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Rolling Thunder 2: What Did Critics Say in 1992?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on May 26, 2014   |   Episode 47 (Show Archive)  

   

Rolling Thunder 2 (Sega Genesis)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Albatross is back and ready to fight Geldra. Don't know what I'm talking about? Then you need to play Rolling Thunder 2, one of my favorite 16-bit action games. But who cares what I think, the real question is whether or not the critics thought Rolling Thunder 2 was anything special back when it first came out. We turn to Sega Pro, Sega Visions, Electronic Gaming Monthly, CVG, GamePro and other old magazines for the answer.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Rolling Thunder 2
[ Company: Namco | Console: Genesis ]

GAMEPRO (December 1991)
5 out of 5

"Rolling Thunder 2 keeps it simple. Shoot, duck, jump, and shoot some more -- it's a tried and true formula that scores again here. Ninja Gaiden, Strider, Shinobi -- you can't keep a good action game down, they just keep rolling alone -- like Rolling Thunder 2." -Ugg the Bugg

COMPUTER + VIDEO GAMES #122
92% out of 100%

"One of the biggest complaints about Megadrive software is that it's too easy to complete. Rolling Thunder 2, however, is one of those rare releases which offers the player a real challenge. I've never seen the coin-op, but, if this conversion is anything to go by, I'll be wending my way down to a local arcade and pleading with the manager to cordon off the RT2 machine and leave me to it for the rest of the day. Beg, borrow (but don't steal 'cos that's bad) the dosh to get Rolling Thunder 2 - it's brill!" -Paul Rand

SEGA PRO #3
91% out of 100%

"The presentation in Rolling Thunder 2 is gorgeous. Rolling Thunder 2 is destined to become a classic platform shoot-'em-up. The game is loaded with neat touches and is simply everything you could ever want in a game. It's also about a million times better than the arcade original, so fans of that game will be amazed at this." -Les 'thunderstruck' Ellis

MEGA PLAY (March/April 1992)
9 out of 10

"Namco has a definite winner here as this is how a sequel should be done! The quest is very challenging and the password really helps. Great graphics, game play and sound!"

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #32
9 out of 10

"I loved this game at the Summer CES and Namco has fine tuned it to perfection! As a shooter it is excellent, but as a two player cooperative game it is superb! Top notch graphics, fluid animation and a quest which goes from average to hard the further you get into it. The password is a nice extra." -Ed Semrad

MEGATECH #2
90% out of 100%

"Thank God -- a challenging game for once! After hours of play and frantic code-scribbling I still can't get past level 8. That's not to say Rolling Thunder 2 is frustrating, because it's really very playable. RT 2 is one of the most perfect conversions available, with fab sound and graphics, superb animation and even the arcade game's excellent intermission screens are in there." -Mark

MEAN MACHINES SEGA #1
85% out of 100%

"An enjoyable platform-based shoot 'em up romp on the arcade game of the same name. With two-player action, a tough challenge and a neat password system, this is well worth checking out."

VIDEOGAMES & COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT (January 1992)
8 out of 10

"Is it just me or are these new beat-'em-up games becoming increasingly difficult to complete? Case in point is Rolling Thunder 2. Even with unlimited continues (you'll need every one of them), this game is tough -- real tough. Still, I myself managed to complete it for this review. When I finally destroyed [Gidmo] after countless tries, the closing scene included a password to play the game all over on an even harder level. No thanks." -H.H.W.

MEGA PLAY (March/April 1992)
8 out of 10

"Cool! This is a really good sequel. The graphics are top notch and I like the music, too. The only thing I don't like is that you can't shoot when you jump, but I can live with that." -Dave

SEGA FORCE #13
80% out of 100%

"One of the first things you notice about Rolling Thunder 2 is the smooth movement of all the characters. They're easily in the same class as those in James Bond and Prince of Persia. Rolling Thunder 2's best in two-player mode. This enables you and a friend (if you've got any!) to team up and cause twice the damage! Give it a whirl for the graphics and action and be prepared for a rollercoaster ride!" -Mat

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #32
8 out of 10

"From the awesome execution, incredible graphics and truly stupendous cinema storyline, Roling Thunder 2 is one of the most challenging and entertaining action carts to appear on the Genesis. Sure, you still can't shoot while you're in the air, but all in all, this game has action and adventure that can't be matched!" -Steve Harris

SEGA VISIONS #9
70% out of 100%

"Leila and/or Albatross must explore all rooms and areas to acquire additional weapons and power-ups items. Knowing when to jump or duck, and a fast trigger finger is the key to success. You can't jump and shoot at the same time, but ducking and shooting is an excellent tactic. Eleven levels are packed into this 8-meg game offering unlimited Continues and a Password feature."
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 86% - I agree with Mega Play, "Namco has a definite winner here." With only one review dropping below 80%, Rolling Thunder 2 is one of the best reviewed games on the Sega Genesis. No matter which outlet you worked at, one thing was perfectly clear -- players need to be able to shoot AND jump in Rolling Thunder 2. This is a complaint that came up countless times, in both American and British outlets. At the same time, critics from across the globe loved the unique password system. Many found it too challenging, which meant that you got your money's worth. The addition of the two-player mode put this game over the top.

WHAT IS A BEAT-EM-UP? Traditionally, a beat-em-up is a game like Double Dragon or Final Fight, where characters walk around punching and kicking street thugs. Some UK magazines use it to describe one-on-one fighters (see: Mortal Kombat), but I tend to think of beat-em-ups and fighting games to be two different genres. No matter where you come down on that debate, I'm pretty sure we can agree that Rolling Thunder 2 isn't a beat-em-up. You don't punch or kick; you shoot guns and jump real high. Rolling Thunder 2 is an action game, get it right Video Games & Computer Entertainment.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ROLLING THUNDER: Want to know what makes the password so memorable? Curious how Rolling Thunder ends? Eager to learn every little secret about this short-lived trilogy? Then you're in luck, because there's an Instant Expert episode for that: Five Exciting Facts About Rolling Thunder.

ON WEDNESDAY'S EPISODE: On the next episode of Review Crew we will be looking at one of the best known puzzle games of all time. It's Tetris, the puzzler that started a craze we still haven't managed to cure. Did critics think Tetris was the best game of all time when it first came out, or was it just another boring puzzle game? We find out the answer to that question in Wednesday's episode of Review Crew. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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