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 Post subject: ACA Neo-Geo: Aero Fighters 3 (XB1 - PS4 - Switch)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:37 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 215
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base

The ACA Neo-Geo series brings back the third entry of the Aero Fighters / Sonic Wings series. Yes, its no other than Aero Fighters 3, when the "Video Systemverse" was born, or Video System simply put all of their properties in the Sonic Wings blender.

Once again, Video System brings their fighter plane shootout in the Neo-Geo. However, they decided to take a different turn from fighter jets by using World War II propeller planes in the style of Capcom's 194X's series (1 year before 19XX The War Against Destiny was released) and Toaplan's classics Fire Shark and Flying Shark / Sky Shark.

The story of this game tells us about an enemy attack in our modern world. The attackers, however are using old WWII era technology and using the darkness of the night they strike against all the major cities in the world. So, it's up to the Aero Fighters to take the skies and shoot these time travellers once and for all. Despite having modern jets like the F/A-18 and the A-10, these machines were taken down by the enemy during their suprise attack, crippling the potential field advantage of the Aero Fighters use of present day technology.
With their jets deader than Disco, VHS and Toys "R" Us altogether, the Aero Fighters relies on stored WWII planes which survived the attack, ready to "play by the rules" on even conditions, only hoping for the best and put an end to the enemy attack once and for all.

Chance-Vought (now Triumph Aerostructures - Vought Aircraft Division) F4-U Corsair: Piloted by Keaton. At the end of Aero Fighters 2, Robo-Keaton loses his body again as his F-117 got damaged and is subsequently destroyed after the final mission. Thus, Robo-Keaton bailed out of the plane, but only ejecting his head landing helplessly on the Moon (or like the Robo-Keaton/Captain Silver ending tells, Keaton's head is saved by Flint, Captain Silver's parrot and sent back to Kohful's lab), resulting in his second robotic body (and third body overall). Keaton was originally intending to use his old F/A-18 Hornet like in the first Aero Fighters...until the enemy destroyed his plane along with his teammates planes as well. With no choice, Keaton is assigned to the F4-U. The Corsair's Main Weapon is the 12.7mm Aircraft Gun which is similar to the Needle Laser of the F-117 from Aero Fighters 2, but more thinner and with a wider range, somewhat-addressing the common issue of frontal fire being unable to take multiple enemies. However, it still suffers the same problem of the F-117's Needle Laser: Its weak and takes a lot of time to destroy a boss. It's Sub-Weapon is the Drill Missile, which deals damages as the missile "drills through" the enemy like the Tornado Fang from Megaman X3. The Special Weapon of this plane is not an F.A.E. (Fuel Air Explosive) or the Satellite Laser. The F4-U's special attack is "Keaton's Rage" which is Keaton himself. He merges with his plane becoming a gigantic version of himself and begins punching and stomping his enemies for a while and firing a short-ranged 360° optical laser attack before shrinking and returning to his plane.

Northrop (now Northrop Grumman) P-61 Black Widow: Piloted by the Blazers; Glen and Gill from the Beat'em-up game Karate Blazers, while Glenda is an original character made up for this game. Glenda owns the plane while Glen and Gill are her co-pilots. They joined the Aero Fighters to rescue the karate master's daughter, who was kidnapped by the enemy. The Black Widow's Main Weapon is the 20mm Cannon, this is a very powerful three way shot that inflicts considerable damages for a basic spread shot. Its Sub-Weapon is a rotating 12.7mm Machine Gun which is more of an "Auto-Aim" weapon that shots in any direction. Its Special Weapon is the "Tiny Tim Rocket", which works pretty much like the AJ-37's "Thor Hammer" from the first Aero Fighters; Releasing multiple large missiles, but the Black Widow version releases five missiles that causes explosive damages upon impact.

Mitsubishi A6M Zero: Piloted by Hien, the Ninja Aero Fighter. With the FS-X blasted out of existence, our ninja pal hops to the Zero Fighter to fight back. The Zero's Main Weapon is the Shuriken Shot which shoots the traditional "Ninja Stars", once the plane is fully powered up it becames the Kunai Shot, Ninja daggers that stab the enemy. Its Sub-Weapon is the Nuebashiri, which shoots boomerangs on the sides pretty much like the Boomerang Cutter from Megaman X. Its Special Attack is the "Techno-Ninja Fire Bird" which transforms the plane into a phoenix in the style of Gatchaman / G-Force. In this "Phoenix" form, the plane is invincible and can ram through enemies and shoot large fireballs.

Aichi Kokuki M6A Seiran: ¿What would be of Aero Fighters without the Supersonic Idol Star Mao-Mao?. After the events of Aero Fighters 2, Mao-Mao decided to take her idol career to the scenes in the "7th Art", better known as movies. However, the enemy attack interrupted the movie production she was working in, which means one thing for her: Get in the Eagle and fight with her Aero Fighters buddies once more. But there was a little problem: Her F-15 has been reduced to rubble after the enemy's surprise attack, along with the other planes. With no more options in sight, she takes flight on the Seiran. Even with her F-15 gone, Mao-Mao's still ready to give her enemies a show they'll never forget, even if she has to use a prop-plane to do so. The Seiran's main shots are different from those of the F-15, using the 12.7mm Aircraft Gun which uses a frontal 4 bullet stream which is much stronger than the wide shots of the F-15. The Seiran's Sub-Weapon replaces the Gull Laser in favor of the "Blue Gale" Homing Laser, despite its name says "blue", the laser fires green beams with basic homing capabilities. Her Special Attack is the same of the F-15: The "E-Wave", a time-stopper which freezes the screen for a few seconds clearing it of enemy fire and allowing the player to destroy enemies and damage bosses.

Ilyushin (now part of the United Aircraft Corporation) Il-2 Stormovick: Piloted by Chaika and Pooshika, two new original characters made for this game. These twin sisters joined the Aero Fighers to obtain the money reward for a very special purpose: Heal their father. The Stormovick's Main Weapon is the 37mm Aircraft Gun, which is actually a troublesome weapon since it fires in a "V" shaped twin shot (think on the XAV/FV-01 Silph's "S-Unit" from Vapor Trail to have an idea), making it difficult to aim. The Sub-Weapon is the Moscow Missile, which fires rockets shaped like russian towers which inflict moderate explosive damage, the missiles fire on a straight line to compensate the almost fatal flaw of the main shot. The Special Weapon is the "Super Matryoshka". This unusual Special Weapon releases oversized version of the traditional russian "nesting dolls" to chase and attack the enemy, Its functionality is pretty much like the Twin Dragon, the Green "Multiple Sight" bomb from Grid Seeker: Project Storm Hammer.

Polikarpov I-16: Piloted by Spanky (or Whity in Sonic Wings 3). Despite losing his YF-23 due to the enemy attack, Spanky is still the same optimistic dolphin who fights to protect the environment. His I-16 is one of those "quick gaining strength" type of plane, Unlike the other planes, the I-16 has an X-Buster like chargeable shot by holding the fire button which can be used even on the plane's weakest power level. Its Main Weapon is the 20mm Aircraft Gun comprised by eight thin bullets in a "Linear Shot". It's Sub-Weapon is the Deep Submerge, which are blasts of water that "pierces" through a short range pretty much like the Corsair's Drill Missile. The Special Weapon of the I-16 is the "Screw Jet", a fireball shaped Water blast that passes through enemies.

Dornier Flugzeugwerke DO-335 Pfeil: The Pfeil (german for "Arrow") is piloted by Malcolm, a break-dancer and former Green Beret from the fighting game Tao Taido. After the events of Tao-Taido, Malcolm decided to became a pilot, joining the Aero Fighters to do so. He graduated with the Blazers before the enemy attacks, when his days of practice will be put to the test. The Pfeil's Main Weapon is the Aircraft Gun, which is like the majority of planes a full frontal shot, but with a wider range like Keaton's Corsair. This plane also has a "Chargeable" weapon which is a short range air-to-ground shot. Its Sub-Weapon is the neurLM Rocket, which fires 6 homing missiles like the "M" item in Vapor Trail. The Special Weapon of this plane is the "Malcolm Flash", which releases a short ranged beam of light from the front of the plane. Any Neo-Geo shmupper could think about this as the predecessor of the Aryustailm's "Sword" Charge Shot from Blazing Star.

Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke Ju87G Stuka: The Stuka, short for "Sturzkampfflugzeug" ("Dive Bomber" in german) is piloted by Kohful (now renamed Kowful) and Lord River-N-White. With the AJ-37 Viggen and the Tornado IDS wasted, this fierce viking and king team-up emerges to fight together in one plane. In fact, it was Lord White himself who authorized the use of the old prop-planes to launch the counterattack. This plane is the "Power Type" of the bunch, since it has four power levels and the temporary "extra". It's Main Weapon is the 7.7mm Aircraft Gun, which releases eight thin laser shots in a full frontal direction, the Sub-Weapon is the 37mm Aircraft Gun which shoots fireballs in levels 3 and 4, when the power level is in 5, the 37mm shots are replaced by the Fritz X bomb which causes an explosion upon impact. The Special Weapon of the Stuka is the "1-Ton Bomb", which makes the plane flip and drop a bomb causing a large explosion similar to the F.A.E. of Keaton's F/A-18 or the Pinpoint Bomb of Silver's A-10. The only flaw is that the bomb is dropped below the plane so is not very wide ranged, making it a short-range bomb like the JAS-39's "Grand Napalm" from the first Aero Fighters.

Westland Aircraft Whirlwind: This plane is piloted by Alex, a 12 year old boy who joins the Aero Fighters as the fourth and last original character of this game. He is followed by his pet cat Pictus throughout the battle, as he flies on his father's favorite plane *In Ugly Kid Joe's tone* "What i'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys. See you later, can i have them pleeeeeaaaaase?". The Whirlwind has an average firepower whether on it's initial state or full power. Its Main Weapon is the Aircraft Gun, which is a full frontal stream of bullets similar to Keaton's F4-U artillery. To support the guns firepower, its Sub-Weapon is a twin bomb shoot that "waves" as they move throug the screen. To complete is potential as a quite formidable plane, its Special Weapon is the "Grand Slam Bomber" which sends large planes to bomb all the enemies in sight, which is a re-take of the Harrier's "Supporting Bomber" and the Tomcat's "Support Missile" from the previous games.

Fairey Swordfish: Piloted by Ellen and Cindy, former Lamborghini Diablo drivers from Lethal Crash Race and the F-14 Tomcat pilots in Aero Fighters 2. After the previous battle, Ellen decided to get married and finally live a peaceful life with her future husband. Nothing can go wrong in such a special day, except for an enemy attack which required both mother and daughter back to the battlefield, get on the F-14....but oops, the Tomcat is nothing but memories. So, they're assigned to this old machine...but without giving them time to get dressed for battle, so they prepare to fight as a bride and bridesmaid team. The Swordfish is the slowest plane of the game, and the weakest of all since it only has one power level and it's temporary extra level instead of the regular 3 and extra of the other planes. It's Main Weapon is the 7mm Aircraft Gun, a single thin laser that makes hitting enemies a quite difficult task, by picking a power up, the "Extra" power level will fire Rocket Shells to compensate the weak firepower of the plane. The Sub-Weapon is the Dam Buster, which is a twin bomb shot that inflicts damages upon impact. The Special Weapon is the "Special Half Peak Mk.14 Torpedo", which involves on the plane doing a flip and releasing 3 bombs which leave a medium sized splash-explosion upon impact.

Red Rabbit / Aka Usagi: This ship is actually Rabio from the 1987 shmup Rabio Lepus (Rabbit Punch in the US Bally-Midway release) during Video System's days as "V-System". Rabio is no stranger to the Sonic Wings saga since it already appeared in the first Aero Fighters as the exclusive secret character of the SNES version. Unlike the first Aero Fighters, its not a selfconcious mechanical rabbit called Rabio. This time, the "Red Rabbit" is piloted by Kotomi Kitashirakawa, the former Bunnygirl in mistress from Rabio Lepus. She was sent in a solo mission to rescue her sister Komomo, Princess of Bunnyland (and the third character to rescue in Rabio Lepus) who is being held in a base on Mars. The Red Rabbit is one of the most powerful ships in this game, it's initial firepower is already strong without powering up, and it gets Homing Missiles as its Sub-Weapon. It's Special Weapon is the "Temporary Invincibility", which also makes the ship a battering ram of some sorts.

Diabloon: The flying red Lamborghini from Turbo Force, the pilot's identity depends if the game is played in 1-player or 2-players. In both modes, the pilot is simply called "?", at the end of the game if its played in 1P Mode it is revealed that the pilot is Captain Waffle from Spinal Breakers, who is now the Captain of the Turbo Force. However, if the game is played in 2-Players Mode, the pilot is a man known as Gore, who apparently has his own agenda which involves capturing Princess Komomo (probably Gore is a bounty hunter and there's a price for Komomo's head). The Diabloon's Main Weapon is the Wide Gatling, which was the exact same default weapon used in Turbo Force, unfortunately, its initial 2 levels are too weak compared with the levels 3 and "Extra" of this weapon, which makes even worse than the Swordfish shots. However, once it reaches levels 3 and "Extra", its strength increases, making it quite formidable, and what it makes it better is the fact that only decreases 1 level like the Aero Fighters planes instead of the infamous constant decreasing from Turbo Force. This is the only ship that lacks of a Sub-Weapon unlike Red Rabbit and the other planes. For its Special Weapon, it has two random effects: The "Covering Fire" which pelts the screen with heavy laser fire, or the "Barrier", which is the temporary invincibility of the ship, but this time, you CAN shoot with the shield deployed. The only problem is its bomb capacity, which is the lowest of all: Two bombs only, which makes bomb using even more strategical than the rest of the ships.

To unlock this characters you need to do a combination of time and timing during the Player Select screen:

Insert your coin(s), and press and hold B+Start, and don't let go until the character shows up.

- (DIABLOON ONLY) Set the cursor on the P61 and follow the next steps
- Press Down when the timer reaches 7 and when the nose of the plane points towards you.
- Press Down when the timer reaches 5 and when the nose of the plane points towards you.
- Press Down when the timer reaches 2 and when the nose of the plane points towards you.
- Press Down when the timer reaches 0 and when the nose of the plane points towards you.

If you done it right, your ship will change from either the Red Rabbit or the Diabloon.

As for the bad guys, this time, the already teamed-up forces of terrorist group Fata Morgana and the supernatural being Lar get a boost from a new villain, the Hildroids from Spinal Breakers. According to the original plot of Spinal Breakers, The Hildroids are bio-mechanical robots from the future, created by humanity as a worker force to assist mankind in important tasks such as taking care of the environment, protect animals and plants, and help with the progress of civilization as they knew it. With no mind or will of their own, the Hildroids were submissive and obedient to their human masters, but a global war triggered multiple nuclear explosions around the world and a change of the Earth's axis caused mutations on the Hildroids, making them selfconscious murdering bio-machines capable of capture and assimilate other technologies and even the ability of travelling through time in order to change history and eliminate all of mankind. In the Aero Fighters timeline, this time-travelling menace is the responsible of bringing World War II on the mid-90's by using 1940-like weaponry and vehicles, but they also took over some of the enemies from Rabio Lepus and Turbo Force such as the Fire Master, a "deployable robot" called Rainfire and the "Checkered Planes".
Seems like the mid-90's were the age of crossovers. We had Street Fighter II in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, yeah, Ryu and Ken joining forces with Duke and Snake Eyes to fight against Shadaloo and Cobra. Battletoads-Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team featured the combined forces of the Lee Brothers, Rash, Pimple and Zitz to fight the teamed up Dark Queen and Shadow Boss. Historical characters fighting each other in World Heroes, Fuuma from World Heroes appeared in Agressors of Dark Kombat, and the top of all, Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Psycho Solider and Ikari Warriors collide in The King of Fighters 94 and 95, so Aero Fighters did the same thing.

The gameplay remains the same as its predecessors, the basic vertical shooter where you are sent to a specific part of the world, like in Aero Fighters 2, the starting level is Tokyo, Japan, omiting the randomness from the first Aero Fighters of sending you to New York or London. Like its predecessors, it suffers one annoying flaw: Short Stage Length. As you're blasting your way through a stage and powering up your plane, the stage boss already appears which makes the game's challenge factor drop drastically as the game relies on boss strength rather than enemy waves, and to make things worse, the number of stages is reduced from 10 to 8, but still keeping the second loop. So this means the game has a total of 16 stages compared with the 20 stages from Aero Fighters 2. Another negative of this game is the variable bomb stock of the planes. Unlike the previous games where you can have a maximum of 7 bombs, in this game you can have 4, 5 or 7 depending on which plane you're using, being the Turbo Force Diabloon the worst with its 2 bomb capacity, which only makes "Tactical" bomb using moments more frustrating due to this limitations. But the nail of all the negatives is the "Score Resetting" issue after continuing. On Aero Fighters 2, if you ran out of lives and decided to continue the game, you're able to keep your score, but with 1 point per continue, which i call "Point of Shame". In this game, you'll only get your Point of Shame and that's it, the rest of your score is gone.
The "Money Bonus" item has the same score mechanic from the previous game, it worths more the sooner you pick it. There's new bonus levels in this game. My personal favorite is the one where a plane drops Power-Ups when it gets hit by your shots. This is a perfect "Score Milking" level if you have the Seiran due to its time-stopping capability. Other is destroying bombs to get Power-Ups or else the bomb will release a large bullet, think of it as a shmup version of Atari's Kaboom!, the other is a tank destroying level to pick Money Bonus items.
However, there is a new feature in the game, and that's the "Route Selection". Like in the Darius series, you can decide if you want Stage 2A or Stage 2B, but that is decided in a very curious manner. After the boss is destroyed, a Hildroid infected "Checkered Plane" from Turbo Force will appear and you have to destroy one of its wings. Depending on which wing is destroyed first that's the stage you'll go.

While the 1 Player mode remains mostly the same as the previous two Aero Fighters, the 2 Player co-op mode took a bad hit. ¿Remember the full liberty of selecting any pilot regardless of his/her nationality in Aero Fighters 2?, ¿Remember the 39 multiple endings available?. Well, in Aero Fighters 3, the 2 Player Mode is once again restricted by nationality like in the first game, which means if you're playing the F4-U, your partner will be the P-61 or viceversa. So this game only has 12 individual endings and 6 team endings, a total of 18 endings plus the bad ones, which will result in a few more than 20 possible endings. If the Tagline "Bigger, Badder, Better" is also the Zen and Philosophy of the Neo-Geo, then Video System failed miserably compared with their previous work in Aero Fighters 2 which was a resounding success. The only point in favor of the 2 Player mode is that having two players as a single country team will unlock a special shot kinda like in Raiden.

As part of the ACA Neo-Geo series, the game features 4 modes: Original Mode which is playing the Japanese Sonic Wings 3 version or the English Aero Fighters 3. Hi-Score Mode which is your Survival Mode with 2 lives and no continues, and finally the Caravan Mode, which is your Star Soldier-like 5 Minute run to make as much score points as possible.
There's 12 Achievements for this game, Record Score, Mark High Score, Hi Score Player and the Beginner, Advance and Professional for Original, Hi-Score and Caravan Modes.

Hi-Scoring Tip: To obtain all the game achievements is too easy.
1.- Select the Seiran
2.- Select Stage 2B "Egypt" by destroying the right wing of the "Checkered Plane" after killing the boss.
3.- Clear Stage 2 (you can use 1 bomb during the boss battle)
4.- Once you're in the bonus level you can "milk" the Power-Up plane by using the E-Wave bomb and getting close to the plane to obtain the most Power-Ups as possible (NOTE: When the E-Bomb is active, you can even place your ship in the center of the enemy plane for a couple of seconds before the bomb effect wears off) and Repeat until your bomb-stock is empty.
5.- Commit suicide by crashing your plane.
6.- Repeat step 4.

There you have it, you can get 1,000,000 points without clearing Stage 3.

Easiest...Achievement Unlocking...EVER.

Graphically, the game has some slight improvements over Aero Fighters 2. There is some pseudo-3D like graphics in this game and they can be seen during the opening scene as we saw the large bombers passing across the screen, the spinning planes in the player select screent, the more fluid tank turret rotation of the stage 1 boss, the deploying parts of the Stage 2 Egypt tank boss, the spinning asteroids in the Mars stage, during the entrance of Bagarius in the Bermuda Triangle stage, and the spinning of the UFO Gurabura. Seems like the popularity of Pulstar's graphics triggered a "3D or Bust" in Neo-Geo's graphic quality, and Video System wasn't gonna stay behind, however it'd be nice to see those visual effects more often, but that would be pushing the Neo up to its limits in a "Blazing Star-esque" level.
The military theme remains in the game's design, however it is more aimed on World War II machinery rather than present day. However there's even more bits of Science-Fiction and Fantasy than before as some of the enemies have biomechanical features like eyes with tentacles, implying they're Hildroid-infected. Also it was nice to see some of the enemies of Turbo Force with the Neo-Geo graphics, making them more colorful while keeping their quite dark tone. The fantasy element is more frequent not just in the pilots, but in the enemies as well, starting with the Tokyo Tower that transforms into a walking tower with cannons, a Tower of Babel-like stage, a supernatural squid in the desert, and ending up with Propeller planes fighting underwater in the Bermuda Triangle and outer space battles in one of Mars' moons. But the craziest thing is you can end up fighting a giant Mahjong tile dressed like a schoolgirl named Soh-Takeko. Looks like Aero Fighters went all Phalanx with the fantasy bosses this time.
What i really applaud of this game is that the pilot's expressions during the stage clear dialogue weren't removed this time. Yeah, both Sonic Wings 3 and Aero Fighters 3 have the same thing at last.

The music in this game is more upbeat compared with the previous game, leaving the stage fitting rhythms for a more bass and drum beat rhythm, sometimes accompanied by soft notes like in the Normandy stage, and the majority of them with random vocals and even a synthesized voice like the London Stage 6 "Asteroid shooting" bonus level. The only problem with the music is you can't enjoy it, not because it's bad, but because of the stage length, You're starting to get used to the music and then the alarms go nuts as the boss theme plays, which makes this game famous (or infamous) for its quite engrishy phrase "Hey you idiot! Make it full for it or you'll be finished. Show me what you've GO-o-Oo-O-oO-o-Oo-O-oO-o-OT!!", unfortunately that's the most frequent and long-lasting thing that you'll hear in this game. This mixture of alarm sounds, battle fanfare and 90's dance/rap-style garbling "Got-got-got-got...Go-G-G-Got-got-got", it ranks up with the infamous "BONUS!" voice sample from Blazing Star on the annoyance factor, and i think Aero Fighters 3 surpasses Blazing Star on that aspect.


- This is the last entry in the series released on the Neo-Geo.

- Aero Fighters 3 used 154 of the 330 Megabits of the Neo-Geo, resulting in 19.25 Megabytes.

- Like in Aero Fighters 2, the Neo-Geo CD case advertised Aero Fighters 3 as "Real Shooting Game".

- This game and Aero Fighters 2 were the cause of the separation of several Video System employees which got together to create Psikyo, they disagreeded with the idea of Video System working for SNK and the Neo-Geo.

- First time in the series where prop-planes are used instead of modern aircraft.

- It is also the first time in the series where the player can decide which stage he wants to play.

- During the opening, we can see the burning wreck of the A-10, implying that Captain Silver would be in the game, however he only appears in the Chaika & Pooshika/Spanky team ending as the "fake explanation" about Spanky's capabilities of talking and flying planes where is revealed to be Captain Silver and Flint in a dolphin costume.

- An inconsistency in the plot can be seen on the Chaika and Pooshika ending as Steve / Angela makes an appearance as the hero who saved the world before the rest of the team. ¿How he was able to do that since he didn't had a prop plane and his Rafale was blown out of existence?

- Another plot contradiction is how Ellen & Cindy's F-14 got wasted. Any Aero Fighters fan will know that Ellen keeps the Tomcat on her mansion just like Batman hides the Batmovile on the Batcave, so how Ellen's Tomcat got in the Aero Fighters base it's not explained.

- A similar contradiction about the plane can be also seen on Hien's FS-X. In the first Aero Fighters is seen returning to the Shogun's castle (implying all Ninja jets are sent from there), while in Aero Fighters 3 is in the Aero Fighters base where is destroyed with the rest of the jets.

- It's the only time where Hien doesn't use the Ninja Beam as his plane's Special Weapon.

- The F4-U "Keaton's Rage" will be re-used in Aero Fighters Special / Sonic Wings Limited as the Special Weapon of the F-117.

- Glenda is mispelled as "Glinda"

- Glenda will return in Aerofighters Assault as the pilot of the A-10.

- Il-2 Stormovick is mispelled "IL2 Stormovik".

- Just like the plane name is mispelled, Pooshika's name is mispelled as "Pooshka".

- Chaika means "Sea Gull" while Pooshika means "Cannon".

- Alex's character inspiration comes from Daisaku Kusama from Giant Robo.

- This is the first time in the series where it makes a nod to another shooter, in this case Darius, as the battle with Soh-Takeko features the traditional "A Huge Battleship is Approaching Fast" quote from Taito's classic shooter.

- The Grand Slam Bomber will be passed to Volk in Aero Fighters Special / Sonic Wings Limited.

- The name Hildroid is mispelled "Hildride" at the end of Captain Waffle's ending.

- They also called the Hildroid "Alien force" when they're actually a human creation.

- Also, the Turbo Force vehicles are called "planes", despite being winged cars.

- Even if they have jet/spaceship engines, the Red Rabbit and the Diabloon make the same prop-plane fly-off sound after clearing a level.

- This is the second time in the series where Tee-Bee doesn't appear as a playable character, although it appears in Keaton's ending as Kowful's assistant and during the ending of Kowful and River as Kowful's "Virtual Reality Game" shaped as Tee-Bee's head.

- The boss Mars-Vesta was inspired by the Martian Ultimate Weapon from Space Adventure Cobra.

- The Fire Master was present in other Video System's shmups before Aero Fighters 3; as the Stage 7 boss in Rabio Lepus, the China stage boss in Spinal Breakers, and the Stage 5 boss in Turbo Force, ironically with Ice-based powers.

- This is the last time in the series where Osaru and the Station Core (and the Tenukie as well) are "fused" in one sub-boss.

- The submarine form of Bagarius is very reminiscent of the Nautilus from Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

- The Martians that appear in Spanky's ending and Rabio / Red Rabbit will later appear in the puzzle game Pop'N Bounce / Gapporin.

- The appearance of the Martians is very similar to the Mars People from the Metal Slug series.

- This is the first time in the series where the final battle takes place underwater as one of the final areas take place in the Bermuda Triangle.

- It is also the first time where the other final stage takes place on Mars, one of its moons rather than the planetary surface to be exact.

- During the Keaton/Blazers ending it is revealed that prop-planes are equipped with a Space Booster/Brigandine-like equipment to fly in the airless void of space, however during the game the planes appear WITHOUT the equipment.

- The Screw Jet bomb will reappear in Aero Fighters Special / Sonic Wings Limited as the chargeable shot of the YF-23.

- Do-ni Revision 2, the minitank from Stage 9 will be used in Aero Fighters Special as one of the random bosses of "Another Dimension".

- The Prop-planes appeared as special unlockable planes in Sonic Wings Special, the PlayStation enhanced port of Sonic Wings Limited.

- Reaching all the achievements in the ACA Neo-Geo version is WAY TOO EASY.


- Psikyo was founded by former Video System employees.

- Like Aero Fighters 3 borrowed characters from other games, Strikers 1945 did the same with the Shinden pilot Ainzaemon, who is Ayin / Kain from Sengoku Ace, who also pilots a Shinden.

- The enemy "plane shaped beam" shooting Shindens from the first stage of Aero Fighters 3 will be the inspiration for the "Samurai Sword" used by the Shinden in Strikers 1945 and Sengoku Ace, and later by the F-4 Phantom II in Strikers 1945 III as "Samurai Sword '99".

- The Hornet's F.A.E., Stuka's 1-Ton Bomb and Swordfish's Half Peak Torpedo "Flip and Bomb" will be used throughout the Strikers series by the P-38 Lightning's "1-Ton Bomb", the F/A-18 Super Hornet's "Super Tomahawk" and the F-117 Stealth's "Thunderbolt" Special Attacks.

- The Supporting Bomber / Grand Slam Bomber will be used by the P-51 Mustang as the "B-29 Backup Bombing" and as the "B-52 Carpet Bombing" on the AV-8 Harrier.

- The AJ-37's Thor Hammer, the A-10's Pinpoint Bomb and the P-61's Tiny Tim Rocket "Roll and Drop" move will be used in Strikers 1945 III as the F-22 Raptor's "Cluster Bomb".

- The F4-U and F-117's "Keaton's Rage" was referenced in a more realistic way in Strikers 1945 III in the X-36's "Mega Smasher", where the jet is "More Than Meets The Eye" as it transforms into a robot releasing a Genkidama-like blast.

- The "Rocket chasing" premise of the "Stage 5" London will be borrowed in Strikers 1945 in stage 6, as the prop-planes get a rocket boost to engage an enemy rocket before taking the remaining forces in space.

- Both Aero Fighters and Strikers 1945 series feature ordinary aircraft, both prop-plane and fighter jets in space missions.

- Both series also involve battles with supernatural beings. From "Death skulls", giant apes piloting machines, ghosts, desert squids, space crabs and alien bugs.

- In a twist of irony, Psikyo worked on the Neo-Geo releasing Strikers 1945 Plus in 1999.

- Both Aero Fighters and Strikers series features secret characters: Rabio and the Diabloon in Aero Fighters 1 and 3, and the X-36 and the Ascender in Strikers 1945 III and 1945 Plus.

Although Aero Fighters 3 is quite inferior to its predecessor, it has some replayability that deserves some of your time. I only recommend this one for hardcore Aero Fighters fans, but in my opinion you'll be better off with Aero Fighters 2 'cos it has jet action and is more fun to play.
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

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