Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TopGun: Fire At Will for PlayStation (1996)

Original ad published in the August 1996 issue of Next Generation (no. 20).
Press to enlarge or download in higher resolution.

Highway to the crappy zone


Neither a flight-sim nor an arcade-style combat game, TopGun: Fire At Will was pounded by both critics and gamers alike back in the middle of the 90s. It was developed by Spectrum Holobyte, possibly the last game to be released under that old-school brand synonymous of quality PC flight-simulator PC games.

According to Wikipedia, Spectrum Holobyte had a steep fall during the middle of 90's. They were a relatively well-known brand during the Atari days, beter known for their PC games rather than their console efforts. The last year of the company were not pretty:

In 1992 Spectrum HoloByte received an investment from Kleiner Perkins, which let the company repurchase shares formerly owned by Robert Maxwell's companies, ending its ties to their bankruptcies. In December 1993, Spectrum HoloByte merged with MicroProse to form MicroProse Inc. For the following years, games from both companies were published under their respective brands, but in 1996 all titles were consolidated under the MicroProse brand.
Hasbro Interactive acquired the merged company in 1998, and what had been Spectrum HoloByte ceased to exist when the development studio in Alameda was closed in 1999. Hasbro subsequently[when?] sold all the assets of the various Hasbro Interactive studios to Infogrames, including the Atari brand itself.
TopGun: Fire At Will would be the company's swan-song. It encompassed all that was wrong with it during the middle 90s: a mediocre cash-in of a profitable franchise with neither an interesting storyline or entertaining gameplay. Worse yet, it had highly fluctuating difficulty levels (though maybe not as random as the original TopGun for the NES). These were the 90s, so the obligatory FMV were a big part of the selling allure of the game. 



As for the print material, there is really is nothing much to say. The copy is very bland. Everything you see in the frame is fake. Neither the explosions nor the planes themselves hold any kind of realism, just some bad photoshopping. The rule of thirds was ignored by the graphic artists, preferring to underline the FMV screen-shot of a well-known face (actor James Tolkan) where the grid intersects, as well as the game-box and wing of the jet-fighter (why?).


TopGun: Fire At Will print ad copy


Just for the Ass-Kicking, G-Pulling, Bogey-Bashing Thrill of it!

You are Maverick and you've goy your orders on your mind, Commander Hondo on your back and MiGs on your tail. So fuel up. Strap yourself in and let 'em know your bark is nothing...next to your bite.

Available on PlayStation game console and PC CD-ROM

Spectrum Holobyte
www.holobyte.com (dead link)

3 comments:

  1. The pc game was actually pretty decent, especially in multiplayer dogfights. Shit! Missile lock! Evasive maneuvers now! Drop some chaff! Oh god, not sure if it's gonna work! *bites nails*

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice! Lots of great PC flying games in that era!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great article Lot's of information to Read…Great Man Keep Posting and update to People..Thanks Free Fire Mod APK

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