Good news, everyone! The long awaited 3D After Burner II got released today on Nintendo’s eShop for the 3DS. This new remastered version “features eye-popping stereoscopic 3D visuals and offers a host of options and settings, including the ability to adjust the difficulty settings and other visual enhancements, such as smoke transparency that were not present in the original version.” In addition to the visual enhancements, there’s also an arcade cabinet mode, “wherein everything from the appearance to the environmental sounds of the specific cabinet are recreated, providing a true and authentic arcade experience.” If you want to get that arcade experience without all of the space an actual After Burner arcade cabinet would take up, it’s the next best thing.
For those want to download the game, it’ll cost you $5.99 / €4.99 / £4.49, depending where you’re from.
In addition to the release of 3D After Burner II, the SEGA blog also conducted an interview with the developers of the game. Here are some highlights from that interview:
– So the 2nd round of the 3D Remaster Project begins with After Burner II. What was the porting work for this title like?
Yosuke Okunari (below YO): The arcade version of After Burner II was the first game for the X-BOARD. It was a more powerful piece of hardware that built on top of previous games like Space Harrier and Outrun. This was the first hurdle we had to overcome to make 3D After Burner II a reality. It was a predecessor to the Y-BOARD, which was what Galaxy Force used. As it turns out, we’d previously done quite a bit of study and analysis of the Y-BOARD when we ported Galaxy Force II to PlayStation 2. Despite that, we had a pretty tough time when we were converting all that work to 3DS. But since we had taken the work we did on the PlayStation 2 version of Galaxy Force II and previously brought that to the 3DS, bringing the X-BOARD to the 3DS actually went relatively smoothly.
YO: And with that, let’s just set aside Horii-san’s digression, and get back to the fact that our successes in the first batch were bearing fruit, and there we were starting development on 3D After Burner II. But just like everything else, simply running on the hardware isn’t good enough. So there we were finishing up 3D Super Hang-On and starting to turn our attention to 3D Galaxy Force II, and M2 had After Burner II running as a test. It was still really far from being a final product, by any measure, but I recall you guys had it to a point where it had 3D, right?
NH: Yes, that was around when we first showed it to you.
YO: But when I went to play it, I wasn’t able to lock-on to anything. Nothing at all. By putting in 3D, the game got much more difficult. This was the first gameplay hurdle with After Burner II. Let me explain things in the context of Space Harrier to help understand what the issue was. In Space Harrier, your character, which is in the foreground, is shooting bullets that track to enemies in the background. So you end up spending a lot of time focused on your character in the foreground. But in After Burner II, you also have to manually acquire lock-ons to enemies who are near the horizon line, so you need to constantly look at both the foreground and the background. Even though the games seem similar, it turns out the eye movements required of the players are quite different.