SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC MastheadSEGA AGES Thunder Force AC Masthead

SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC

Rating Summary

Based on 9 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

79

Top Critic Average

100%

Critics Recommend

Based on 9 critic reviews
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General Information

Available on:Nintendo SwitchMay 28, 2020

Publisher: SEGA

Genre: Arcade

"The retro horizontal shooter returns in SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC for Nintendo Switch! Wield devastating weapons to blast your way through the armada of the evil ORN Empire. Change your ship’s speed to deftly navigate the treacherous terrain of five diverse alien planets on your way to the destroy the menacing ORN Base, all the while fueled by an epic chiptune soundtrack. Originally released in arcades, the SEGA AGES version lets you relive those memories with an optional arcade cabinet display replete with ambient sounds. There are some surprises for seasoned Galaxy Federation pilots though, as you can now unlock ships from other Thunder Force games, and test your top scores in the online rankings. Rookie pilots need not fear though: this version also boasts save states and a Kids Mode to help you on your mission. Just remember to power up your ship and stay alert because, regardless of how you play, it’s play for keeps in this pulse-pounding space shooter for the ages!"

SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC Reviews

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Whether you're a shmup fiend or a complete amateur, there's fun to be had here.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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