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Super Thunder Blade – Sega Genesis

Super Thunder Blade – Sega Genesis

Super_Thunder_BladePlatform: Sega Genesis

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Release Date (NA): August 14, 1989

Genre: Shooter

Nerd Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Space ships? Jets? Please, get out of here Gradius and Top Gun. We’re not interested in any of your shit today because we’re strapped into our chopper and we’re comin’ for ya Goose…. Too soon? RIP. But on the realz, Super Thunder Blade, a Sega-developed helicopter shooter for the Sega Genesis, was a launch-day game for the Genesis in Japan and in the US. So it must be something special right?


Technology has come a long way since Nintendo revolutionized at-home video gaming as we now know it, but that doesn’t mean all of those old games are forgotten! While games like Super Mario Bros. and Castlevania and Metroid will live on forever in immortal fame, there are countless other games that had the right idea but got tossed aside once gaming machines got stronger/better.

super thunder blade overheadOne such game is Super Thunder Blade, a sequel/sorta-remake of the arcade hit Thunder Blade. When these games were released in Japan and the US in 1988 and 1989 respectively, the gameplay and features were pretty standard and somewhat familiar to gamers. But what really set Super Thunder Blade apart from the other shooters was the variety in camera angles and, well, that’s about it. It’s pretty easy to sit here today in 2015 and talk about the negative aspects of this game, but it was a quality game for its time, and the only major flaw is the technical limitations of the hardware.

There’s not much of a story here, and the objective is as straightforward as it gets. Your objective is to destroy all of the guerrillas with your combat assault helicopter. I’m a little unclear of any story, but it would appear that earth is under attack, or maybe a certain part of the world, and you must destroy all enemies and save the day. Very simple and unoriginal, but gets the job done nonetheless. Essentially, it’s perfect for an arcade game.

In the mid to late 1980s and pretty much all of the 1990s, the word “arcade” was synonymous with the word “Sega” because they pretty much rocked the arcade scene like very few others. And one thing arcades were known for back then was ACTION! So it’s no surprise to see Sega take one of their premiere action games and put it on their fancy new hardware. But when I put this game up against some of the other classic action titles for the Genesis, I find that Super Thunder Blade is very lacking in a few departments, such as the music and replayability.

super thunder blade 4For a “3D” shooter game in 1988, the controls are pretty solid and extremely simple but the lack of any depth perception causes some serious issues when it comes to dodging the enemy’s missiles. Granted, you can opt for 7 lives and an easy difficulty setting before you start the game, but that doesn’t make it any easier to dodge the missiles coming at you slower than hell. The missiles will track your location, but if you keep moving and don’t sit still for too long, you should be able to dodge most of it.

Another area that is lacking is the music. I’ll give them credit for creating a pretty decent score, but it sounds/feels like it should fall somewhere between an 8-bit system and a 16-bit system. That is likely due to the fact that the game was developed on the arcade prior to the system’s release, so they were still learning their own hardware some. But it’s a bit tiresome, bland, and boring.

super thunder blade overhead 2

I feel like a dick for bringing up all these negative points when Super Thunder Blade was a good game back in the day. But it’s just not great and it never was. One of my biggest and most awful gripes is how “small” this game feels! There’s nothing grandiose or superb about it. The enemies come in super small droves, there is very little variety in enemy type, all of the enemy missiles look the same, in the 1st stage you fly past the exact same looking building 100 times, and there’s no overwhelming boss battles and such. Granted, if they put any more shit on the screen, it probably would have slowed down to a snail’s pace, but it’s just not all that entertaining or extraordinary. Not to mention that it’s extremely repetitious.

super thunder blade 3To note some positives, the graphics are actually quite nice and visually appealing. There’s some nice art throughout the game, most notably the 2nd stage when you are in the desert and you’re dodging the trees. There are some really beautiful visuals there with the clouds flying by and so forth. Furthermore, the ships are very detailed with smooth textures and such, which is very appreciated.

Overall, Super Thunder Blade isn’t the worst game in the Genesis library, but it is a very average and forgettable game. With great graphics and some pretty decent/challenging gameplay down the stretch, those who stick it out will be rewarded. But it takes a lot of patience to reach that point, and I’m not convinced it’s worth the effort. Like I said before, Super Thunder Blade was good for its time but it was never a “great” game. Great concept, great graphics, solid controls, below average music/sound effects, and bland/repetitive gameplay put Super Thunder Bird into a tailspin of confusion. Do you love this game or hate this game? Or do you feel pretty much in the middle like me? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Nerd Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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