Blazing Lazers (also known as Gunhed) is a sci-fi vertical scrolling shooter created by Hudson Soft for the TurboGrafx-16. The game, released in 1989, is considered one of the best made for the NEC console (also known as PC Engine in Japan and part of Europe). Most PC Engine games benefited from the console's hardware capabilities, which have an 8-bit processor, an audio chip, and an excellent graphics co-processor (able to show almost 500 colors on screen). Blazing Lazers is a great example.
Your mission is to destroy the Dark Squadron, a race of evil aliens invading our planet and their eight Super Weapons. Every area of the nine levels contains one or more bosses. The game featured stunning visuals, with vibrant colors and detailed sprites that pushed the hardware to its limits. The scrolling backgrounds and smooth animations gave the game a sense of depth. The game featured a variety of power-ups and weapons that allowed players to customize their playstyle. From rapid-fire lasers to devastating bombs, Blazing Lasers offered a wide range of options for players to experiment with.
One of the standout features of Blazing Lasers is its weapon system. Players start with a basic cannon, but as they progress through the game, they can collect power-ups that upgrade their weapons. But it's not just random power-ups: there are four main types of upgrades, and each type can be upgraded several times. So you can decide the direction you want to go with your improvements. The ability to customize the ship's firepower adds a strategic element to the gameplay. In addition, you have secondary weapons ranging from spread shots, shields, and homing missiles to powerful lasers and screen-clearing bombs.
Blazing Lazers is not only one of the best PC Engine/TurboGrafx games; it's simply one of the best vertical-scrolling shooters ever created. Try it, and you will see.