THEXDER 2 : FIREHAWK / Sierra + Game Arts / PC
Thexder 2 shows a number of slight improvements over the clunky original game. First of all, the game supports the Roland MT-32 and Adlib/Sound Blaster sound cards, and the music really rocks, especially on the MT-32. It is also broken up into levels now. And, the level design is (a little) better. It is, however, still too hard and too clunky to be worth much.
Same control scheme, except this time you can get morbid death messages from Thexder pilots whose carcasses litter the landscape before you. None of these seem to serve much of a purpose other than to make you feel bad.
The levels are broken into a manageable size, and you get infinite continues if you die! Yaaaaayy ... hey, wait, I keep the same energy level I had when I first entered the level? So, if one of the numerous tough bosses totally trashes me up and I barely survive, I'm stuck like that forever? So I basically have to reset the game if any boss knocks me below like 20% health then? Well, shit.
The highlight of this game is really just using the sound test mode to listen to all the cool J-rock tunes, and you can do that without even ever playing the game!
* Gameplay video