M.A.C.H. 3
By Mylstar

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  • In my view, M.A.C.H. 3 (which, by the way, stood for "Military Air Command Hunter") is the runaway favorite for hot gameplay and skillful blending of laserdisc and computer graphics. It's undoubtedly the most furious, realistic, bite-the-bullet laserdisc shooter ever made. Using stored live-action aerial photography for backgrounds and 3-D computer graphics for ground targets, explosions, enemy fire and your own aircraft, the game offers players a choice between piloting a jet fighter (modeled on the F-15) on a strafing run against hidden targets in rugged terrain, or commanding a medium-altitude bomber over a flat landscape packed with enemy oil refineries, airfields and highways. While dodging flak in the Xevious-like bomber scenario may appeal to some players, it's as a high-speed/low-altitude combat flight simulator that M.A.C.H. 3 really takes off. The aerial footage is exciting all by itself, combining a breathtaking sensation of headlong forward movement with constant, visceral warnings that a fiery death-on-impact always awaits just a few feet beneath your seat. Meanwhile, ground targets are suddenly popping up and zipping past with unbelievable speed; buzzing swarms of defensive heat-seeking missiles are rising up to smash you, all of them flying in weird, corkscrew trajectories that make them very tough either to hit or dodge; distracting radio crosstalk from other pilots tries to keep you headed toward primary targets; and no sooner do you complete a sequence successfully than teams of enemy helicopters appear, firing with perhaps the most deadly accuracy of an enemy you'll encounter in the game.

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  • Ever detail of the game -- from the extra, side-panel-mounted fire buttons to the vibrating seat in the deluxe cockpit version -- adds something to the overall exhilarating experience of playing it.

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