|Genre(s)|| Rail shooter |
Thunder Ceptoris a 3D rail shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in 1986. It usurped both Libble Rabble and Toy Pop (the latter of which was released earlier in 1986) as the company's most powerful 8-bit arcade games, was the first game from them to use an analogue (360-degree) joystick. A stereoscopic 3-D sequel, 3-D Thunder Ceptor II, was released towards the end of the year.
The player must take control of the eponymous Thunder Ceptor, a hyper-way fighter ship developed by the Federal Troops, which is equipped with a rapid-fire zapper cannon, and rocket artillery napalm bombs – it can possess up to five of these bombs at a time, and they will be replenished at the end of each command. It also has a radar (which is displayed in the centre of the screen), and its progress ("WAY") is displayed up at the top of the screen, along with its energy ("POWER") and its bomb ("ARMS"). Its condition is also displayed in the top-left corner of the screen (usually with an image of its blueprints), but shall change to say "CAUTION" or "ENERGY EMPTY" when a formation attack is heading towards it or it is reduced to four bars of power.[ citation needed ]
Thunder Ceptor was Namco's answer to Space Harrier , a similar arcade game published by rival Sega in 1985. It was one of Namco's most-powerful arcade games, posing custom DAC chips and a 12.2 MHz 68000 processor, the same one used in consoles like the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The graphics were designed by Shigeki Toyama, an artist known for his work on games such as Xevious , Point Blank , and Galaxian3: Project Dragoon . Toyama made the graphics through a then-new pixel art program on a consumer-grade computer, which was written in BASIC. He also designed the arcade cabinet, which was a sit-down with a yoke controller and an accelerator pad. The game was published in July 1986.
In Japan, the arcade trade publication Game Machine listed Thunder Ceptor as being the fourth most popular arcade game of August 1986.
Retrospectively in 2013, Corwin Brence of Hardcore Gaming 101 described its gameplay as a combination of Xevious and Pole Position , and said it made for a unique 3D shooting game. While he said the gameplay wasn't anything amazing, Brence commended the game for its hardware capabilities, commenting on its 3D perspective, custom chips, and multitude of on-screen sprites with little slowdown. Brence expressed disappointment that the game was never included on any Namco video game collections or received any contemporary home releases, writing that: "Namco has also not bothered to include Thunder Ceptor on any of its Namco Museum series, deciding to focus instead on their pre-1985 hits like Pac-Man. Thunder Ceptor would remain lost for the years to come, except to a curious few with an emulator and an Internet connection".
Retro Gamer , who compared it to Space Harrier and Star Wars , argued that the game had little to offer that made it stand out from other 3D shooters. They complained that the graphics looked rushed and blocky, but that the 3D perspective was unique and done well. Ultimately, they stated that Thunder Ceptor wasn't as refined as Sega and Atari's games, and recommended that readers play those instead.
3-D Thunder Ceptor IIis a sequel released in December 1986. Its arcade cabinet incorporates stereoscopic 3-D technology. The 3-D image is generated using LCD shutter glasses, which is enhanced by a fresnel lens placed between the video screen and shutter glasses, giving the impression of large 3-D images coming near the player. It followed on the heels of several stereoscopic 3-D arcade games released by rival companies Irem, Sega and Taito.
The game was commercially successful in Japan, where it was tied with Street Fighter as the fifth highest-grossing arcade game of 1987.
Racing games are a video game genre in which the player participates in a racing competition. They may be based on anything from real-world racing leagues to fantastical settings. They are distributed along a spectrum between more realistic racing simulations and more fantastical arcade-style racing games. Kart racing games emerged in the 1990s as a popular sub-genre of the latter. Racing games may also fall under the category of sports video games.
After Burner is an arcade vehicular combat game developed and released by Sega in 1987. The player assumes control of an American F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, and must clear each of the game's eighteen unique stages by destroying incoming enemies, using both a machine gun and a limited supply of heat-seeking missiles. It uses a third-person perspective, previously utilized by Sega's earlier games Space Harrier (1985) and Out Run (1986), and runs on the Sega X Board arcade system, which is capable of surface and sprite rotation. It is the fourth Sega game to use a hydraulic "taikan" motion simulator arcade cabinet, one that is more elaborate than their earlier "taikan" simulator games. The cabinet simulates an aircraft cockpit, with flight stick controls, a chair with seatbelt, and hydraulic motion technology that moves, tilts, rolls and rotates the cockpit in sync with the on-screen action.
Xevious is a vertically scrolling shooter developed by Namco and released in arcades in 1982. It was published in Japan and Europe by Namco and in North America by Atari, Inc. Controlling the Solvalou starship, the player attacks Xevious forces before they destroy all of mankind. The Solvalou has two weapons at its disposal: a zapper to destroy flying craft, and a blaster to bomb ground installations and enemies. It runs on the Namco Galaga arcade system.
Rally-X is a maze chase arcade game developed and released by Namco in 1980. Players control a blue Formula One racecar through a series of multi-scrolling levels and must collect yellow flags scattered about. There are enemy red cars that pursue the player in an attempt to collide with them, and there are also boulders that must be avoided. Red cars can be temporarily stunned by laying down smoke screens at the cost of a portion of their fuel.
Galaxian3: Project Dragoon is a 3D rail shooter video game developed and published by Namco. It was originally a theme park attraction designed for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition in Japan, and was later released as an arcade game in 1992. The game involves players controlling a starship named the Dragoon in its mission to destroy Cannon Seed, a superweapon set to destroy what is left of the human race.
Dangerous Seed is a 1989 vertically scrolling shooter arcade game developed and published in Japan by Namco. Controlling one of three different starships, the player is tasked with destroying an alien race known as the Danger Seed before they wipe out all of mankind. Each ship has their own set of weapons and abilities, such as shots that dissolve enemies and target-seeking projectiles, and can sustain multiple hits before being destroyed. The player's ships can also combine into a new ship, the Moon Diver, featuring a stronger shield and additional weapons. It ran on the Namco System 1 hardware.
Grobda is a 1984 multi-directional shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. It is a spin-off from Xevious, as the player's tank first appeared in that game as an enemy. It runs on Namco Super Pac-Man hardware but with a video system like that used in Mappy and The Tower of Druaga, and it also uses a DAC for the "Get Ready" speech sample at the start of each round.
Dragon Spirit is a 1987 vertical-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. In North America, it was distributed by Atari Games. Controlling the dragon Amul, the player must complete each of the game's nine areas to rescue the princess Alicia from the demon Zawell. Similar to Namco's own Xevious, Amul has a projectile weapon for destroying air-based enemies and a bomb for destroying ground enemies. It ran on the Namco System 1 arcade board.
Namco Classic Collection Vol. 1 is a 1995 arcade game compilation developed and published by Namco. It includes three of the company's most well-known games from the early 1980s — Galaga (1981), Xevious (1983), and Mappy (1983) — alongside brand-new "Arrangement" remakes of these games that have updated gameplay, visuals, and sounds. The arcade originals are also modified slightly to end after a certain number of rounds. Super Xevious (1984) is also playable. It ran on the Namco ND-1 arcade system, being one of the first games to utilize it.
Solvalou is a 1991 first-person rail shooter arcade game developed and published in Japan by Namco. The sixth entry in the Xevious series, the player takes control of the Solvalou starship from a first-person perspective as it must destroy the Xevious forces before they take control of Earth. The Solvalou has two weapon types: an air zapper to destroy air-based enemies, and a blaster bomb to destroy ground-stationed enemies. It runs on the Namco System 21 arcade board.
Xevious 3D/G is a 1996 vertically scrolling shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. The eight entry in the Xevious series, it combines 2D-based gameplay with 3D gouraud-shaded polygon graphics. Players control the Solvalou starship in its mission to destroy a rogue supercomputer named GAMP and the Xevian Forces, using two basic weapon types - an air zapper to destroy air targets, and a blaster bomb to destroy ground targets. The game also features destructive power-ups, new bosses, and two player simultaneous play.
Metal Hawk is a 1988 multidirectional shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. Assuming control of the titular attack helicopter, the player is tasked with using a machine gun and air-to-surface missiles to destroy enemies and earn a certain number of points before the timer runs out, all while avoiding collision with ether enemy projectiles and obstacles. The Metal Hawk can change its altitude to allow it to either rise higher in the air or lower towards the ground. It ran on the Namco System 2 arcade board.
Rolling Thunder 2 is a run and gun arcade game developed and released by Namco for the Namco System 2 hardware in 1991. The game is the sequel to 1986's Rolling Thunder, retaining the same gameplay of its predecessor but adding cooperative gameplay for two players and improved graphics. Unlike the original, which was based in 1968, Rolling Thunder 2 features a more contemporary setting to go along with its more futuristic design, as well as an optionally playable female character. A port for the Sega Genesis was released the same year. Both the Mega Drive port and the original arcade game were released for the Wii Virtual Console on December 4, 2007 and October 27, 2009 respectively.
Starblade is a 1991 3D rail shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. Controlling the starfighter FX-01 "GeoSword" from a first-person perspective, the player is tasked with eliminating the Unknown Intelligent Mechanized Species (UIMS) before they wipe out Earth. Gameplay involves controlling a crosshair with a flight-yolk stick and destroying enemies and their projectiles before they inflict damage on the player.
Steel Gunner is a 1990 first-person shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. Players take control of Garcia and Cliff, a duo of police officers that are part of the Neo Arc police force, as they must use their powerful Gargoyle mecha suits to destroy the STURM terrorist organization, who have taken captive scientists Dr. Ryan and Dr. Ellis to create a world-ending superweapon. Gameplay revolves around using a crosshair to shoot down enemies and avoid harming civilians. It runs on the Namco System 2 Plus arcade hardware.
Head On is an arcade video game developed by Sega/Gremlin and released by Sega in 1979. It's the first maze game where the goal is to run over dots. Designed by Lane Hauck at Sega/Gremlin in the United States, the game was a commercial success, becoming the fourth highest-grossing arcade video game of 1979 in both Japan and the United States.
Winning Run is a first-person arcade racing simulation game developed and released by Namco in late December 1988 in Japan, before releasing internationally the following year. The player pilots a Formula One racer, with the objective being to complete each race in first place, all while avoiding opponents and other obstacles, such as flood-hit tunnels, pits and steep chambers. It was the very first game to run on the Namco System 21 arcade hardware, capable of 3D shaded polygons.
Rolling Thunder is a run-and-gun shooter action game produced by Namco, originally released as a coin-operated arcade game which ran on the Namco System 86 hardware in 1986. It was distributed in North America by Atari Games. The player takes control of a secret agent who must rescue his female partner from a terrorist organization. Rolling Thunder was a commercial success in arcades, and was released for various home computer platforms in 1987 and the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989. The original arcade game has also been included in various classic game compilations as well. It influenced later arcade action franchises such as Shinobi and Time Crisis, which borrowed mechanics such as taking cover behind crates.
A stereoscopic video game is a video game which uses stereoscopic technologies to create depth perception for the player by any form of stereo display. Such games should not to be confused with video games that use 3D game graphics on a mono screen, which give the illusion of depth only by monocular cues but not by binocular depth information.
Terra Cresta 3D is a 1997 vertical-scrolling shooter video game developed and published by Nichibutsu for the Sega Saturn in Japan. It is the seventh game in the Terra Cresta series, following the 1992 game Terra Cresta II for the PC-Engine. The player assumes control of three starships as they must complete six stages while destroying enemies and avoiding collision with them and their projectiles. By collecting small "F" icons the player can merge the three ships into one and gain access to new, more destructive weapons.