Super Thunder Blade (Genesis)

Super Thunder Blade Box Art

Super Thunder Blade

System: Genesis

Release Date: August 14th, 1989

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up

The other Japanese launch title was Super Thunder Blade. Here’s a slightly upgraded version of Thunder Blade on the Master System. The gameplay is exactly the same as its predecessor. Needless to say, I’m not impressed. Does the game look and sound better? Yes, of course it does. Does it play better? Meh…

The A and C Buttons shoot your gatling guns and missiles. Many shots from the guns can be on the screen at once, but only two heat seeking missiles. Buildings and other obstacles pop up that you have to avoid. Your main enemies are fellow helicopters and tanks. The Thunder Blade helicopter is supposedly upgraded, but one hit and you’re dead. The B Button applies the air brake, which can stop you and save you from hitting those big, stationary obstacles. Level four being ridiculous as you have to fly through horizontal fence looking barriers.

There are four levels of action and you’re going to die, a lot. The end of each level switches to a top down view as you have to destroy a giant ship by getting to the end and avoiding shots from the many turrets. If you can get away with avoiding enemy bullets for awhile, you’ll probably feel like you’re doing great, but then BAM! You’re hit. And then you’re hit again. And then it’s game over… You have three continues to get it done. If you have to cheat, I won’t look down upon you.

Graphics: 2.0

The graphics are alright, but the Genesis doesn’t scale sprites, so it’s still a bit choppy.

Sound: 1.0

Sounds are obnoxious and music is very forgettable.

Gameplay: 1.0

There’s really not a lot to the game. Hold down the shoot button, avoid bullets as best you can. Brake to avoid obstacles.

Difficulty: 2.5

This is still a hard game, even though you get three continues and up to seven lives. It’s not particularly fair.

Fun Factor: 1.0

It’s more fun than the Master System version, but that isn’t saying much.

Overall Grade: 1.5

Super Thunder Blade earns a C-. I’d have been disappointed if the only games I could have gotten at launch were this and Space Harrier. Here’s hoping the rest of the lineup is fun.

Super Thunder Blade Video Review on YouTube