Lock On (SNES) review
"Vic Tokai's Lock-On is a game that'll really get your adrenaline pumping. After all, barreling through waves upon waves of hostile fighters, dodging missiles left to right, and pulling off sick aerial stunts are all in a day's work. Of course, that's not to say it doesn't get old seeing the same palette-swapped polygons zooming around the screen launching rockets at you. Lock-On may be pretty fun from the get-go, but the levels slowly turn repetitious and drab as the game carries o..."
Vic Tokai's Lock-On is a game that'll really get your adrenaline pumping. After all, barreling through waves upon waves of hostile fighters, dodging missiles left to right, and pulling off sick aerial stunts are all in a day's work. Of course, that's not to say it doesn't get old seeing the same palette-swapped polygons zooming around the screen launching rockets at you. Lock-On may be pretty fun from the get-go, but the levels slowly turn repetitious and drab as the game carries on.
The air-to-air missions always begin with the player taking control of an unnamed pilot flying lone wolf against rather weighted odds. As the music score kicks in, you'll be instantly thrust into battle as waves upon waves of enemy fighters zero in on your six. From here, it's a matter of just barrel-rolling all over the place, launching flares to turn away incoming missiles, and at the same time, knocking off as many hostiles as you can. Missions don't end after a set time limit or anything along the lines of that. Rather, you must reach a fixed kill limit to draw out the boss of the level, usually appearing as a slightly more polished version of the same enemy you've been fighting (that actually doesn't happen to go down in one hit) for the past five minutes. Once the boss is up in flames, you'll be free to proceed.
And that pretty much sums it up for the remaining air-to-air missions.
After the third level or so, you may begin to wonder when anything new is going to pop up. Repeatedly playing the same mission with a few different textures can really begin to grow old over time. Speaking of which, it's pretty clear that there wasn't much creativity put into the various level designs - consisting of a city, a desert, the same city (but at night!), etc. Luckily, air-to-ground missions are introduced to ease the ennui. Flying in on a bulky A10 Thunderbolt (The other choice is an Tornado IDS, but it's so underpowered that you'd have to be out of your mind to want to use it), it's your job to annul a few flashing red targets (sometimes forming an enemy runway or building) while evading some scattered ground fire. Destroying the target completes the mission.
Lock-On's main problem is its lack of variety. Players will simply find themselves bored out of their mind, wondering why they're playing such a pointless game that progresses by recycling the same mission design over and over again. If I ever pop in Lock-On again, it'd be to play the first level just to indulge in the awesome graphics, which are arguably the only shining points this game has to boast. Don't expect me to sit through the pain of actually finishing a run though! I'm just a sucker for vibrant explosions and those beautifully rendered aircraft models.
This game would benefit greatly from some novel ideas here or there to break the numbing repetition. Either that, or throw in some ninjas!
LOOK! A NINJA!
Community review by redemption (September 06, 2006)
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