During a time when Sega was in jeopardy of losing its retail domination to Nintendo and Sony, you might expect them to start scouring their arcade library in search of top-notch games to port to the Sega Saturn. In actuality, they cranked out ports of bargain-basement arcade titles like Sky Target, dooming themselves to obscurity for the rest of the 32-bit system war.
A port of an arcade game with very limited American distribution, Sky Target is a behind-the-plane shoot-em-up like the classic After Burner. Sadly, this 3D remake isn't nearly as much fun and winds up wallowing in a dirty pool of mediocrity.
At the opening screen you're given an above average selection of combat fighters to choose from. After selecting a plane and watching a hideously grainy opening sequence, you're tossed into the air, where the "fun" begins. Hordes upon hordes of enemy fighters fly directly at you, lobbing machinegun fire in your face. It's up to you to dodge out of the tracer fire and destroy the enemy with your Vulcan cannon. You can also lock-on to enemies with missiles but your stock is severely limited from the get-go. The action is all mind-numbingly repetitive and spastic. Sky Target is a mere shadow of its older brother, After Burner.
It doesn't help that Sky Target is visually unappealing as well. The original arcade version ran at 60fps in high-resolution and looked extremely smooth. This revision of the game runs in a considerably lower resolution at an exponentially slower frame rate. Special effects look terrible, suffering from a bizarre "screen-door" transparency effect. The game's sole saving grace are the bosses, they are truly massive and cleverly designed.
It's not that Sky Target is an incredibly bad game; just that it breaks no new ground and contains graphics that fail in comparison to the competition. Spend a few quarters on this in the arcade -- if you can find it, that is -- and leave this to linger with the rest of the Saturn failures. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
Though the bosses look cool, the rest of the game is grainy and in low-resolution. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
Cheesy rock guitar tracks don't do much in terms of ambience, and the ever-repeating "FIRE!" voice gets on your nerves. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
The control is fine-too bad the rest of the game is boring as sin. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
There's no reason to head back to this one. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide
The game's high point is that there's even something resembling a back-story in here. ~ Colin Williamson, All Game Guide