Top 100 Retro Games: Thunder Cross
How good is Thunder Cross from 1988!?!
This is a really good evolution off of the Gradius series and you can see Konami trying out things that would come back in their later games, like the screen clearing weapons that would later be in Contra III: The Alien Wars. I had so much fun playing to this game to completion. I DID have to turn on the cheats, but it was worth it to get through this really interesting game.
Thunder Cross has a really cool vibe. I love the ruined city backgrounds in levels. The colors, but especially the purples and blues and oranges, are really well done and look amazing on a big screen television.
So with that all said, Thunder Cross is a followup in 1991. I have to say, I do not like this game as much as the first one. The attempts to iterate upon the first game are not that great and I can see why the series was discontinued afterwards. It’s much harder, the music is not as good, and generally I think it is a lot more generic in its aesthetic than the first game.
Personally, I thought the first Thunder Cross game was a pretty evenly difficult game, but the second one is much harder. Even with cheat codes on, I had to continue numerous times to get through the game. At a certain point this got a bit boring and began feeling like homework in the last few levels. What goes around comes back around: You want to vacuum up quarters from users, but your game ends up being boring by the end. That is a pretty big turn off I do have to say! It stinks.
The music is also not quite as good as the first game, which had an exceptional soundtrack. This game has a few stand out tracks for sure, but some of it is fairly bland. Let’s play some of the better tracks….
One of the major issues with Thunder Cross II is that the music tracks are very short and replay over and over. Due to their inferior quality to the first game, they get old really quick and become a distraction while playing. A decent to bad game only gets worse if the music sucks too.