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NES Silent Service proved that simulations can be brought to the consoles very easily, and I'm glad to say that 688 Attack Sub only adds weight to the argument. This sort of game would require lots of keys on a home computer, but the console version's control method is surprisingly quick and easy to use. The graphics are okay, but not really special in any way - like the sound. The speech seems pretty pointless (it doesn't even sound human, in fact it wouldn't sound out of place on my new Kraftwerk CD!), but what really annoys me is the Russian text when you choose the Soviet sub - it's incredibly pointless and really lets the game down. As sims go, 688 is quite tense and atmospheric, and there's a good challenge in there as well - I found that completing even the first real mission was quite difficult. If you're after something different and longer-lasting for your Megadrive, 688 Attack Sub is a must.
Your complement of weapons varies for each mission - you even have Tomahawk cruise missile on one mission. Overall, the game is challenging and highly recommended to enthusiasts of submarine simulations.
In the end, 688 Attack Sub is not as complex or involved as similar games (Pacific Theater of Operations and Advanced Military Commander come to mind, although in truth those are firmly grounded in grand strategy and understandably have more features) but as a forerunner of the genre it remains a unique experience, with a competent â€“ even if unremarkable â€“ presentation and sober gameplay. It's got all the markings of an early classic, one that simply wasn't tweaked enough or given better production values to draw in a bigger crowd. But don't let that get in the way of Ivan meeting G.I. Joe, hunter-killer style.
688 Attack Sub is a ported PC simulation allowing you to control a nuclear attack sub and its key components during peacetime, and a simulated war with the Russians. You can choose from a total of 10 missions of increasing difficulty, varying from hiding from and evading other subs, to straight-out attacking them and other aquatic vessels, to bombing the Soviets into the Stone Age with some Tomahawk cruise missiles and dodging their retaliation.
Auf solch ein Modul mußten Mega-Drive-Besitzer mit Simulationsgelüsten lange warten. 688 Attack Sub bietet grundsolide und abwechslungsreiche Spannung für Wasserratten. Geleqenheitskapitäne seien aber gewarnt: So mal eben unter Wasser herumgurken und ein paar Feindschiffe versenken, klappt hier nicht. Ein fleißiges Studium der ausführlichen Anleitung gehört ebenso zur Pflicht des U-Bootfahrers wie der Umgang mit allerlei elektronischem Gerät an Bord. Wer das Sonarprofil eines “Alphas“ nicht von der heimischen Mikrowelle unterscheiden kann, wird sich schnell am Grunde des Meeres wiederfinden. Von der Grafik sollte man keine Wunder erwarten: Außer den ziemlich nüchternen Stationen und der einen oder anderen Landkarte wird nicht viel geboten. Schiffe sind höchstens als eine Ballung Pixel im Periskop zu sehen. Nur die saubere Sprachausgabe (“Aye, Aye, Käpt‘n“) kann technisch beindrucken.
Not bad for a simulation, I guess. Graphics and sound are excellent, but the level of excitement isn't.