THUNDER BLADE / Sega / Arcade
On your first play of this game, it appears that Sega wasted the Super Scaler technology on a gimmicky clone of Xevious. OK, so you can scale the screen up and down ... woo. What does it actually add to the gameplay?
If you've never seen it before, the game then proceeds to blow your mind by flipping from the uninspiring overhead view into a proper chase-plane Super Scaler game! Yeah, it's a gimmick, but a neat one.
Thunder Blade puts you at the controls of a helicopter prowling through urban environments taking on just a ridiculous amount of tanks and other modern military vehicles. It's even harder than Afterburner and might just be the hardest of the 1980s Super Scaler games - it's a one-hit wonder and you're in a really tight space most of the time with just heaps of shit coming at you to dodge. That and your vertical movement is pretty slow.
It's the same story as most of Sega's other Super Scaler releases - it's frustratingly hard but it's also technologically amazing for the time it was released and probably worth checking out just on that basis. Especially if you can get access to the original cabinet shaped like a helicopter cockpit!