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12 Comments

He Shoots, He Scores

The director of Thunder Force VI drops some science on side-scrolling shooters.

It may not look it, but this game is seriously messed-up.
As much as I'm put off by the goofy fashion affectations and aloof artist behavior that seem to pop up with Japanese game designers, I have a certain amount of respect for the seriousness with which they approach their craft. There's a great interview over at Edge with Tez Okano, director of such modern shooter classics as the equally brilliant and punishing Astro Boy: Omega Factor, and I've never heard someone speak so passionately and insightfully about side-scrolling shooters. The bulk of the interview revolves around the current development of Thunder Force VI, though Okano stresses that this is just the first step in a larger plan for shooters at Sega, which could potentially lead to the revival of Space Harrier, a prospect I could not be happier about. I've got some fond memories of playing Space Harrier in the arcade, and I'm still a little sore over the fact that Planet Harriers, a 2001 arcade-only sequel, never made it to the US. While I'm not convinced that the traditional Space Harrier gameplay would play today, Okano seems like a good candidate to make it work, and there's some great potential for that peyote-fueled fever-dream of an art style.
12 Comments
Posted by Ryan
It may not look it, but this game is seriously messed-up.
As much as I'm put off by the goofy fashion affectations and aloof artist behavior that seem to pop up with Japanese game designers, I have a certain amount of respect for the seriousness with which they approach their craft. There's a great interview over at Edge with Tez Okano, director of such modern shooter classics as the equally brilliant and punishing Astro Boy: Omega Factor, and I've never heard someone speak so passionately and insightfully about side-scrolling shooters. The bulk of the interview revolves around the current development of Thunder Force VI, though Okano stresses that this is just the first step in a larger plan for shooters at Sega, which could potentially lead to the revival of Space Harrier, a prospect I could not be happier about. I've got some fond memories of playing Space Harrier in the arcade, and I'm still a little sore over the fact that Planet Harriers, a 2001 arcade-only sequel, never made it to the US. While I'm not convinced that the traditional Space Harrier gameplay would play today, Okano seems like a good candidate to make it work, and there's some great potential for that peyote-fueled fever-dream of an art style.
Posted by JosephBarron

I have a copy of the magazine that interview was taken from on my desk. It was really interesting to hear how a Japanese developer is approaching the revival of one of the genres that Japan just does better than anyone else.

Posted by TomboDemon

why is the game messed up?

Posted by JackSukeru
Posted by banned8921

I feel bad because you havent got many comments Ryan, Its nothing personal I just dont think any of us have any idea what game this is.

Posted by mubress

bump :)

Posted by SonicHomeboy

Thunder Force VI? Nice. =D

Posted by Zerodash

Some PlanetHarriers machines did make it into the USA.  I remember playing it at no less than 3 arcades in NJ back in the day.  It's prime fodder for an XBLA release, methinks.

I got Thunderforce VI in the mail last week- just too many games out lately to get around to playing it.

Posted by DukeTogo

Whatever happened to Techno Soft?  They made some damn good games and gave the world Herzog Zwei.  Thunder Force II was awesome in the early days of the Genesis, and yes I even liked the top-down levels.

It makes me wonder what happened to Wolfteam too.  Those two developers were such a force on the Mega Drive.

Man, now I want to go play some old shooters.

Posted by Media_Master
Posted by Milkman

Oh, man. Thank you for reminding me about Omega Factor. Loved that game to death. Also, I totally submitted that Thunder Force IV page.

Posted by RogueX5

Wait what?

GIMME THUNDERFORCE!!!

I remember playing Thunder Force III on my Mega Drive. That game was the shizzle.

I'm confused, this article states that it is developing Thunder Force VI but the GB page says a PS2 game?