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Another SEGA classic
This is one of SEGA's slightly lesser known arcade shooters, which follows firmly in the footsteps of Afterburner and Space Harrier and while it might not have achieved the same classic status, it remains a slick and enjoyable shooter. There's not exactly an overabundance of plot or character here which is probably a good thing, as it allows the game to get on with what it does best and that's providing plenty of blasting action. Players take to the cockpit of a hi-tech attack chopper and must make their way through a series of levels which are a mix of 3D into-the-screen stages and vertically scrolling ones, more like Xenon 2 or other such shooters. Levels take you through cities, canyons and out to sea as you take out enemy planes aboard assault carriers and provide their own unique challenges in the form of attacking tanks, other choppers and various natural hazards. There's not much else to the game really but as undemanding vertically scrolling shooters go, this is pretty good stuff. The action comes thick, fast and furious, requiring nifty reflexes and a fast trigger finger to deal with the myriad obstacles coming your way. The array of weapons on display here is minimal, which may disappoint hardcore fans of sci-fi shooters like The Reap or G-Darius, but which isn't a major issue. The visuals are still pretty spectacular for a game of this age, with nice chunky sprites and some highly varied and well-detailed environments to fly through. Thunder Blade certainly isn't sophisticated or deep but it is an entertaining ride and brings back good memories of mis-spent youth in the arcades.