F-22 Lightning II

Nostalgic Game Review

Welcome to a new episode of the Nostalgic Game Review, where each month I muse over an old game I played long ago. Other than indulging my own nostalgia, this column also hopefully shed some light on game design and reflect on how gaming technologies have evolved.

Without further ado…

F-22 Lightning II (1996)

What is it?

Another simulation game that I dabbled into, along with last episode’s Jane’s Longbow. The graphics of this game are better, with more realistic terrain, shading, and scenery. Yet, this game is tailored to be more simplistic ‘arcade’ style and enjoyable for non-hardcode sim fans, which means that the control and movement of the plane are snappier, battle pacing is faster, and sometimes the situation may not be as realistic. But that’s all about the art of balancing the game design!

I was quite fascinated by the graphics of this game. How the shadows seemed so vivid, and the way the terrain blurred off into the distance was done very naturally. There were ocean waves too, yet no reflection on the water… and that’s OK for 1996 🙂

I remember admiring the external design of the aerodynamic body of F22, how beautiful it is.

My impression

I still remember playing this game casually, just to check out the beautiful sceneries such as the snowy mountains:

It’s also cool that you get to cycle through various views, including the enemies! (… like you would in an arcade game)

As you can see in these screenshots, video games have come a long way and it took quite a while to get from the graphics in this game to the visuals of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. Actually let’s take a quick peek at the graphics of Microsoft Flight Simulator (which was 1st released in 1982…?!) around the same period (“Flight Simulator for Windows 95” but I think this F-22 game’s graphic wins…)

Here is a nice video showing the gameplay~

Thereis a playable demo on the Internet Archive

That’s it for this episode of Nostalgic Game Review! Thank you for visiting! I appreciate any comments/feedback or if there’s a game you would like me to cover. 🙂

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