|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ FIGHTER BOMBER (c) ACTIVISION ★|
Happiness is a laser-locked target. Fear is a locked SAM. Trouble is they tend to coincide. Fighter Bonder gives desk-top-pilots a taste of both with an adventure in techno-war, as four nations try to bomb each other out of contention for the Curtis Le May Trophy.
Four classic Fighter BomJbe/s sit armed, fuelled and ready to rock South Dakota. A McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom, a Panavia Tornado IDS, A Saab AJ37 Viggen and a MIG-27 Flogger D are yours to try and fly. State of the art low-level weapons delivery systems, they're all capable of incredible performance. Which is just as well, as somewhere out on the test range are ground forces with the latest antiaircraft systems primed, ready to blow you out of the sky.
Bomber pilots have eight missions and a practice mode - the latter lets you get the feel of how each plane handles, how fast it can fly, how quickly it turns. In combat you must assess its suitability for the mission and each weapon's effectiveness Bomber's missions get progressively tougher, the exercises simulating modern aerial warfare. The war zone is South Dakota and the missiles don't carry explosive warheads, but don't let that fool you, this is no pushover. The difficulty increases at the perfect pace to keep pilots on the edge of their ejector seats and scrap metal merchants stocked for months.
The emphasis of each mission is not - surprisingly - bombing things. Tents, tanks, buildings and people all get the treatment.
Nowadays there's very little bomb aiming to be done, it's a case of arming weapons 25 miles out, 'locking' them on a target and letting rip with a video guided missile. At that range, though, it's hard to know whether the little white 'locked'target cursor is actually on that tank, or the office block behind it. And to dissuade cocky pilots from shooting everything 'just to make sure', blasting the locals earns a taste of their SAMs as well as the enemy's.
It's the logistics of the game that make Bomber such a challenge. You've got to select the right heading, the right speed, the right height and the right weapons. Pilots must remember the little things like avoiding the ground, to keep an eye on the threat radar and fuel consumption. All very easy when the sky's clear but when you can hardly see the ground for incoming fire it's all too easy to hit a field with $20 million plough!
Each plane has different handling and instrument layouts. The Viggen, for example, is the fastest but falls like a brick if a climb's too steep. And instruments in odd places can be fatal if you don't spot that an infra-red missile's locked on to your afterburners.
The variety of weapons is limited but is all that is needed for the missions involved Initially you're limited to a few air-to-air Sidewinders, a bunch of video guided Maverick air-to-ground rockets and a 30mm cannon. If the mission's incomplete and all you've got left is the old pop gun, you know you're in troub'1
Modern warplanes are fast - stunningly fast - and to be a successful simulation Bomber had to convey the dangerous thrill of Mach 1 at treetop level! It's quick, and the screen updates with a smooth speed unknown to its forerunners. There's little real scenery, with no trees, few buildings and mountains that look like Egyptian leftovers, and the targets are simple blocks until you get real close.
This lack of landscape detail is balanced neatly by the amount of crammed in everywhere else. Numerous views of the plane are available for the pilot - although they're of little use apart from checking your wheels are down! Only the view from the airbase control tower is any help, because using its zoom function you can check which way home is!
Bomber succeeds as simulation but it has its puzzling points as a game. The missions are varied in theme and target, but can only be accessed sequentially. So, if you don't finish your current challenge, there's no chance to try a new mission. Which means if you hit a problem, you're stuck until you solve it.
Vektor Graphics will amaze you with what they've managed to crammed into Bomber. It's crisp, clear, colourful and moves at speed which makes it the undisputed air ace. The sonics leave a lot to be desired with a few cursory whines, whistles and explosions. But then, that's what the volume control's for!
Fighter Bomber rules the CPC skies, it's quite simply Chuck Yeager with the added bonus of things to kill. To begin with the challenges are easy enough, but soon the difficulty escalates to an exceptionally realistic degree. Annoyingly, there aren't enough missions to last really good pilots, and beginners could well get get stuck on the earlier levels.
Fighter Bomber gives you the chance to play with the high-tech toys normally reserved for military personnel. Once mastered, little beats the thrill of an expertly executed manoeuvre that tests every inch of the plane's design.
CPCrulez[Content Management System] v8.7-desktop/cache
L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.