Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Nov 05, 2012
Platform  :  Amiga

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A very good action game, but difficult as hell

The Good

Game Arts is not unfamiliar to me, having played their classic RPG/adventure Zeliard when I was about twelve. Their debut title was Thexder, a platform game in which your character goes around sixteen levels, finding the exit and killing the many enemies that come their way with your equipped laser. And man, is that difficult!

What I like about this game is that it was one of the first games where you can change from one type of character to another. In this case, from mech to jet and vice versa. You are free to change between them at any time during the game, but only one is useful for getting past certain obstacles. The jet is used to navigate narrow passageways, for example.

The game was also among the firsts to have an auto-aim feature. If you walk up to four enemies, the laser first focuses on the top-most one, and when that enemy is killed, it focuses on the next. What I find neat is that although the energy for it depletes over time, it gets recharged slowly. The only disadvantage of the auto-aim is that it doesn't aim at enemies below you/

As I said, Thexder is a very difficult game. As you move around the sixteen levels, you are faced with hundreds of enemies on the screen at once, and it takes several minutes to kill them. There is a specific path to the tunnel that leads to the next level, and taking the wrong means some backtracking and more enemies that you will face. Also, I recall on a couple of levels that you have to destroy a floor while you are in a really narrow passage, at the time when you're the jet. This is indeed difficult without some nice well-placed diagonal shots

The sound has the same type of quality as Sierra games back then. I couldn't understand the voice that booms at you as the title appears, but I always assumed that it was welcoming you to the game. As you travel through the tunnels, you hear a voice warning that an intruder is coming. There is some nice background music in the game.

The Bad

Apart from the high difficulty, nothing.

The Bottom Line

I don't know what the story behind Thexder is, but who cares about this when you just run through sixteen levels and blasting everything that heads your way. The game introduces some firsts, including the auto-aim function and the ability to change between two different characters. Although the game has good sound and great gameplay, players who are new to the game may be put off with its high difficulty. People interested in full-on platform games will enjoy this game.