Return Fire
1995 Silent Software, Inc.

Return Fire is a great old top-view semi-3D (Mode7) game with lots of stuff blowing up.  You choose from a Jeep (with grenades!), a tank, an Armored Support Vehicle (large tank with missiles), and a helicopter.  There is also a two-player split-screen mode, which is missing from basically all popular PC games. Despite dated graphics and unintelligent enemies, I can't recommend this game highly enough. Even shooting palm trees is just about as fun as anything, the sound effects are spot-on, and the classical music pieces for each vehicle are just right.

Here is a YouTube video of the unreleased Sega Saturn version:


About the little-known sequel:

Return Fire II is an great 3D action game but you needed what was considered a fast computer at the time with OpenGL graphics acceleration (nVidia, Matrox G200, STB, Voodoo, etc.) or a Pentium II or K6-2.  It remains the premise of a capture the flag game but adds gunboats and aircraft carriers, and a more flexible 3D perspective. Unfortunately, the game was promoted so poorly that at any given time I only saw one other person on the multiplayer lobby (the game was capable of 16 players).  Also, the game had several graphical glitches, which ruined the beautiful scenery at certain angles, and buggered-up the infamous death screen with the 3D laughing skull.  I played the game for many hours even so, though I didn't bother beating it as it didn't really have a plot...but it was so incredibly well-done in the aspect of design and 3D camera-work that I may go back and play it just to let off steam--I just can't get enough of lobbing grenades at gun towers...and of course, shooting down palm trees.



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July 17, 2011 MixMystery now has a separate site--please update favorites.
July 17, 2011  Gallery feature updated