| paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=NA] |
|A pack-in with the Turbo Duo, as far as I can understand it, and actually came with four games on the disc: Gate of Thunder, Bonk's Adventure ("PC Genjin" in Japan), Bonk's Revenge ("PC Genjin 2" in Japan) and Bomber Man, which is hidden. To access Bomber Man, at the game select screen push Up, Right, Down, Left, then button II.|
Pretty darn good deal.
|Gate of Thunder's graphics and sound are nothing short of incredible, with a hard-rockin' CD soundtrack and multiple planes of parallax, a rich color palette, bad-ass ship designs, huge weapons and extensive and effective use of flickering sprites to simulate transparency. They even manage to roll out some sprite scaling and rotation effects.|
All that wouldn't be worth much if the game itself weren't fun, fortunately it is. Smooth and fast, with perfectly responsive control and very satisfying weapons. It seems like Hudson/Red (maybe it was just Red that made it and Hudson that published?) decided to make a mature, uncompromisingly intense shooter that forgoes any sort of cuteness in favor of firepower. This game is quite a rush.
The only difficulty I've had with it comes in the difficulty--I can cruise through the first two stages but the stage 2 boss suddenly comes along with nasty tracking lasers. It's a good trick and one that will probably catch you quite by surprise (ie, dead) the first couple of times.
|You can switch between weapons at will, which is just so much more satisfying than having to settle for just one (and dodge the others when they come along as powerups) in just about all the other shooters from this period.|
|Although it is graphically and sonically impressive, in many ways it feels rather like a Gradius clone--check the first boss battle, for instance. And, like the early Gradius games, it has no two-player.|
|Having a difficult time liking this game as much as people say I should. Many parts of multiple stages are a snooze where you can just float along holding down the fire button, maybe moving once in a while to get over obstacles. On the other hand, the game likes to blindside you now and then with instant beam attacks or the like that more or less require previous experience to survive. Continue forces you to replace the whole stage to get back to the point you were at. None of these things seem very fun to me.|
|In the west, the PC Engine version's (see entry 1586) cute baby girl Bonk, into whom you transform when you eat the smaller chunk of meat, was replaced with a horrible, scarred, blitzed-out angry Bonk I've taken to calling "Crackhead Bonk." ; P|| ||