F-22 Interceptor review - Sega Megadrive

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Fancy flying the deadliest Fighter ever devised, before the real pilots get their hands on it? The first flight sim ever for the Megadrive enables you to do just that, and even creates a few war zones for you to fly it in!

The game starts with you choosing what sort of difficulty level you'd like to see in the game. This ranges from CADET level (where completing each level is about as difficult as going to the toilet), TRAINING level (slightly harder, but still pretty easy) and COMBAT level (a real kack-your-trousers job).

After that it's just a case of choosing where you want your mission to take place. You could opt for basic F-22 flight training in the USA or attempt “the real thing” in the like of Iraq, or even Russia (even if they're our mates now). For real flying heroes, there's even an Aces challenge, where your F-22 is pitted against the best the enemy can throw at you. The basic gameplay involves taking off from friendly territory and making your way through many sub-missions which could range from taking out MiGs to bombarding enemy bases with radar-guided missiles and mavericks. All this explosive action is interspersed at intervals by attempting a rendezvous with a refuelling tanker. Here, extra weapons, fuel and repairs are carried out on your battle-damaged fighter, thus enabling you to carry out some more sorties behind enemy lines. The mission ends when you return to friendly territory and safely land.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" The first ever flight sim on the Megadrive turns out to be one of the most enjoyable I've ever played. This must be due to the fact that all the annoying fiddly controls have been taken out. Instead you just control the afterburners, missiles and the cannon. Combinations of buttons give you more options, but I guarantee you won't need them! The action itself is so exciting and varied you just keep coming back. One moment you're fighting off an entire squadron of MiGs, the next you're strafing enemy HQ, then you're refuelling…the list of things to do is virtually endless, and with the mission creator added in, lastability is guaranteed. All of the aircraft fly about very convincing and considering the Megadrive isn't so great with polygons, the action is fast and fluid. EA strike gold once again with a truly riveting game. "

" Electronic Arts strike again with yet another Megagame (if this company was an athlete it would be tested for steroids)! F-22 is the first ever console combat/flight simulator, and it's simply superb. The screenshots on this page certainly don't do the game any justice - you need to play the game to appreciate it. The ground details are sparse, but what you concentrate on are the targets and enemy planes, and these are smooth, detailed and realistic! Wait until you've got five aircraft all hurtling around trying to stick a missile up your exhaust port! The sheer depth is incredible, and there are tons of missions to challenge even the most skilled of top guns! And even if you conquer them all, you can use the “create mission” option to engage in kamikaze laffs 'n' high jinks. With its wealth of options, different viewpoints, brilliant touches (watch for sun glare and be careful the pilot doesn't pass out in combat due to excessive g-forces!), stunning presentation and challenging, thoroughly addictive gameplay, F-22 is not only another prime example of how advanced and complex console games can be, it's also a fantastic game in its own right. Test fly it as soon as possible. "


Overall Score93%

Retrospective comments


My grandad gave me £40 for my birthday one year and I bought F-22 Interceptor. Then I leant it to my mate, Seth, who melted it.

What I remember of the game was a great flight sim. My other friend and I used to team up to do missions. He was good at flying (He owned a computer and had loads of flight sims) and I was good at the TV guided missile thing (KAMIKAZE…. BANZAI!!!!!)

I have played the game recently and I have to say that it hasn't aged well. It looks very dated and I think this is due to the fact that it uses polygons, something that current generation hardware does extremely well, and F-22 suffers a huge blow because we're used to better graphics. Gameplay wise it still presents a challenge and trying to track down that last MiG or docking with the fuel tanker is as hard as it ever was. How we were ever supposed to tell which way was up, is beyond me. Yes games are in 2D (as in no actual depth perception) but at least modern games have ground detail to give you some idea. F-22 had blue skies and green ground and not a lot else. Most of the graphical power seems as though it went on the polys at the expense of everything else, even when you got sun-glare it actually put 'Sun Glare' up on screen and it went a bit yellow. A bit of a cop-out in my book.

Full marks to Electronic Arts for using polygons (a relatively new idea back then) and for helping to shape the modern gaming world; who knows just how forward-thinking they were!?! F-22 was good back then, but as a newcomer you may want to give it a miss or maybe release a Chaff decoy to throw it of your scent.

Anyone interested in hearing how Seth melted my copy of F-22?

Are you sitting comfortably, children? Then I'll begin.

Seth had finished with the game and was due to bring it back to school for me. He got up, got dressed and took F-22, along with my copy of Altered Beast, downstairs and put them on the nearest, convenient, horizontal surface.

The cooker!

Seth's mum asks him what he wants for breakfast. “Porridge, please.” was the reply. The sprightly, awake young Seth goes to his room, whilst his still-half-asleep mother goes into the kitchen, switches on the cooker and walks to the cupboard to get her son's wholesome, oat-based meal. Upon retuning to the cooker, she is greeted with the pleasant smell of BURNING MEGADRIVE GAME!!!!! and a rather worried looking Seth.

When I arrived at school to collect my games, I was handed an almost pristine copy of Altered Beast and two £20 notes. Seth explained the situation and said that he “…pealed the bits off of the cooker, if I wanted them.” I declined.

I think that we have all learned an important lesson here today; Megadrive games and electric hobs don't mix! I never did buy another copy of F-22 (I think I bought some Lego and a Cathy Dennis CD) and to this day I wonder what would have happened if Altered Beast had been on the bottom.

(Seth is currently happy and well and is working as an electronics engineer for the Williams F1 Racing team, which means that he's gone from F-22 destruction to F1 creation. No videogames were harmed in the typing of this article.)

- Martyn 'MOB' Bowell

MOB - 29 Jan 2008, 23:37 GMT

I found Seth on Facebook and gave him a link to this page.
He hasn't replied yet......I wonder if he thinks that I am out for REVENGE }:o[

Mwaaa Ha Ha Ha Ha (I think that's how you spell Mwaaa)

Dan - 10 Mar 2009, 15:43 GMT

Such a simple game, but fun none-the less. Peice of piss n soon got tiresome, but likeable fer sure.

Mark Gatehouse - 18 Sep 2009, 13:15 GMT

I recently bought a Megadrive II just so I could play this game again, around 20 years after I last played it !

I couldn't disagree more with the review above. The gameplay is still cracking and though the graphics do of course look dated, they are adequate and as always, it's gameplay that matters most

A cracking flight sim that's still enjoyable today for all the right reasons. Big thums up !

Mean Machines Issue 14 - November 1991
Simulation Sega Megadrive
Electronic Arts
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F-22 Interceptor

F-22 Interceptor

F-22 Interceptor

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