| paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN] |
|Our good friends at Oretachi bring us a fairly decent old game this time. Thunder Cross's graphics aren't the best around (what were they thinking with some of those colors?), the powerup system is pretty generic--sort of a dumbed-down Gradius type of thing where you get options and speedups and stuff without "buying" them--and some of the bosses are just poopy, but if you have a little patience, there's still some shooting fun to be had here.|
The need for patience comes in when you die. A lot. Repeatedly. Or maybe I just suck at Thunder Cross, but it seems to me that they pack in a ridiculous number of enemies, bullets (especially homing missiles), and blockades here, and that frequently you literally have no place to go to get out of the way of some sort of deadly thing with your name on it. Also, the weapons you get tend to be kind of weak, and particularly if you haven't picked up a powerup or two yet, you will just plain have trouble putting a dent in the enemies.
The bosses are an uneven affair. They're all pretty good size, and usually have a couple patterns, so that's all well and good. Some of them seem to be quite a bit harder than others, though; for instance, I beat one on like stage five or so without dying, while a few earlier ones had milked several credits out of me. I particularly wasn't fond of that flying saucer with the big arm that just sort of flew after me and trapped me in the corners of the screen. Grr. That one timed out, so I didn't even get the bittersweet pleasure of revenge.
Later levels get really extreme with obstacles. There's always floor and ceiling to watch out that you don't smash into, but then they start putting in various platforms and things that you have to avoid, floating things that explode into mid-size pieces of shrapnel, and, at the last stage I got to (then I just got GAME OVER which was weird...maybe it stops letting you continue after a certain stage or something), you're forced to speed through a veritable maze of horizontal and vertical walls, packed with scads of enemies with tracking missiles and just plain screen-filling bulk and numbers. Oy!
Two-player co-op appears to be offered here, haven't tried that yet.
This edition of the OGC series has the usual simple yet functional L1+R1 menu that you can bring up at any time during gameplay.
You can change the scaling of the graphics, but they'll always have that blurry rescaled look to them. Coupled with the icky color palettes of some of the levels, you can be left straining to see the smaller, darker, faster enemies.
|The two-player is about what you would expect. Having two people firing instead of one makes the game a whole heck of a lot easier, which for this game I think is a good thing.|| ||