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Thunder Force

Retrospective: Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar (Thunder Force IV)

Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar or Thunder Force IV (Sega Genesis) Screenshot

Thunder Force IV is one of the best action games for the Sega Genesis—a platform loaded with great action games. However, it is not a better game than its great predecessor. It really wants to be. It really tries to be. It's surely one of the best-looking games ever released for the Genesis, and its production quality across the board is top-notch. It's in its over-reaching design choices that the game falls short of greatness.

The Great Games: Thunder Force III

Thunder Force III (Sega Genesis) Screenshot

One of the frustrating things about video games for me is the utterly lame way we define certain genres within the industry. First-Person Shooter. Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Then there's my favorite genre: Unfortunately known as the horizontally or vertically scrolling shooter; the side-view or top-down shoot 'em up or more simply, the "schmup." That's right ... schmup. You could mix and match any of those words, and it would still make sense to any gamer as to what you're talking about, but I prefer to put them all in the category of Action Game. It's less specific to be sure, but much easier on the tongue and far less nerdy.

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