Reviews Archive
  hellfire on megadrive Hellfire
hellfire on genesis
  1 Player  
  Stand out versions - Mega Drive, TG-CD  
  Hellfire is quite a clever game, it's power-up system seems to be an extension of the one laid down in the Thunder Force series, yet here you are given very regimented weapon choices, one gun fires forward, one backward, one up and down and the last diagonally, the levels and bosses are designed to capitalize on this system (the boss pictured to the right for instance has a spherical weak spot which moves around inside it, only ever accessible with a certain weapon at a given time).  
  last resort arcade Last Resort
last resort on neo geo
  2 Players  
  Stand out version - NEO GEO  
  The Neo Geo may not have had the large quantities of shmups but it certainly had the quality in what it did have. Last Resort is probably my favourite on the system, it may be lacking the impressive digitized graphics of Pulstar, but at least it has a certain level of originality, and an ever welcome 2 player mode too of course.  
  lords of thunder on tg-cd Lords of Thunder
lords of thunder turbografx
  1 Player  
  Stand out version - TG-CD  
  After making the classic Gate of Thunder Hudson decided on a change of direction and brought out this, a more fantasy orientated game than its predecessor. Lords of Thunder has you flying around the beautifully realized settings taking on a wide variety of monsters. The new theme gives some room for new ideas too such as the excellent close quarters melee attack which really adds to the game play. If you have the choice definitely go for the TG-CD version as it has the better graphics of the two, but if not the Mega-CD version is easily an acceptable substitution.  
  mega typhoon on amiga Mega Typhoon
mega typhoon on amiga
  1 player  
  Stand out versions - Amiga 1200  
  Mega Typhoon stands as being easily the most impressive shmup on the Amiga, the screen is constantly packed full of bullets and enemies, the weapons are impressive and the whole game feels very much like a high quality arcade game. The only major downfall is a lack of levels as it has only four (they are very long levels though) and after the fourth is finished the fifth level is a return to the 1st stage but more difficult.  
  musha aleste Musha Aleste
musha on genesis
  1 player  
  Stand out version - Mega Drive  
  One of the highest quality vertical scrollers for the Mega Drive, there's loads of action and grand scale set-pieces, interesting level designs, great power-ups and the usual brilliant presentation you've come to expect from the Aleste series.  
  parodius on snes Parodius/Parodius Da!
parodius da!
  1 player  
  Stand out versions - SNES/TG-16  
  If you want a Gradius type experience for your SNES then don't bother with Gradius III, get this instead as it's by far the more professionally programmed experience, not only that but the level designs show a level of inspiration and ideas that were sadly lacking in Gradius III and are just far cleverer and more interesting overall.  
  paranoia on turbografx Paranoia
paranoia on pc-engine
  1 player  
  Stand out versions - TG-16  
  Paranoia is a very colourful and strange looking game with an excellent weapon and power-up system design, in it you collect spheres which you can position to shield bullets or ram enemies, the spheres are upgradeable and as you collect more power-ups they become larger and more useful.  
  phalanx on snes Phalanx
phalanx on snes
  1 player  
  Stand out versions - SNES  
  Phalanx is certainly an under appreciated SNES game worth checking out. The game play is very much Thunder Force derivative (accumulate weapons and choose which one to use on the fly, speed bar, stages that push your ship around) but on top of this are some welcome new additions which have a strong effect of differentiating the game play, most importantly the addition of a life bar which helps to make the game a little easier.  
  pulstar arcade game Pulstar
pulstar on neo geo
  1 Player  
  Stand out versions - NEO GEO  
  Pulstar is the most acclaimed shooter on the Neo Geo and it's not too difficult to understand why as the digitized graphics were extremely impressive for the time and blew the competition away. Game play wise Pulstar is a little bit dangerously close to R-type II in style and execution but certainly throws it's own ideas into the mix as well.  
  r-type on turbografx R-Type
r-type on pc-engine
  1 Player  
  Stand out versions - TG-16  
  What more can be said about R-Type that hasn't been already? quite possibly the most influential shmup of all time, clever power-ups, a fantastic H. R Giger inspired style and fiendish level designs all help to make it an enduring classic.  
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