Title Falcon: Operation Counterstrike (Mission Disk 1) Game Type Flight Sim Players 1 (2 with linkup) Company Spectrum Holobyte Compatibility All (AGA needs degraders) Requires original game Submission Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer Review Falcon: Operation Counterstrike was the first mission disk for the original Falcon game. Falcon was, for me, a revelation in that visually atleast it made even the superbly playable F/A-18 Interceptor look a little dated. What's more, in Falcon, as well as being able to take out your adversaries at a distance, you could get in close to the enemy fighters and indulge in some serious in-your-face combat. Oh yes! I remember fondly the magazine advert for Counterstrike; against the backdrop of a beautiful red-brown sunset, an F16 was scorching past the viewer and firing a missile at a distant enemy MiG. Underneath were the words "The Best just got Better". This was the first time I'd heard the phrase and I was rather impressed. While Falcon was set in a desert location, Counterstrike's landscape was a lush green with a large lake making an excellent landmark useful for your aerial navigation. The game had been significantly improved over the original in a number of ways, including an easier landing operation (this had been very difficult to pull off originally), correct TV display for your AGM-65 Maverick missiles, a safe area over your own base, and more convicing air combat maneuvers from your adversaries, which now flew the sexy MiG 29 fighter instead of the outdated MiG 21's in Falcon. I should say that most of the improvements above were later added to the re-release of Falcon, making it a far more desirable game than the original release. Perhaps as significant as anything else though was that in Counterstrike the twelve new missions were properly interlinked; the results of mission one effected mission two etc. This added a lot to the game which originally had felt a little lacking in the way it involved your emotions. In Counterstrike you first had to repel an amphibious attack, involving not only the landing craft but also enemy tanks already closing on your base. After that, once you deprive the frontline troops of supplies, you gradually take the fight to the enemy, neutalizing his Surface to Air missile sites in the Wild Weasel mission which then allows you to attack targets deeper into his territory like bridges and oil depots. Far more involving than 12 unrelated missions that you could attempt in any order. The excellent link-up option from the original (dropped in the second mission disk, Operation Firefight) is still present in Counterstrike. It is simply head-to-head combat though, unlike the Spectrum Holobyte's later release Flight of the Intruder which allowed cooperative missions during link-up. In summary then Counterstike is a significant improvement over it's illustrious yet somewhat clinical predecessor. Even when you include the enhancements which were later incorporated into Falcon, the linked mission structure of the mission disk clearly gives it the edge making it the superior game .....and anyway, the MiG 29's look so much nicer than those drab MiG 21's.