Steel Talons

Review by John DeLuna
First I'd like to say that I'm definately *not* a fan of flight simulators. I like my action arcade-style. Yet when I played Steel Talons in the arcade I was pleasantly surprised. It was no doubt a sim, but it had a lot of action. You piloted your helicoptor over a desert-like terrain, hunting down another helicopter. Of course, that other guy was hunting you. It was fun stuff. Mainly due to the fact the terrain wasn't large enough to get you lost. Your target was always smack-dab on your radar. If not right in front of you. Part of the fun also came from the controls. Left and right movements were controlled via foot pedals. And forward, back movement was contolled with your standard joystick. It really gave you the feeling of flight. The Lynx version however, falls flat. It's one of the few arcade translations that come accross *terribly* on the Lynx. Bad graphics, bad sound, and sloppy controls sum up Steel Talons. And even if it was arcade-perfect, I'm not sure a portable version of Steel Talons would have worked.

GRAPHICS: Steel Talons was one of the first games to use polygons extensively. And that, alone, should have convinced programmers that doing ST on the Lynx would be impossible. But gawd bless'em they tried. And failed. The polygon graphics weren't possible on the Lynx, so programmers tried to "convert" them into traditional sprites. The result is a blurry mess. *Everything* looks pixilated. Which is no surprise since everything IS pixilated. Sheesh, you'd think the programmers would've scrapped this puppy when they say this crap. *

SOUND: There was no sound in the arcade version. And no attempt was made to change that. No opening theme, no background music. Just the sound of your rotors and the *weak* sound of your machine guns. At least with the Lynx you can listen to the radio while you play. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. *

CONTROLS: The controls are quite good, actually. But without the foot pedals and joystick from the arcade, you lose the "feel" of flight. And since ST is *supposed* to be a sim, you lose the very essence of the game. **1/2

OPTIONS: Options?! On a sim?! You'd think you. But alas, nothing to speak of.

REPLAY: Well to replay a game, you've got to *play* the game. And I don't recommend that with Steel Talons. To it's credit, ST for the Lynx *is* a two player game. But that requires two Lynx's, and two copies of ST. Believe me, there are WAY better games for you and a bud to play. **

So...let's wrap this up. Steel Talons is a good arcade game. It has interesting, simulator-esque controls, and just enough action to hold your interest. Unfortunately, none of that made it to Lynx. It's a bad translation of a good game, that's stuck on the wrong kind of system. Simple as that. If you see Steel Talons in the arcade, give it a whirl. But pass on the Lynx version.

Reviewer's Score: 3 / 10