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|Reference added: 476|
"Lords of Thunder is the sequel to Gate of Thunder."
Known as "Wings of Thunder" in Japan, this followup to "Gate of Thunder" (see entry 476), kicks, if possible, even more heiny. Not just through sheer firepower, though it has plenty of that, not just through the power metal soundtrack, though it has that in spades, but more importantly through style and innovation, Lords manages to outdo its own prequel just a bit.
Rather than the multiple weapon system found in Gate, here you pick from one of four elemental armor suits at the beginning, and that determines your weapon style for the rest of the game. You then pick which world you want to start in and off you go.
Armor suit--that's right, you're not just jetting along in a spacecraft this time, now you're ballsing it out in true Heavy Metal Greco-Roman style, with a suit of armor whose shoulder pads would do Metallica proud, and wielding a mighty big sword with which to crush all who oppose you. You can fly, but that's because you're such a bad dude.
Other bad dudes stand in your way, naturally. Impressively, while it throws hordes of well-animated dudes at you, the game doesn't do so in repetitive fashion. Each level seems to progress continually to new ground rather than just cycling through wave patterns over and over, so in a single stage you'll battle past little guys, then land-dragons, giant ant-lions, then up into a temple to fight giant armored guys, then down into catacombs to slay nasty beasts.
Now, I haven't got too far in this game, because I suck and the game takes no prisoners. In all the intricate detail you have to focus a lot of avoid getting hit, and don't get distracted too much by all the sparkly bobbing loot dropped by enemies. The game is tough and I suppose it just gets tougher, so this should keep me busy for a good long time.
One neat feature makes things a little more fair for we n00bs though: after you die, you can restart with your next life in any continent, and keep the money you had when you died to spend in the shop before entering the level--buy some armor and weapon powerups and you may give yourself a big advantage. Or not, cause you lose weapon power when you get hit (the life meter is generous but, if you're like me, you'll get hit a lot).
I haven't quite figured out the powerup system, in part because much stuff drops as you kill things that it's hard to separate what is doing what. Something powers up your shots, though, and you can also get more bombs (the bombs are quite impressive, and like the shot correspond to the element you chose for your armor). Beyond that it's a little sketchy in my head, and the weapon powerups I get never seem to last long, probably because I get hit a lot.
But this game isn't really about sweating the details, it's about ADRENALINE! and KILLIN STUFF!! So slap on that armor, gird that sword, pump up the volume, turn on the turbo fire and go to it.