Thunder Force V: Perfect System

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
Rated: Everyone
Metascore: 70 / 100
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Product Description

From the Manufacturer

In a grim future where a once-benevolent alien technology has turned against humanity only a ragtag group of ace pilots can save the Earth from total annihilation. Code name: Thunder Force! This is the first installment of the massively popular shooter series on a 32-bit platform and the enhancements of this new version is obvious from the moment your eyes and ears are overwhelmed by the the audio-visual feast. Five spectacular weapons with multiple power-up levels let you blast through the metallic menace and look good going it. A constant barrage of innovative enemies keeps you intrigued while you're trying to stay alive. A speaker-imploding soundtrack has your foot tapping to the funky beat. Unbelievable rendered cutscenes don't just draw you but drag you kicking and screaming into the action.


Originally released in Japan last year for the Sega Saturn, Thunder Force V was the latest installment in Technosoft's legendary series of shooters. While American Saturn owners watched helplessly as SOA passed on yet another highly desired piece of software, it came as no surprise to find that Technosoft was in the process of porting it to the PlayStation. Working Designs quickly saw an opportunity where others had not and subsequently announced it was bringing Thunder Force V to the States via its Spaz label.

So, fans of shooters gather round and behold the first episode of Thunder Force rendered in semi-3D glory. As with all previous Thunder Force games, you control your ship from the left side of the screen and proceed to dish out punishment on the endless waves of antagonists who swarm in from the right. Helping you avoid these nasty predators are analog control and the ability to alter your ship's speed from 50-100 percent. Along the way you pick up a large variety of weapons and power-ups from amongst the remains of the recently dispatched. Twin shots, hunter shots, wave, and other exotic weapons are available for the taking, which when powered up with floating energy balls called craw, can be triggered to unleash a massive attack, whose power level depends on the amount of craw obtained at the time. Usually these super attacks are reserved for the huge bosses that await at the end of each level.

Considering that little tweaking was necessary to improve the relatively basic gameplay, Technosoft was able to concentrate on the visuals. Although the game plays in 2D, like any decent shooter worth its salt these days, it incorporates 3D details and polygonal enemies and bosses. During introductory sequences, the camera will pan 360 degrees, but that's about it. For any real 3D action you'll need to wait until the bosses to see some polygonal power. As far as additions to the PlayStation version go, a couple of extra levels have been added to bolster what was once a relatively short game. Some nicely done CG sequences were also included to make this a very complete package. Other small but welcome details that were included are a digital viewer, which lets you look at hi-res artwork rendered for the game, and a time attack mode, although it's up for discussion why anyone would want to play a time attack in a side-scrolling shooter.

The difference between the Saturn version and the PlayStation version of Thunder Force V, aside from the extra levels and stuff, are few but worth mentioning. Perhaps, due to the ease of rendering 3D on the PlayStation, there is very little slowdown, something that could be found (in small but noticeable amounts) during boss encounters on the Saturn version. The sound effects also seem much clearer on Sony's gray box for some reason. Although the graphics and textures appear a little bit sharper on the Saturn, there's no need for alarm as the two are almost identical to each other. Perhaps the only negative thing about the game is that it's basically the same as any other shooter when you really get down to it. Despite the eye candy and extra window dressing, this is still just a shooter. That having been said, it should be noted that it's an excellent shooter.

For Thunderforce fans who own a PlayStation, this is a coup. Not only do you get a technically superior version of Thunder Force V, you get it with all the extra bells and whistles too, providing considerable value and excellent gameplay. Spaz/Working Designs has once again catered to the fans and brought over a perennial fan-favorite. Easily as good as Raystorm or G-Darius and tough competition for Einhander, Thunder Force V is a shooting fan's dream. --James Mielke
--Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review

Product Information

Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #39,617 in videogames
#752 in Video Games > More Systems > PlayStation > Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 5.6 x 4.9 x 0.4 inches
Media: Game

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Thunder for, in my opinion, is one of the best shoot'em up's ever created. It should not be compared to other games (like Einhander, even though people think that this is better, which I disagree) of it's type. All those who have ever played the other games of the series know that even though the game can be EXTREMELY HARD, it is NEVER cheap. It demmands ultimate concentration, just as Working Designs implies. The graphics may not be the best ever seen, but they are pretty ... good anyway. I recommend this game, but be warned, you must be up to the challenge.
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As an old school shoot 'em up fan, Thunder Force V immortalizes what I love about this genre of games: futuristic settings, sleek mechanical designs, fluid gameplay, and the sheer challenge of dodging/absorbing bullets from dozens of enemies on the screen... and blasting them into digital pieces.

The game itself takes place after the final battle with the Orn in Thunder Force IV, leaving the Rynex starfighter drifting into deep space. Many centuries later, humanity recovers the fighter and builds the artificial intelligence known as the Guardian to unlock its secrets. The research into Rynex results in the development of Vasteel technology, allowing the human race to build starships and powerful weapon systems, as well as enabling the colonization of worlds distant from Earth. But a sinister secret is unlocked deep within the fighter, and the AI becomes self-aware and declares war on the humanity. After the brutal conflict claims half of the Earth's population, a series of experimental fighters are constructed and flown by the pilots of the elite Thunderforce 333 squadron to destroy the Guardian and save the human race.

As you progress through the levels, you can collect a series of power-ups that enable you to use the special weapons of the RVR-01 Gauntlet: the rear-firing cannon, the wave cannon, the homing missiles, and the free-range laser (arguably the most useful and most powerful weapon in the game; pretty much required for survival in the later levels). In addition, your ship can pick up the CRAWs (much like the options in Gradius) that can absorb bullets and power-up your ship's overweapon to lay down a swath of destruction on enemies and bosses alike. You can also adjust the speed of the Gauntlet at will.
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A Kid's Review on June 28, 2003
Even thought it is fun it is very hard (sometimes). I would reccomend this game all the way. it takes alot of time and tries to get used to this game but its worth it. BUY IT YOU WONT BE SORRY!!!!!!
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Yet another great game from Victor Ireland and Working Designs. I would also suggest Raycrisis, and anything else from Working Designs and Spaz Games.
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