keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat. The game takes it slow to start with, giving you one or two enemies to shoot at. Later in the game it gives you upwards of ten or more to shoot at.
Your weapons system is pretty basic, you have missiles and, well, missiles. One set locks on, and the others just shoot where you point. I didn't find my self ever using the latter of the two. Unlike the free fire missiles, you can only fire the lock on missiles when your crosshairs pass over you enemy in the distance. I rather didn't have an issue with this after I got the handle of things. What is unique about this experience is that the enemies you don't shoot (those that pass by) will swing back around. Your alarms will ring, and your radar will light up, giving you just enough time to dodge their attacks from behind. My best moment was getting them to shoot each other in that kind of a situation.
While I'm on the subject of the missiles and engaging enemies, I should take this moment to describe the defense system, or rather the lack thereof. Pretty much the enemies defense is just as yours is, useless, you have no shields and its one hit and you're dead, making for a real heart pounding experience (especially without the use of pick ups, extras, or an add-ons). I could say that I would have liked a shield, but it would have just taken away from the intensity of the situation. When you do go shot though, your screen starts flashing red, and the alarms sound, unfortunately you don't get to crash land, something I would have rather enjoyed seeing.
There is actually rumor around that this game had so many release copies that it outnumbered the amount of systems made. This wouldn't surprise me, being that only a handful of games were released. Overall this is the most unique of all the shooters on a system full of me-too action games.