Thunderforce 3 review - Sega Megadrive
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Although it's been available on import for over a year, Thunderforce III is still one of the most technically stunning Megadrive blasters around. From the shimmering fiery backdrops of the volcano planet to the super-smooth parallax scrolling on the ice world, it's a graphical treat. It's not just a pretty face, either. Thunderforce III is tough and challenging. Obviously not on the easy level - any half decent blasting fan should be able to shoot their way through to the end of the game in a few sessions - but on the more difficult levels, where the action is bonkers and you have to fight through a constant barrage of bullets and baddies! If you're after a good shoot 'em up, check this out. Along with Hellfire and Gynoug, it's one of the best blasters available on the Megadrive.
I first played Thunderforce III on import when I started at CVG, and thought it was a megablast that simply demanded purchase. Well, that was over a year ago. Since then Thunderforce has ages quite a bit and isn't quite as good as some of the shoot 'em ups that followed (Gynoug and Hellfire spring to mind). There's no denying that the graphical quality of the game still remains superb, and the sound is pretty good, but it's playability that counts, and though Thunderforce is good, it could have been better. People out for the best blast on the Megadrive should go for one of the other games I mentioned earlier, but it you can't get your hands on either, Thunderforce III is a worthwhile substitute, packing a powerful punch in the shoot 'em up stakes.
Having never heard of the Thunder Force before (and sinfully not really interested in the review for Thunder Force 2), I was not only highly impressed with the title screen that greeted me along with the fantastic tune which accompanied it (which I am humming as I type), but the first level almost blew me out of my seat.
Have your say about this review
Ryan - 19 Aug 2008, 13:54 GMT
I remember Thunderforce III because it was one of my very first game for my Megadrive way back in highschool! I was an old Gradius/Salamander..er...Lifeforce fan back then and was dazzled by TF III then awesome graphics and very hard (for me) gameplay. Seeing a review of this classic is a huge nostalgia trip for me.
Bob - 16 Oct 2008, 07:56 GMT
I remember showing this game to a friend of mine with an Amiga and he was absolutely drooling! I forgot all about it when Thunderforce IV showed up but every now and then I still take out for a spin.
Edward - 31 Oct 2008, 12:08 GMT
I visited this page because last night I played Thunder Force III again, in preparation for the awesomeness of the upcoming Thunder Force VI for the PS2. Still a great game, great graphics, great music. It looks incredibly nice even by today's standards. Technosoft FTW!
"a classic case would be how R-type Final did in terms of selling power (i.e. not very well at all)."
Well, R-Type Final didn't go well because it's not a good game by any means. It only appeals to R-Type dihard fans (the music is awful, for instance).
Dan - 25 Feb 2009, 17:10 GMT
This was what the Megadrive was about, blowing things up and doing it in style. This game was freakin brollyant, destroy, destroy, destroy, bang, smash, boom, crash, parallax scrolling, big boss, force field, wave-it, kerpow, big mudder-ship, pazzam, ka-minto-broll-ace-pie. Classic SEU.
Curtains - 26 Oct 2010, 15:23 GMT
Thunderforce III was, and still is, my favourite MD game of all time. I liked IV too, but it seemed to over egg the pudding somewhat. A bit of slow down and flickery sprites too compared to the clean solid III. And the music..... wow.
Gaz - 04 Dec 2011, 22:38 GMT
This is the best shooter ever - period!!!
I have TF4 also but for some reason that doesn't feel as special as this. Pure magic and I still play it now.
To top it off this must be easily in the top 10 soundtracks for a game ever!
James - 21 Dec 2011, 06:22 GMT
I played Thunder Force III on sega megadrive back in the early 90's. always cleared the game (mania level) to the end without taking any hit...;)
last year I found and downloaded thunder force III and some megadrive emulator for pc which works great. played it all night loooooong....i was tooooo excited my body's trembled, my heart's beat fast and there were tears in my eyes when the opening theme started to play on my monitor...to be able to lay my hands on this awesome game again...very nostalgic moment ...and about the music........BEST EVER....!!!!!!! (I also downloaded the complete sountrack in .vgm format) just google it....you should find the soundtrack, the emulator (I used fusion364) and the game itself pretty easy.....