Aero Dancing F (Dreamcast)
Sega/Shin Force
Aero Dancing F (Dreamcast)

Sega/Shin Force > Elite Series > Aero Dancing (Series) > Aero Dancing F

Shin Force ~ Aero Dancing ~
Aero Dancing F / AeroWings 2: Airstrike :: Reviews
CRI / Crave
Feb. 24, 2000
Aug. 9, 2000
1st/3rd Person
Backup 8+
Mission Stick
     > Just about a year has passed and flight sim fans already have four uber-titles to choose from (including Aero Dancing F).  It all started with CRI's Aero Dancing ~featuring Blue Impulse~, followed by Konami's Airforce Delta, and CRI's Aero Dancing SD.  Playing the demo version of Aero Dancing F (ADF) which came with Aero Dancing SD really heightened my anticipation.  The first Aero Dancing took on the difficult task of training you to be a member of a flight demonstration team (the Japanese team named Blue Impulse).  Now, ADF seeks to teach you the intricacies of becoming a successful fighter pilot!  By the time you complete the Fighter Pilot Missions, you should be capable of surviving a dogfight against the computer or a friend.

     > ADF is just as importable as the first Aero Dancing.  In general, it helps to know a little about flying because the briefings are in Japanese.  However, the menus and game screens are in English.  If you're ignorant to flight sims, then you may want to wait for the (hopeful and probable) US localization.  Therefore, flight sim fans get a importability rating of 95% while casual gamers get around 70%.

     > Pure sweetness!  As good as I thought the first Aero Dancing looked, ADF is improved in every way.  The textures are better and more detailed, frame-rate is rock solid, lighting and shadows are better, backgrounds are seamless, and special effects are more realistic.  Did I forget anything?  Well, if I did, you can assume it's been improved.

     > ADF has more maps, and they're beautifully detailed with textures and objects.  Various weather conditions are included from day to night, clear to cloudy, and foggy to snowy!  There's even a few carrier maps for you would-be Navy pilots.

     > All the jet aircraft (and 1 prop) look amazing, especially with the VGA Box.  Inside the cockpit you can see the light being warped by the curvature of the window.  Outside the aircraft you can see reflections moving on the cockpit window!  The HUD remains basically the same, which is great.  To top it off, CRI drastically improved the afterburner effects as they look much more realistic now.

     > As before, you get a ton of views from inside and outside the cockpit.  A couple of notable additions would be the target and missile views, which are really cool.  I do, however, spend most of my time in the cockpit.

     > The special effects are really amazing.  Now, when you're flying through clouds, it looks as real as it gets.  It's hard to explain, but the clouds look more organic and natural.  The missile smoke trails are done well and help in deciding whether to fire another (if the first one obviously goes off course).  Lens flares are more impressive, as is the look of the sun and moon.  Finally, the explosions must be seen!  If you (or a bogey) are just damaged, then your aircraft emits a realistic trail of black smoke.  However, be prepared for a fantastic fiery trail of smoke and jet parts when you (or a bogey) are completely destroyed!

     > Again, as good as Aero Dancing was, ADF is so much better in the control department.  Completely gone are the memories of arcade control in an ostensible flight sim (not that this applies to the first Aero Dancing).  ADF has the most realistic and playable flight simulation control I've ever played!  The standard controller works fine, but I can't help wondering how much better the Mission Stick probably is for this game.  Hopefully, a US peripheral company decides to release one as the Japanese variant is a bit weird looking.

     > You get target view, fire (gun/missile depending on separation), decrease throttle, increase throttle, left rudder, and right rudder buttons.  The D-pad is used to cycle through the views, extend speed brake, and extend/retract gear+flaps.  Of course, the A-stick is used to fly the aircraft.  This may sound complicated, but it's not at all once you know where everything is.  Unlike Aero Dancing, ADF does not allow you to extend the gear/flaps above 250 knots.  This is more realistic because if you did that, you're gear would be torn off.  Other differences I noticed are the brakes, both air and ground, don't seem to be as effective in ADF as they are in AD.  I don't know if that's more realistic, but I assume it is since the game was created with the assistance of current and former fighter pilots.

     > Even the music has been improved!  ADF has more of a Top Gun edge combined with tunes reminiscent of After Burner.  Some of you are going to say the main theme is kind of cheesy (the one with lyrics), but it definitely grows on you (and keeps you humming).

     > Wow!  Jet engines never sounded this realistic in a game before.  Same goes for the explosions, which are combined with a loud thunderous noise.  Naturally, all the speech in ADF is in Japanese (AeroWings 2 features English speech).  The only sound I think could be noticeably improved is the "thunk" when the gear doors close.

     > Fun?  ADF defines the word, especially if you like flight sims.  You get 30 Fighter Pilot Missions (fighter pilot training), 15 Tactical Challenges (fighter pilot exercises and missions), 21 Free Flight maps (with or without up to two bogeys), Vs. Play (split screen), Cable Play (2 DCs linked), Replay Theater, and Hangar (fighter descriptions and air combat definitions - Japanese). <whew>  No two identical missions are ever the same, which equates to infinite replayability (for me).
Bottom Line
     > Aero Dancing F is simply the best dogfighting simulation you can buy.  Add excellent graphics, control, and sound to complete the package.  The only thing ADF lacks is ground missions, but I have a feeling that will be addressed in the next iteration.  ADF is another reason why I own the Uberconsole!  If you're a flight sim fan, then buying ADF is a no-brainer -- if you never enjoyed flight sims, then ADF might just covert you.
Overall: 9.4 | Graphics: 9.5 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 9.6 | Fun: 9.0
~ Shinobi ~
Widescreen Mode

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