Operation Thunderbolt is a rail shooter coin-op released by Taito in 1988 as the sequel to Operation Wolf.
Operation Thunderbolt is a rail shooter coin-op released by Taito in 1988 as the sequel to Operation Wolf. It was ported to Zx Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amiga ST, Amiga, and other platforms in 1989-1990.
So, funny story. When I first ran Operation Thunderbolt, I expected a menu to pop up and go straight to the shooting. When the game started, I saw a kidnapping story and thought, "great, wrong game." After googling for a while, I concluded that there was no other game with the same name, and I started it again. When I finished the introduction, the main menu appeared with the two main characters shooting everywhere, and I realized I had gotten the title right. The moral is that I'm used to so many poorly ported games or games with little attention to the story that a few images and narrations surprised me. After completing the game, I was amazed by Operation Thunderbolt, and today I will share my experience with you.
The adventure is the sequel to Operation Wolf, designed and published in 1988 by Taito, one of the most excellent arcade game designers in history. If this sounds like too much of a stretch, then let Bubble Bubble, Arkanoid, and Space Invaders speak for me. Although Operation Thunderbolt was created as an arcade game, it has many ports. Among them are Atari ST, Super NES, and Amiga, which we will analyze today.
The game's main characters are Roy Adams and Hardy Jones, two green berets who must save the hostages of a hijacked flight. Arriving in Kalubya, a fictitious province in Africa, the heroes must capture different enemy bases.
To accomplish their objectives, the protagonists must do what we all expect: tactically infiltrate, sabotage the base from the inside and hack into the terrorist system. Just kidding, THEY HAVE TO SHOOT PEOPLE! Enemy soldiers, tanks, ships, planes, nothing is off-limits. This makes the gameplay a bullet hell where the player can't lose concentration for a moment since the enemies are everywhere, and they also attack a lot.
You couldn't be more wrong if you think the game is a walk in the park because of this. Operation Thunderbolt is not just about shooting bad guys while hitting your head with the keyboard, as ammunition is limited. Also, one has to pay close attention to the environment, as enemies throw knives and items that damage the heroes if they don't shoot them. It may look like the whole thing keeps getting simplified into shooting everything with a shadow, but it's not. Some innocents walk by in many other titles, but this game goes a step further and adds cats and dogs. CATS AND DOGS! The developers of this game are pure evil.
We can see specific differences when comparing the original arcade with its Amiga port. There is no doubt that the arcade looks better and runs smoother; this is evident due to the difference in power between the two devices. However, the Amiga developers knew how to make up for these shortcomings and add a darker tone to the characters. The difference in quality seems more of a stylistic choice that gives it more personality. The Amiga controls are a little more complicated, adding extra difficulty to the already challenging adventure. After that, there is not much else to highlight; their work bringing this classic to the Amiga is impeccable. The game also supports two simultaneous players, which is excellent.
With all this said, Operation Thunderbolt is a fascinating game, surprisingly complex and fun. The transitions between one level and another come with a small line of dialogue that shows us that there is a story, but they don't bore us with it, which is great. The Amiga conversion is excellent and, all in all, a great game that you have to check out.
Review by: Gustavo
Published: 28 February 2021 9:49 am