Release Date: May 28, 2020
Price: $7.99 (commensurate European pricing)
Genre: Retro, Arcade, Action, Flight, Shooter
Platform: Nintendo Switch
"Review Code Provided by Sega"
Growing up in the early 90’s had you playing games in the arcades and at home had you deciding on a variety of games from the beat em up genre, the emerging fighting game genre, and chief amongst them up to the mid 90’s was the SHMUP or Shoot Em Up genre. We had countless juggernauts that were coming out from Blazing Star, Gradius, and the heavy hitter Thunder Force series from Sega which was charting in the arcades as it was on the Sega Genesis and while we got numbered entries on the home console, we never got this arcade entry on console……until now (unless you count Thunder Spirits for the Super Famicom and Sega Saturn Thunder Force Gold Pack 2). How does Thunder Force AC hold up after 30 or so years? Let’s find out.
The story is fairly light focusing on the ongoing battle between the ORN Empire and the Galaxy Federation having reached a breaking point. The FIRE LEO-03 STYX, a combat ready battle fighter, was created by the Federation in a last-ditch effort to turn the tide of the war and return the galaxy to peace.
Thunder Force AC is effectively a remake and rearranging of assets and more from Thunder Force III and II with its own original content mixed in.
Like most SHMUPs you are able to move your fighter jet around the screen to try and avoid being hit by enemy bullets, enemies themselves, environmental hazards, and the environment. You will gather power ups that give you a shield power up which grants you additional hits before disbursing along with weapon power ups that allow you to fire above and below you, behind and in front of you, homing missiles, laser shots and spread shots. You can upgrade your weapons with additional power ups of the same element and it allows you to have a more powered up version of said move making it easier to take out enemies and bosses.