The Un­con­verted: Th Strikes Back

De­vel­oper: Gaelco Year: 1994 Genre: Run-and-gun

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS -

We’ve never heard of it ei­ther, but Nick has and it’s worth play­ing

Some­times, a game just needs to de­liver a lu­di­crous power fan­tasy. All you want is a hulk­ing, shirt­less dude run­ning around blast­ing aliens with a big laser gun – and that’s ex­actly what TH Strikes Back de­liv­ers. The game is the se­quel to 1992’s Thun­der Hoop, a promis­ing but some­what flawed run-and-gun that suf­fered from a rather un­even dif­fi­culty level. TH Strikes Back is big­ger, brasher and bet­ter de­signed than its pre­de­ces­sor in all re­gards.

There’s noth­ing tremen­dously in­no­va­tive about

TH Strikes Back, but it’s a pol­ished ex­e­cu­tion of a pop­u­lar genre. As ex­pected, the ma­jor­ity of your time is spent blast­ing en­e­mies en route to a show­down with an end-of-level boss, al­though the game has a heav­ier em­pha­sis on plat­form­ing chal­lenges than the likes of the Metal Slug games. You’ll find rails to hang from, con­veyor belts to im­pede your progress, and spring plat­forms to cross chasms, and there’s even a chal­leng­ing ob­sta­cle dodg­ing sec­tion on a small mov­ing plat­form. En­e­mies are suf­fi­ciently var­ied, too, rang­ing from stan­dard hu­manoid grunts to fly­ing beasts and even guard dog-style bad­dies, all of which ex­plode into a sat­is­fy­ing shower of bits when shot. Bosses are in­ter­est­ing from the off too – even the first one has four at­tack pat­terns, a shielded area and help from reg­u­lar grunts.

While the gui­tar rock sound­track isn’t par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable, it does fit the ac­tion well. How­ever, the graph­i­cal de­tail is pretty im­pres­sive. The car­toon aes­thetic is strong and al­though the en­vi­ron­ments are pre­dom­i­nantly in­dus­trial, there’s a good splash of colour thanks to the di­verse na­ture of the en­e­mies. There’s a good amount of de­tail in both the sprites and back­grounds, with cool mi­nor de­tails such as rats scur­ry­ing about that add a lot of char­ac­ter.

TH Strikes Back would have made a fun home re­lease in the early days of the 32-bit mar­ket, be­fore 3D games had prop­erly come to dom­i­nate the mar­ket. How­ever, Gaelco had not yet be­gun its ul­ti­mately lim­ited in­volve­ment in the home mar­ket (that would wait un­til 1998’s Radikal Bik­ers), mean­ing that the game un­for­tu­nately re­mained ex­clu­sive to the ar­cades.

This boss fight takes place across two lev­els, as you can see from the grunt just mak­ing the jump up from the bot­tom level to the top here. It looks like this boss is walk­ing away from you, but he’s ac­tu­ally ad­vanc­ing to­wards you back­wards, to take ad­van­tage of his thickly shielded back.

Tim­ing your moves across this pit is im­por­tant – the flames here are part of a burst that will rise up and im­pede the progress of our hero. These plat­forms are ac­tu­ally big springs, which can pro­pel you across this spiked pit – but only once you’ve cleared the path of those fly­ing en­e­mies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.