Rolling Thunder 2 review - Sega Megadrive

Read Original Review PDF for Rolling Thunder 2

If you like watching the Simpsons or WWF Wrestling, 2014 is not the year for you. Many of Earth's communication satellites have mysteriously started to disappear. The global flow of information (and home shopping channels) has been disrupted and much of western civilisation has been thrown into chaos.

All is not lost yet, however, as one Government organisation still has its secret satellites operational and therefore has enough information to solve the mystery. That organisation is the Special Assignments Division, and they've dispatched their top agents Albatross (the hero of the original Rolling Thunder) and Leila to find out what's going on. The news is bad, however. Alby's old nemesis, the terrorist organisation GELDRA, has risen anew and is destroying satellites like there's no tomorrow so they can take over the world and make sure there IS no tomorrow!

Albatross and Leila have just two game days to get through the eleven platform levels that make up the entire GELDRA organisation and destroy the nerve centre. Failure will result in the planet being doomed...

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" Well, if it isn't a platform shoot 'em up. There aren't many of those on the Megadrive, I'm sure. Luckily for Rolling Thunder 2, it's one of the best examples of the genre yet seen. The formula may look a bit dated and simplistic nowadays, but it's so much fun to play that it doesn't really matter. The graphics are very good, the animation on the sprites is great and the backgrounds are excellent. The sound is of high standard too, including a selection of top-notch tunes. Rolling Thunder 2 also packs a real challenge, there are eleven long levels and they get very difficult. A password system is used instead of continues, so you never have to play the earlier levels you've completed again (unless you want to). Rolling Thunder 2 is a top quality game packed with action and excitement, although it doesn't quite have that grab factor to make it a Megagame. Highly recommended to those looking for a proper challenge. "

" If you've played the arcade version of Rolling Thunder 2, you'll be instantly amazed by how close this Megadrive conversion is! The backdrops, sprites, tunes and effects are all nigh on identical to the original coin-op! What's more, the Megadrive version goes one better by actually improving on the coin-op by adding levels - now that's value! The gameplay itself is fast, fun and instantly addictive - especially in two-player mode, where you almost have to fight each other to get hold of the extra weapons and ammo! The game is seriously challenging too, as later levels produce hundreds of evil GELDRA agents to blow away. Although the action is slightly repetitive, there's no denying that it's great fun to play. Give it a whirl and you'll see what I mean. "


Overall Score85%

Retrospective comments


Scott H's comments

This is where the tradition of Sega and Namco copying one another began. What we have here is a game using the premise of the first Shinobi with a twist that makes for a great game in that “genre”. Rolling Thunder II is a side scrolling shooting game that plays nothing like Probotector or anything else in the Schmup genre.

Lower and Upper levels in each scene are jumped to by holding up and jump at the same time, which results in a Shinobi like hop up. In addition to that you can use “stealth” in the same sense as Shinobi by hopping up or down while enemies are turned, but you can also hide in the shadows of walkways and whatnot when the background allows. Then there are doors which you can walk into in the hopes of receiving a power up or new weapon, much like Elevator Action.

What really makes Rolling Thunder II a great game in its own right is its excellent soundtrack, and great art design for the graphics. This game exudes quality from every screen. This review is spot on in every aspect of the game, and Rolling Thunder II is a top quality game even to this day.

Ryan Lambie - 07 Aug 2008, 15:03 GMT

Not wishing to be pedantic ,but the first Rolling Thunder game came out a year before the original Shinobi, so it was in fact Sega that copied Namco....

Dan - 11 Mar 2009, 14:16 GMT

Not the greatest of games by any means, and by todays standards very forgetable, but RT2 had a certain charm to it that, combined with well designed levels and a good challenge, made it very enjoyable. Wouldn't touch it now, but fond memories.

 Mean Machines Issue 16 - January 1992
Arcade Conversion Sega Megadrive
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