Like the old Galaga, levels consist of space bugs flying around in patterns before settling into formation. There are a wide variety of enemies here, including some fat turtle-looking things that burst into nice explosions. Some enemies drop exploding bombs, and others merge to form larger foes. In a nod to its predecessor, you can double your firepower by "sacrificing" a ship and later rescuing it. Been there done that, right? Well, what would you say about tripling your firepower?! Yes, this game is out of control.
In addition to the normal and "challenge" stages, there are even a few "boss" stages that add some extra spice. The background music mimics the style of the original game, but expands upon it. Galaga 90's graphics are smooth, colorful, and vibrant. There are even some non-intrusive, nicely-drawn background graphics. And don't be afraid to use the turbo feature on your controller; this game was tailor-made for that thing. Galaga '90 is a top-notch shooter, and an absolute must-have for every Turbografx owner. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Stage locations like space stations, asteroid belts, and mine tunnels may sound boring and typical, but Gate of Thunder's fantastic, dynamic environments make each feel like an intense thrill ride. Some even boast 3D effects that affect the field of play. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the game is its awesome weapon system.
Unlike most shooters, good power-ups are supplied early and often. Once you equip the side cannons, "chasers" (homing missiles), and a shield, you're ready to wreak tremendous havoc. Acquiring a new weapon doesn't replace your old one - it's just another addition to your arsenal, and you can switch between weapons at any time.
To deal with enemies sneaking up from behind, simply double-tap the fire button to aim backwards. And when your weapons reach maximum power, it's possible to unleash a screen-wiping "energy blast". You'll face an army of interesting metallic beasts, many of which sport moving limbs. Gate of Thunder's explosion effects are satisfying, and the game never displays any hint of slowdown.
In terms of audio, Gate of Thunder features clear voice synthesis and a driving guitar soundtrack. While the music may not be particularly catchy or memorable, it certainly manages to get the adrenaline pumping. If that wasn't enough, the game features several levels of difficulty (including "devil"), and a high score that's displayed at the top of the screen at all times. Gate of Thunder is instantly engrossing and insanely fun. All shooters should be this good. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Holding in the fire button fills a meter across the top of the screen. Icons at various intervals allow you to determine both the strength and nature of your attack. You might release an intense energy beam, a flood of water spouts, or a set of genies. There are many possibilities and experimenting is half the fun. The opening stage takes place on a sunny city street, and the eye candy is off-the-charts with layers of shops in the foreground and pagodas looming in the distance. Stage two features island scenery and shimmering blue water.
The platform action is forgiving, and that's good because the game contains an excessively long waterfall jumping sequence. You never know what the end-of-stage boss encounter will have it store, whether it's a minotaur, a flying pirate, or spear-toting banana. Charming and playable, Genji Tsushin Agedama reminds you that video games don't need to make sense to be fun. Note: PC Engine games like this do not run natively on the Turbografx-16. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.
In order to make any progress in Ghost Manor you'll need to locate a key which is tucked away in a really unlikely place. I had to watch a freakin' video on the Internet to find it! I hate it when I have to do stuff like that. The platform jumping is atrocious. Slides give the game a "Chutes and Ladders" feel, but most of the time you're trying to painstakingly move upward on the screen. The ledges are widely spaced and less-than-responsive controls make it hard to judge your leaps.
There are slanted platforms you'll slide off if you don't immediately start jumping around like a flea. Even if you do, you'll sometimes fall right through them anyway. Often the only way to ascend is to catch a ride on a rising spirit or elevator, but waiting for them to come around takes forever! And when you finally reach the upper platforms, trolls and demons appear out of nowhere and send your ass plummeting back to the bottom. With bad controls and poorly designed stages, Ghost Manor is just one big ole bucket of misery. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
This premium edition kicks off with a brief intro showing your sweetheart being carried off by a flying demon. Your knight's quest begins in a spooky graveyard as you hurl swords at ghouls and vultures. Later you'll trek through burned-out villages, over perilous cliffs, and up haunted towers. At a glance the graphics aren't substantially improved over the Genesis, but upon closer inspection you begin to notice subtle details. Check out the texture of the stone ruins and the additional layers of scenery. When you shoot a plant monster, his tentacles sometimes will actually break off!
The frenetic action is super fun and a haunting organ refrain adds to the playfully macabre atmosphere. The collision detection is forgiving, which is fortunate considering the brutal difficulty. Ghouls 'N Ghosts is probably too difficult for its own good, and having to restart at the windy forest area after dying at the first boss is painful. And why do these chests always open to reveal that bastard magician guy?
If it's any consolation, any weapon you acquire is not only retained for subsequent lives but subsequent continues as well. There are only three continues however, so good luck finishing this game. Still, it's fun to make a little more progress each time. The more I played this Supergrafx Ghouls 'N Ghosts, the more I realized it's probably the definitive home version. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.
The gameplay borrows heavily from Street Fighter 2, but the action is much slower and more deliberate. That makes sense when you consider we're dealing with lumbering beasts towering over 60 meters high. Some of the more powerful attacks are tricky to execute (up, left, right, button?) but most of the basic moves are no problem. I especially enjoyed unleashing Godzilla's fire breath, which you can direct at several angles.
You'll witness a lot of unusual attacks, like Gigan's "chainsaw stomach", or Rodan's ability to generate tornados (I think I actually saw that in a movie once). The only creature I found to be particularly "cheap" was the "Biollante" water monster, whose tentacles seem impossible to defend against. Incidentally, he's not available in two-player versus mode. Health meters tend to deplete slowly, but since there's only one round, the matches are ideal in length.
The creatures look respectable enough, although I do wish they were larger. The stages are surprisingly sparse, and the one with the frozen ocean waves looks especially bad. There are a few surprises however, like when a building collapses under your weight, or seeing two other monsters fighting in the distance in the Megalon stage (just like the movie).
The audio is strong, with unique digitized sound effects for each creature. Hearing Godzilla's distinctive roar is always a treat, and the game's sweeping musical score also adds to the overall experience. Godzilla's gameplay may be too slow for most casual gamers, but fans of the big green lizard will relish every bit of this rare title. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
The CPU controls your teammate but you can make him pass or shoot. The key to success is to constantly harass your opponent. Smack him with your stick, kick him in the crotch, or send him flying head over heels. Unlike other versions of this game the oversized puck moves smoothly and is easy to follow. You can wind up and aim your shot, and when you go top-shelf it's satisfying to watch the net fling back. If you can hold in the shoot button for five seconds it's possible to unleash a "super shot".
After scoring a goal it looks like your players are punching themselves in the face. Huh? Fights let you punch your opponent in the face, but they are infrequent. Fans in the seats hold signs that say "GO!" The audio effects leave much to be desired, especially those scratchy voices. Hit the Ice is mildly entertaining but the periods run too long. Considering the constant back-and-forth, one five-minute period is more than enough. I love its concept but Hit the Ice feels more like a novelty item than a game. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.