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 Post subject: Thunder Dragon 2 / Big Bang: Power Shooting (Arcade)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 7:22 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 267
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
NMK made an unexpected return to Thunder Dragon with a sequel: Thunder Dragon 2, also called Big Bang: Power Shooting (or Power Shooting: Big Bang as its title says).

Classic 194X-styled Shooting!

We all remember NMK's Thunder Dragon as one of the many clones of Raiden that tried to become that fierce competitor trying to take down Seibu Kaihatsu (and Fabtek) from the shmup throne. This time, the game makes aside the Raiden-esque features that made its predecessor a cheap clone, and focus on one thing: Rack up high scores surviving intense dogfights. The high-scoring thing can be found everywhere, hidden in the scenery, destroying small enemies and even specific formations. For instance, those "Fire and runaway" missile carrying planes can drop a 50,000 point bonus item if you destroy the entire formation. To do this you'll need to rely on firepower and pattern memorization.
Something that i've noticed is that if you destroy the middle sized enemies quickly, the game will throw more enemies than normal until you reach the boss point where enemies no longer appear. During boss battles, each bullet and missile that hits a part of the boss gives you points. Thus, keeping a good amount of bombs and stay alive at maximum power is the utmost priority of this game.

Shoot The Words!

As a scoring game, even shooting the letters is a score racking thing, along with a free bomb if you destroy them, Except in Stage 1 where it gives you a 50,000 point item.
Even the staff roll credits are destructible so you can rack points shooting down the names of those who made this game.

┬┐Do you call this a "fair" two player mode?

With the weapon switching feature gone, NMK decide something unusual to solve it: Give the players an unique plane. Player 1's ship, which is based on the Supermarine Spitfire is a Spread Shot slow plane that uses a full-frontal 4 Missile subweapon, while Player 2 has one based on the Kyushu J7W Shinden which has a frontal rapid laser fire, but its a fast plane and is more powerful, combined with Homing Missiles, making it a much more efficient score-maker than Player 1's ship. Yeah, in this game, being Player 2 is much more convenient if you're going to play the game with high scoring in mind.
For some reason, they don't give you the option of selecting your plane, making the simultaneous 2 Player action a little bit unfair since Player 2 will get most of the game's score than Player 1.

Fast Paced Action, even if you're using a propeller!

Graphically, Thunder Dragon 2 is much better than its predecessor. As the color palette is brighter and more "alive" than Thunder Dragon's dark and dull one.
Also, this game omits the American Patriotism and Sci-Fi High Tech themes of the first game in favor of a Post-apocalyptic, World War II-like setting where prop planes, jet engines and laser weaponry co-exist with the classic-styled machinery. I've mentioned the post-apocalyptic theme because in Stage 3, because there's buildings covered by the sands of the desert as if a great war engulfed the world and now the survivors are fighting against a tyrannic regime of some sorts.

The music and sounds are also improved. The soundtrack changes the Genesis-esque chiptunes for a CD quality-like soundtrack that uses upbeat, percussion-focused, fast paced songs that go along with the game's action. There's voice samples like "YEEE-HO!", "OK, who's next?" and "Get out of my sight" when a middle sized plane or tank is down adds some "punch" to the action, not to mention the "Hey, this is my present for you" and "Wow, dude!" when a bomb is released.

Despite its bizarre 2 player conditions, Thunder Dragon 2 / Big Bang: Power Shooting is an addicting game that has what it takes to give the first Raiden games some fierce competition. Hell, I can even say the first Raiden Fighters has a rival with this game.

Give this game a try, and remember: Being Player 2 is much better than being Player 1.
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