Rolling Thunder (U. S. Gold) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Rolling Thunder
By U. S. Gold
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #55

Rolling Thunder

The sight of Shinobi in the arcades may have been enough to remind gamers of its predecessor Rolling Thunder which has just made its appearance in the home market.

By now you will have glanced at the screenshots and seen the ratings, so you don't need me to tell you that Rolling Thunder is not the most impressive game ever released. In fact, it rates as one of the worst. But, me being me, I'm going to tell you about it...

Converted from the Namco coin-op, Rolling Thunder is a sort of Kung-Fu Master with guns. As you walk through the levels, leaping from the platforms and shooting enemy agents, the screen scrolls. Doorways adorn the scenery and entering one beside a bullet or machine gun symbol tops up your supply of ammunition.

Rolling Thunder

The scenario, for what it's worth, casts you as Rolling Thunder agent Albatross, on a mission to rescue agent Leila from the clutches of the Geldra organisation, controlled by a megalomaniac called Maboo. Ten scrolling levels inhabited by Mahoo's cronies stand between you and a confrontation with Maboo. Can you put an end to Geldra and its atrocities before it's too late? There again, do you want to...?

The worst thing about Rolling Thunder is that it somehow slipped through US Gold's quality control system. Crude graphics and sound I can excuse, but surely this conversion could have been considerably better as far as playability is concerned. Not only is Rolling Thunder uninteresting to play, it's ludicrously lethargic and Mr. Albatross isn't as flighty as his name suggests! The simple act of jumping requires precision timing, and you can't duck just after firing, which results in no end of frustration. And to make matters worse, you have to start from the beginning of a level when you die.

The backdrops are bland and repetitive, consisting of little more than simple platforms and blocks, and the sprites are chunkier than Pedigree Chum - and just as well animated. Sound is sparse (fortunately) with a few feeble bangs to accompany the gunfire and a chronic tune when the game ends. Actually, there is one good thing about Rolling Thunder, and that's the silly dance performed by Maboo's men before play begins. At least it's funny - which is more than can be said for the game as a whole. I sincerely hope US Gold give us more 720°s and Gauntlet IIs in the near future, as opposed to this kind of thing.

Gary Penn

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