OF THE MONTH COLLECTION!
SUPER AIR ZONK
(Hudson Soft, 1993)
On July 9th 2007 the prevoius Game of the Month Winner Air Zonk was released on the Wii Virtual Console for a whole new generation to experience this awesomely wacky Turbografx-16 classic. This is especially good news for curious players since the original card game isn't the easiest game to track down, eh? If you think that one is hard to find though the sequel is near impossible. Well, it cost me 200 bucks but I finally got my greedy little hands on one of the rarest Turbo Duo games in existence. The game is Super Air Zonk and it is of course the only sequel to the big game I got a world record for in Electronic Gaming Monthly #45 (honestly, look it up) and this Game of the Month. I'm a very happy man!
So how is the game itself though? Well, Super Air Zonk is a lot like first game because you are still controlling a flying robotic Bonk-like with a big head and he that blasts away at the futurist King Drool army before they conquer the world. Yeah, it is pretty much the same theme as the last game and a pretty lame story overall.
For game play you still blast away weirdos to survive and collect power ups just like in any other shooter. The big difference here is you fight in strange landscapes like an ocean, deep space, and even a TV studio. You can save one of seven new friends half way through each stage for added help and extra firepower but I don't like how you don't have the option to pick which friend can actually help you in that stage so it feels more linear compared to the intense original.
Another thing I didn't like was how short the game was, there are only seven stages and they are not that hard to beat either. I was actually able to finish the entire game the second day I got it. That was Air Zonk's biggest problem; it was a very solid shooter but it was too short and way too easy. Super Air Zonk just felt like a extension of that game with some slightly better music (which isn't saying much).
Like the last the graphics are ...... well.. very odd. The cartoon-like visuals are colourful and bright plus I love all the crazy stages and freaky enemies like giant TV's and those weird guys with the buckets on their heads. The characters don't have a lot of detail so nothing really stands out but the overall visuals are clean.
As a game collector Super Air Zonk is a great edition to my Turbo Duo library but as a player I am definitely disappointed in the game itself. The game's still way too easy, the average graphics don't stand out too well, and the standard shooting action is nothing we haven't seen before. It's a shame because the game still controls well and the wacky characters are still very cool but I can see why the Zonk series died after this mediocre game here. In the end you could do a lot worse though and for an extremely rare game it's actually quite playable (unlike that crappy Cheetah Man II for the NES).