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SummaryMuch better than Spy Hunter
The GoodImagine this scenario: you just brought a Sega Master System and decide to buy a few games with it, and one of these games is Action Fighter. After looking at the screenshots at the back of the box, you think "Oh no, not another Spy Hunter clone". So, is this game really a Spy Hunter clone? Well, yes and no. Like Spy Hunter, you have to drive on the road, shooting everything that moves, and enter trucks to upgrade your weapons.
What makes this game a bit different, however, is not only must you do the above, but to progress further through the game, you must also fight your enemies in the air. But in order to do this though, you also collect six letters to transform into a plane and quickly get to the nearest airfield.
From here on out, Action Fighter looks like something that was pulled out of Xevious. You have the little crosshair from the same game above you, every enemy that appears on screen fires at you from all sides, and the same type of background is present at all times. The enemies themselves do not fire real shots, as their shots look like white circles that approach you. These shots are very easy to avoid as long as you watch where you are going.
It is the "driving on the road" part that I enjoyed most about the game. While driving, I noticed how well the buildings and parks blend in with the road really well, and how the road itself is split into two sections. Unlike Spy Hunter, the game gives you warning signs before this actually happens. In Spy Hunter, you have no idea when there is a split in the road so you end up crashing all the time, but in Action Fighter, at least you can avoid crashing into something in the middle of the road.
The music is excellent. Although there is no Peter Gunn music that influenced Spy Hunter, it is really a joy listing to the game's music. Furthermore, it suits the game, whether you are driving on the road or flying through the air. The sound effects are good for the standard SMS game: basic explosion sounds, shooting sounds, etc.
The Bottom LineOne more thing that makes Action Fighter unique is that you have to take down several bosses in the game, as outlined in the mission briefing. If I was looking to buy a SMS and had a choice between Action Fighter and Spy Hunter, I would pick Action Fighter, even if the latter has not got much to it and considered "more retro".