SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC
Top Critic Average
Like most (perhaps every) Sega Ages releases, Team M2 has done another great job. There’s an argument to be made for the lack of including the Genesis and SNES versions of the game given that they are a bit different than this arcade port, and seeing as how Sega Ages titles in the past have sometimes included the other versions of games, too… I suppose we maybe got a bit spoiled in having the best of all of the versions included in one release, but I did want to mention that this particular release is just the arcade one. Still, it’s a great game, arguably one of the better SHMUPs of at least the early 90s, and M2 has done another great job of making it available on the Switch.
Thunder Force AC is a fantastic classic shoot 'em up, and its inclusion on Switch, along with some added bonuses, is a welcome addition to the SEGA AGES line-up. It is only held back by the lack of the original version, Thunder Force III, of which this one is but a slightly remixed version. Seems like a lost opportunity, but here's hoping the developer won't dare releasing it separately.
The final boss is a bit of a letdown, but the leaderboards and unlockable ships add decent replay value. The accessibility options are robust, too, as we've come to expect from these classic SEGA re-releases. Although Thunder Force IV, which released as Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar is the better game, its predecessor still manages to bring a healthy dose of shoot-'em-up goodness.