After Burner 2
Image: Sega

Japanese developer M2 has revealed that Sega is delisting 3D After Burner Ⅱ from the 3DS eShop later this month.

Released as part of the company's 3D-enabled range on Nintendo's handheld, the famous coin-op was ported by M2 and is arguably the best way to experience this classic title – outside of its original arcade release, of course.

M2 has also announced that Sega will be delisting the Japan-only Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3 FINAL STAGE, which includes 3D After Burner II alongside other 3D Sega titles.

"Nintendo 3DS 'Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3 FINAL STAGE' and '3D Afterburner Ⅱ' will be discontinued on Wednesday, December 21st," M2 said in a tweet. "If you haven't thought about buying it yet, don't forget to buy it! 3DS is the only After Burner Ⅱ that allows you to play stereoscopically with the naked eye!"

"We simply can't recommend 3D After Burner II enough," said our pals over at Nintendo Life when they reviewed the game back in 2015. "It's a game designed to be played in short bursts, and to that end, it lacks narrative and mechanical depth, but its core strengths shine bright. With a kickass soundtrack, Sega's wonderful 'blue sky' aesthetic and a superb modern mode, this is an essential purchase for retro enthusiasts and endless runner fans alike."

While no reason for the delisting was given, After Burner II features real-world aircraft, so it's likely that whatever licencing deal was in place is about to expire.

Released in 1987, After Burner II – despite the numeral in the title – is essentially an updated version of the original After Burner, which launched in arcades just a few months beforehand. It was also ported to the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive and would get a pretty stunning conversion on the Sega Saturn a few years later.