The Inverted Approach – Retro SEGA Game ‘G-LOC Air Battle’ Inspires My Latest Challenge in Microsoft Flight Simulator

I’ve been playing a lot of SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle on the Nintendo Switch lately which is an enhanced version of the original G-LOC Air Battle game that was released back in 1990. It’s a spinoff of SEGA’s After Burner series which are favorite arcade style flying games of mine. While I’m going to dig a bit deeper into this series in a later article, I wanted to talk about a specific moment of fun I had with SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle and how it inspired a personal challenge in Microsoft Flight Simulator!

When it comes to video games and aviation, especially those that lean heavily on the arcade side of flight, it’s easy to get caught up in the arcade experience of it all. With G-LOC: Air Battle, depending on the difficulty setting, the experience can be completed in 5-20 minutes. During that time, players are equipped with unlimited guns and a constant resupply of missiles while shooting down 63 enemy aircraft on the beginner difficulty and far more on the harder difficulties. Talk about arcade flight at its best! Non-stop action!

The goal for G-LOC is to complete each of the missions as quickly as possible…seriously, within seconds for those who can shoot down everything that fast! However, and what led to the inspiration for this article, there’s a mission where players must land on an aircraft carrier. It’s very simple and straightforward as pilots only need to line up the aircraft with the carrier. There’s no need to worry about altitude or speed in this arcade flight game. But with that said, on the hardest difficulty, players can actually fly upside down if they choose. Of course, what’s great about video games is that they create the opportunity to do silly things like this all the time – let’s fly inverted on approach to a carrier landing! Woohoo!

SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle Gameplay Complete on Beginner Difficulty

So, of course, when I was playing SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle on the Expert difficulty, I had to invert my F-14 on my approach all the way until it was time to land on the aircraft carrier. Honestly, I messed up the first time, but nailed it (barely) on the second attempt! That was fun and put a smile on my face! But still, as silly as it is, it actually wasn’t that challenging to do in this arcade-style flight game!

So, I started thinking about carrier landings some more and then remembered that the Top Gun Maverick content that was added to Microsoft Flight Simulator includes an aircraft carrier landing challenge! So, you know what happened next! Thanks to the arcade fun of a classic SEGA video game that’s nearly 34 years old, it inspired me to recreate my inverted approach to an aircraft carrier landing in Microsoft Flight Simulator!

Surely, doing an inverted approach in a simulator was going to be a lot more difficult than in an old-school arcade video game, right? …it absolutely was a challenge! But I loved every moment of it!

When starting up the carrier landing challenge as part of the Top Gun Maverick content in Microsoft Flight Simulator, I quickly had to pull up the flaps and get above 220kts before I could maintain a level approach with Pete Mitchell’s F-18 Super Hornet. I also had to find the right altitude to maintain while slowing down the aircraft on approach. Once I would get around 180kts and lower, it would cause me to start losing altitude again. So, there was a perfect balance that needed to be found.

In the end, it probably took me about 30 attempts before I nailed a landing. I had some close calls where I turned the aircraft over and landed almost immediately but would either hit too hard or have too much speed and would fly off the carrier. So, the more I did it, the safer I played it, and at the end I would turn over just in time to rebalance the aircraft and land immediately after.

Both Inverted Carrier Approaches in G-LOC and Microsoft Flight Simulator

At the end of the day, I had about 3 total hours of complete silliness playing both SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle and then Microsoft Flight Simulator doing the inverted aircraft carrier approach in both titles. While I often play the old-school arcade games to get the high scores and the simulators to have a nice well-rounded flight, it’s always fun when something like this happens that inspires a challenge across both styles of “games” in this way. Plus, I always enjoy doing things differently and have fun in ways that might not always be the most common, especially when it comes to simulators!

Thank you arcade flight games for always inspiring me to try things and have fun at the same time!

SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle is available on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $7.99