Review is up, but warning, I'm not a big fan of it (I like this type of games in the arcade, but no so much at home).
I hope you can forgive me...
I think the worst thing about the review was that Pit Fighter was ranked above it on your list. Pit Fighter? For real?
Other than that you gave it a fair shake, although I would say the soundtrack isn't just solid, its amazing! I get goose bumps when I hear the take off music!
I think what helps cement this game so high for me though was the "console arcade" next door to my house had two of these hooked up to two Sega Genesis consoles:
I think if you played After Burner II on one of these you might have more appreciation for it The first thing I would do when I went there was find this game on the shelf, pop it in, sit down in one of these, and kick some Halvarian ass! (although with the cold war being so recent I was still thinking it was the Russians)