Today we have yet another shooter from the NEC Wunderkind Turbo Grafx 16. Tatsujin was later released for the Genesis as Truxton, which many people probably overlooked as well. While not a remarkable title by any regard, particularly on a system boasting as many varied, crazy shooter games as the Turbo Grafx, Tatsujin is still a good time, offering a generous amount of ship upgrades to keep the action fresh.
Yes, this game features ship upgrades, one of my favorite tactics employed in shooter games, albeit usually either rarely or poorly. The basic premise involves blasting away at any and everything until a numbered or lettered cylinder appears. Shooting open these containers will produce a new part for your ship; a new laser cannon mounted on the front, extensions to the wings with bigger guns (naturally), rear-firing guns, etc. There aren't too many different upgrades available, but trying to keep every one received without taking hits and losing them proves to be quite a challenge. Pressing button two will launch a special attack, each varying based on the upgrades equipped to your ship. I actually prefer this one to Transbot, for the Master System, as the overall presentation is just more enjoyable.
Graphically speaking, this one is mediocre. Nothing too visually astounding, but the speed remains consistent and the visuals serve their purpose. Since the experience weighs so heavily on the ship modification aspect, it hurts considerably when you take a hit and lose your extra parts, reducing you to the default weapon. Why can't someone make a game where the default gun doesn't feel like an insult after you lose your bigger gun? The levels are basically either space-themed or planet-themed, and are done quite well, aside from their predictability.
Tatsujin, or Truxton (whichever one you didn't play the most) is a pretty respectable game; nothing specifically to criticize, but, on the whole, not something you'll be talking about later...or before, I guess.