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Old Harrier is back!
The original Space Harrier is a bona fide arcade classic, one of Sega's early games which just nailed it and which, alongside Afterburner and Thunder Blade, marked the company's mastery of the 3D shooter. This sequel is equally as exciting and makes for a very entertaining romp and the only real disappointment is that it doesn't do anything very different from its predecessor. Apart from this though, Space Harrier II is a right blast. Once again, you find yourself in the space boots of the titular hero and it's your job to save Fantasy Land from destruction by evil aliens and which essentially involves blowing everything up. The game is played out in the same manner as the original, being a 3D into-the-screen style experience, where your character moves freely around, thanks to his nifty boots/space pack, while shooting the many nasties which come flying towards you. There are thirteen levels to play through, each packed with enemies and bosses, some of which featured in the first game but many of which are new, while there's extensive use of that nifty Outrun graphics trick and the whole thing is decked out in extremely trippy colors. As far as simple arcade blasters go, this remains a fine example of the genre. It's not a complicated game nor does it feature the impressive range of weapons that other titles feature, but it's still a hugely addictive little romp. The visuals are pretty slick, with some fabulously over-the-top colors and some lovely enemy design and really, it's only the similarity to the first game that is slightly disappointing.