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Thunder Drive AC is a good recreation made higher by way of the SEGA AGES line. An arcade retooling of the Genesis shooter Thunder Drive III, AC makes its return journey to consoles in all its 16-bit glory, fortified with on-line leaderboards, unlockable ships, a straightforward “children” mode, and a few enjoyable show choices. The core expertise is brief and suffers from some low cost kills, however total it is one other standout shooter on Swap.
AC takes place instantly after Thunder Drive II. Hoping to finish a drawn-out conflict with the ORN Empire, the Galaxy Federation deploys the FIRE LEO-03 STYX, a cell fighter with the firepower of a battleship. Its mission: assault a number of planets underneath the Empire’s management after which infiltrate the imperial base.
Thunder Drive AC is a 2D horizontally-scrolling shooter just like titles like Gradius and R-Sort. You’ll pilot the STYX by eight sci-fi ranges, every stuffed with roving enemies and completed with a large boss. In the event you undergo a success, you will forfeit one life and lose your present power-up. Lose all lives and you may proceed, by way of credit score, from the place you left off. Run out of credit and it is again to the very starting.
You will in all probability end up working by credit sooner than you need while you begin the sport; that is an arcade shooter from 1990, in any case, and it does not pull any punches. Thunder Drive III on Genesis is thought for its accessibility and forgiving nature, however AC is noticeably more difficult — though nonetheless much less diabolical than some bullet hell shooters. Fortunately, studio M2, which managed this Swap port, added in a number of issue settings, together with a definite “children” mode that will increase the STYX’s firepower, provides further credit, and retains all power-ups upon loss of life. The one drawback: a number of “gotcha” moments the place an unannounced fireball, blast defend, or boss will shave off a treasured life, reasonably cheaply. Nonetheless, regardless of your ability degree, it is best to be capable to see the tip of the sport.
Not solely will you see the tip credit (with some humorous mistranslation), you will have a blast taking part in by all eight ranges. Because of a number of weapon and pace choices, Thunder Drive AC is far more than your customary shoot-em-up. All through your journey you will amass 5 totally different weapons: the default twin-shot and back-shot, a wave beam, a ahead cannon with missiles, and weak-but-effective homing orbs. You may swap amongst these 5 sorts at your leisure, permitting you to tailor your combating fashion to the extent and any incoming enemies. The ahead cannon with missiles, for instance, is helpful for enemies on ceilings and flooring, because the missiles hearth up and down after which hug any surfaces. Again-shot is crucial for taking down ships that assault from behind and within the backward-scrolling sections of the Cerberus stage.
That is proper, there are a number of ranges the place the STYX will scroll backward, upward, and diagonally, which makes weapon administration and pace settings much more necessary and strategic.
In the event you tire of scrolling by ORN imperial house together with your default STYX fighter, you’ll be able to strive three others — so long as you’ve got unlocked them. Torn from later Thunder Drive titles and model new to this Swap port of Thunder Drive AC, these further ships symbolize further replay worth in a marketing campaign that sits on the quick facet.
In reality, you can end AC in about 30 minutes, as soon as you realize your means round. That stated, with 4 ships, a number of issue settings, and on-line leaderboards for each arcade and “children” mode, the sport is actually replayable.
Since that is M2 and SEGA AGES, you’ll be able to count on pixel-perfect emulation, plus a large number of show choices. These embrace a number of borders, a CRT-like “Classic” show, and even a “Cupboard” mode that recreates the arcade expertise.
Had Thunder Drive AC arrived on Swap unaltered, it will nonetheless be an amazing recreation. But the port masters at M2 have made the basic shooter even higher, because of on-line leaderboards, further playable ships, a variety of issue settings, and a bunch of show choices. It is a comparatively quick recreation with a modest quantity of trial and error, however its mechanics, degree designs, and quality-of-life options make it a must-play for shoot-em-up followers.
This assessment relies on a digital copy of SEGA AGES Thunder Drive AC for the NS, offered by the writer.