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Winds of Thunder

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Released: 1993

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: PC EngCD/TurboGrafxCD

Publisher: Hudson

Developer: Red

Submitted by: Alley Kat

Although Winds of Thunder (Lords of Thunder in the US) is a sequel to Gate of Thunder, the game is something of a departure from its forerunner.

As well as switching the theme to a fantasy/medieval setting, the game is more reminiscent of Sidearms, Forgotten Worlds and the later Sengouku Blade.

Winds of Thunder also differs from its prequel by allowing the player to choose their starting level from a map screen and selecting their weapon type from four different suits of elemental armour (fire, air, earth, water).

The player has energy bars for both their life and weapons, with hits taken sapping the weapons power as well as health. This is countered by the usual power ups and gems dropped by destroyed enemies, which are accumulated and spent in a Forgotten Worlds style shop between levels.

The first thing that hits you about Winds of Thunder is how gorgeous it is- the visual design of both levels and enemies is top notch, with the amount of sprites and pyrotechnics being slung smoothly around impressing greatly.

Gameplay is excellent, if not as tight as Gate of Thunder, but still providing plenty of exhilerating action for shooter fans.

Winds of Thunder is a superb demonstration of the PC Engines strengths and is highly recommended to anyone who wants to see just what Nec's petite powerhouse was capable of in the right hands.

Also availible on the Mega CD.