F/A-18 Interceptor


Title           F/A-18 Interceptor
Game Type	Flight Sim
Players		1
Compatibility	Any Amiga
HD Installable  Yes (With Patch)
Company		Electronic Arts (by Bob Dinnerman)
Submission      Seppo Typpö (groucho@pp.inet.fi) Profiled Reviewer

Review
Back in 1988, when Amiga (and yours truly) were young I stumbled into a
game shop and found on the shelf a game which had following text on its
inside cover:

"After seeing an Evans-Sutherland flight simulator. Bob set out to design
a comparable but affordable program for home computers."

Bob was the first name of a man called Bob Dinnerman, a hardware designer
working for Motorola. He had selected the Amiga as the platform and
created F/A-18 Interceptor, got it published through Electronic Arts and
immediately set the 16-bit computer world on fire with his creation. A
legend was born, and it still lives on in the hearts of the Amiga owners
all over the world.

Coming in a see-through plastic case very similar to modern CDROM
packages, F/A 18-Interceptor came on one disk, accompanied by a small but
informative manual and a copy protection wheel. Originally the game could
be played only from the floppy disk but nowadays a hard disk
installer/accelerator patch is available on Aminet. With the patch the
game can be played from a hard disk and on more modern Amigas (like my
68040 equipped A1200).

The sim could be played on an Amiga with only half a megabyte of memory
but it was one of the first games that really took benefit from the half
meg memory expansion module. I first played it on my half meg A500 and
after buying the (then quite expensive) memory expansion I was literally
blown away by the previously unheard title music and additional effects
the game could squeeze from the 1 Mb Amiga.

Having played flight simulations since I bought the Gunship for my
Commodore 64, I was awed by the extremely smooth and detailed graphics.
Allthough quite rudimentary by today's standards Interceptor offered both
visual delight and sudden feelings of exhiliration with its low level-high
speed flying thrills. Simple controls were backed up by the flawless frame
update and excellent flight model which made flying the plane such a
joyful experience.

Interceptor excels in the sound department too. Moody music and excellent
sampled sound effects really beg the player to connect the Amiga to the
home stereo system and crank the volume up so he (or she) can enjoy
hearing the wildly roaring engine (still one of the best engine fx I have
ever heard on flight sims) and other quality sound effects.

On the surface F/A-18 Interceptor is a easily approachable, almost arcadey
in appearance. Easy-to-learn controls makes this sim an ideal first choice
for flight simulation novices. However, under the surface lies a quite
demanding flight sim engine (as anyone who has gone through the practice
and qualification missions can testify). One of the most demanding tasks
is learning how to land on an aircraft carrier - 'dropping' the plane
succesfully on the deck of the carrier is much more demanding than in most
flight sims which offer this feature.

This "easy to learn - difficult to master" concept lifts F/A-18
Interceptor to the Hall of Fame of the Flight Simulations. You don't need
to have a science degree to fly an F-18 in this sim - with a little
practise almost any armchair pilot can enjoy pulling off all kinds of
flashy manouvres and stunts (like flying inverted under the Golden Gate
bridge). The game offers suitable challenges for the more experienced
pilots too.

Another mark of a classic is the small secrets hidden in the game - like
finding and bombing the EA building, landing on roads and then driving
around the San Francisco city, secret airfields etc. If any game deserves
a cult following this is it - so if you have not yet played this sim I
suggest you hunt it down and enjoy playing one of the greatest Amiga games
ever.

I'll started this review with an excerpt from the the original game cover
leaflet so it is only appropiate to end with another:

"As you play F/A-18 Interceptor, we think you'll agree he's done an
exceptional job."

You most surely did, Bob. You surely did.


IF THIS GAME INTERESTS YOU PLEASE ALSO TRY OUT FOLLOWING:

F15 Strike Eagle II   from MicroProse. Flight simulation with the emphasis
                      on arcade action. Like F18, F15 SE II boasts simple
                      controls and excellent 3D graphics.

ThunderHawk           from Core Design. A fast combat helicopter simulation
                      full of action. Excellent graphics for its time and
                      intuitive mouse controls.

Knights of the Sky    from MicroProse. WW1 dogfights in glorious 3D that
                      runs fast even on 68000 Amigas. No HUDs or
                      complicated weapon systems, just you, your plane and
                      your machine guns against the minions of the mighty
                      Red Baron.







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