This Way Back Wednesday I decided to finally play a game that I had in my collection forever, but was waiting for the right time to bust it out and play it. After Burner 2 was first introduced to me in arcades, because it was one of the few cabinets you could get in and it would move while you played. I remember thinking I was so cool because I knew how to rotate the joystick left to right to go upside down, and I always wondered if there was a way for the whole cabinet to do a 360 as well.
There really is no story in After Burner 2 and all I could remember was taking off from the aircraft carrier and shooting planes down while dodging missiles. The joystick in the arcade did do it’s job by keeping the realism there and not being easily busted. There were only two buttons on the joystick, which were firing your gun and launching missiles and because the bullets were unlimited I never took my finger off of it. The game was a big mess of explosions and looking at multiple objects both coming at you and from behind you, so the need to pump quarters in when you died was certainly there. I never got past the first couple of level s, but I did like that there was no boss fights and the levels blended into each other. I feel like this was just one long map that someone built and every so often a marker was put down signifying where a level would end and begin.
Later when the Sega Genesis game out my friend got the home version of After Burner 2, which we played for hours when I would go over. We never got past the 5th or 6th level, but he told me that his brother had made it to the end and landed back on the aircraft carrier. I never saw him do it, but I’m sure it was possible.
With my “unlimited quarter supply” I was able to play through the whole game in about 15 minutes, which was really surprising to me. The lack of loading screens or bosses really does cut down the wasted time in a game. I wonder if other games have ever tried to do that in their games to cut back on the downtime of buttons not being pushed. There’s a hit count that shows how many people you shoot down, but I quickly realized that it didn’t matter and you just have to avoid being shot down in order to win the game. The game still holds up and the soundtrack brings back memories of dark arcades and my friends house.