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 Post subject: Turbo Force (Arcade)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:36 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 268
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Another break from Console shmups, this time is the arcade shooter Turbo Force.

"FAST & FUR10US", if there's a 10th entry in the series, this is how it will look.

Right after Rabio Lepus (released by Midway as Rabbit Punch), V-System renamed itself as Video System, and the first game released under their new name was this unique shooter called Turbo Force, hitting the arcades at full speed in 1991.

Vin Diesel is ready to fight Armored Trains, Dinosaurs, Robots and Alien Bugs in this shooter.

Unlike Rabio Lepus, Turbo Force is a vertical scroll shooter, which is more intense than their previous work as the enemies are far more aggresive than those of Rabio Lepus. I swear this game is Video System's first steps on making "Bullet Hell" and fast shooting, making survival much more of an emphasis than going at full force. Examples are everywhere: Bullets with slight homing capacity (moving to left or right), rocket punch launching enemies, dinosaurs with turrets and trains with multiple armed wagons, not to mention the rapid moving enemies and bosses that shoot big shots that split into more bullets or a missile that fires intense curtains to the sides while it slowly goes down off screen, making Turbo Force an exercise of fast reflexes where newbies will be shot down before reaching the third boss since it changes most of the things that we knew about basic 80's shooting.

Speaking of going full force, the game has one nasty flaw: The ship's firepower depletes with time, even when you're starting the game your weak twin laser shots began to get weaker. So, the key to staying alive in this automotive shootout is to pick one Power Up after another to retain your full power at least for a while. Because if your ship loses a lot of power levels it will be a nightmare to fight a boss, even a sub-boss like in Stage 2 will be impossible.

For some bizarre reason, the game lacks of an ending. So, once you've destroyed Mega Car, you'll be back at the beginning of the game.

Armstrong's Super Car Protector®. Never go to the battlefield without it.

While the game lacks of a bomb, it features a Special item that has four random effects:
EFFECT 1 - LASER BOMBARDMENT: Pelts the screen with Lasers that explode on impact.
EFFECT 2 - BARRIER: The car is covered by an energy sphere while other 3 spin around it, making it a defensive weapon. The only problem is that you're not allowed to fire until it wears off.
EFFECT 3 - FULL POWER UP: Instantly increases your car's firepower to its maximum.
EFFECT 4 - DEADLY FLASH: The screen flashes, destroying all the enemies on screen.

Dom, Letty and Brian team up again to smash this giant bug.

Having random effects isn't just the only feature of Turbo Force. The real main feature of this game is the inclusion of a multiplayer mode for three players. While the 3-4 player cabinets were common in race games, gun games and beat-em' ups like Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off-Road, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Revolution X, Laser Ghost, X-Men and The Simpsons, but never in a shmup, until Turbo Force arrived. Adding a third player truly enhances the gameplay when the three are in the game, adding more firepower to re-balance things a little when 2 of the players are powered down.

Trakker's gonna lead the mission, and Spectrum's got such super-vision.
M-M-M-M-M.A.S.K.! It's the mighty power that can save the day!

Graphically, we're looking at a very impressive, eye-catching and well detailed graphics for a 1991 shooter. To be honest, they look even better than Aero Fighters in the majority of the stages like in the first three stages. The car sprite looks well made and not to mention the enemy machinery and bio-organic as the small details like panels, pulsing veins and moving turrets are clearly sharp in animation.

While Aero Fighters utilizes the military as the game's theme and Rabio Lepus is a Fantasy-Kawaii-Sci-Fi blend., Turbo Force breaks the habit by utilizing flying cars that shoot lasers and attack robots an alien bugs. Although we had flying cars like the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and M.A.S.K.'s Thunderhawk, this game is like "M.A.S.K. meets Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors" as this game is basically a kid's wild dream in videogame form: Cars that shoot lasers and fly like spaceships and I say spaceships since the last battle takes place in space. I said that kid wild dream thing 'cos when you were a kid you didn't cared if it was anime styled or realistic. Your mind only wanted one thing, and that's ACTION. That's what Turbo Force's character designs are: Fantasy and Technological creations meant to induce an adrenalinic rush of action with the intensity of a Saturday Morning cartoon block, and Video System clearly succeeded with this game.
For some reason, the in-game car differs from the heavy equipped vehicle we've saw in the opening sequence as the sprite only has the engines to make it fly and shoots the lasers from its lights.

The sound department is awesome. Like Vapor Trail, Turbo Force uses heavy guitaring, hard rocking themes that add intensity to the overall action, I swear that some of the songs will fit perfectly in the classic Thunder Force series.

- This is the lone 3 player shmup made by Video System.
- According to Aero Fighters graphic designer Soukou Junyoukan, credited as "Armored Cruiser", the plot is about an American Air Force pilot, while racing his car on a public road along with his friends, they wander into another mysterious dimension and get caught up in a war against an alien civilization. In this world of the future, they modify their cars into flying machines and fight to protect this world.
- Soukou mentioned that the developers basically did whatever they wanted in designing the game, resulting in mismatching things. In the end, the staff used what they've learned from Turbo Force to make Aero Fighters a better and more successful game.
- Turbo Force appears in the team-up ending of Kohful and Tee-Bee as one of the games on Kohful's lab.
- The Diabloon will return in Aero Fighters 3 and Sonic Wings Special as the secret ship of the game.
- The Diabloon's pilot identity in Aero Fighters 3 varies depending on if the game's played solo or co-op. As solo player, the pilot known as "The Man" turns out to be Captain Waffle, the protagonist of Spinal Breakers, while in Co-Op is a bounty hunter known as Gore.
- Some of the enemies of Turbo Force made their appearance in Aero Fighters 3, like the "Checkered planes" which works as the Route selection segment as the next stage is decided by which wing was destroyed first.
- In Aero Fighters 3, Diabloons are called "Planes", despite they're cars fitted with flight equipment.

It has aged well and its the first steps of Video System in vertical shooting, but in the end, Turbo Force is a classic of our arcade-packed evenings. Too bad this game wasn't ported to a console.
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki

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