Thunder Blade (SMS)

Thunder Blade Box Art

Thunder Blade

System: SMS

Release Date: October 1988

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up

I came into this one thinking, oh yeah, Thunder Blade is cool, right? I should have a good time with this one. How wrong I was! You are the Gunship Gladiator and it’s up to you to destroy the rebel forces attacking your country. Patriotism! Here to save the day!

The game is rather simple, move around with the D-pad. Shoot the Chain Cannon with Button 1 to defeat airborne foes. Button 2 unleashes the air to ground missiles. You need to be proficient in both to stand a chance at clearing out the enemy forces. I just think that Button 2 the air to ground missiles should shoot a little bit more quickly.

Gameplay occurs in two phases, the first is your typical vertical scrolling shoot ‘em up. Helicopters come on screen in patterns and must either be destroyed or avoided. Also on the stage are tanks that must be destroyed with the ground missiles. The second phase is a behind the back shooter, much like Space Harrier. Heck, even the death sound is a horribly digitized scream. Finishing the behind the back section sends you against a flying fortress that you must destroy to finish the stage. I made it to stage 2 once before I decided it would be better to move on.

Graphics: 1.5

The graphics are trying, but not particularly well.

Sound: 1.0

The digitized scream is awful.

Gameplay: 1.0

It’s not a very sophisticated shoot ‘em up.

Difficulty: 2.5

This is a hard game. You can get two continues, but you’ll blow through them until you learn the patterns.

Fun Factor: 0.5

I started off with hope in my heart, but it was quickly squashed.

Overall Grade: 1.3

Thunder Blade earns a D+. Everything’s too choppy and simple to be very fun. Pass on this one.

Thunder Blade Video Review on YouTube

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