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Rolling Thunder 2 Vs. Elevator Action Returns

spanky debrest

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I was blown away (sic) by Rolling Thunder in the arcades but its twitchy, coin swallowing setup is less of a draw for me nowadays. Elevator Action Returns on the Saturn is more forgiving and the agency is richer and its so full of character, it feels like a dry run for the Dreamcast's golden run of titles like Space Channel 5 and JSR.


I need to play Rolling Thunder 2.


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Adored Rolling Thunder despite its difficulty faults (not sure if I ever got past the flaming lava people level or barely just reached it) and completely ignored RT2 despite I’m pretty sure picking it up in the Megadrive. I must rectify that from this above write up.


I think EAR was on one of the Taito Legends packs wasn’t it? Seem to recall having a go and it being pretty chaotic and action packed but somehow it didn’t grab me. Feel I need to go back and pick that up too!


incidentally didn’t realise until recently that Thunderjaws was an American sequel to Rolling Thunder, which always confused the lineage to me.

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@merrychan I'd been neglecting Rolling Thunder 2 despite it being a Mega Drive favourite since the grey import days - but I find it complements EAR quite nicely. I'd be interested in your thoughts should you go back to it.


@Fireproofradiator I remember finding the OG Rolling Thunder a hell of a spectacle in the arcades, it was crazy how far ahead Namco's tech was - but it was so relentlessly brutal I didn't play it too much..And unlike the first Elevator Action I don't really have an optimal way to play it (fast twitchy arcade games and a laggy emubox setup rarely end well for me). Good luck with RT2 if you're new to it.


@luth714 Yeah you're quite right, EAR was indeed on one of the Taito Legends compilations but also easy to miss amongst all the other gems on there. That's how I first got to know it and it's definitely playable - but the Saturn port is the way to go if it's possible because it runs at 240p (as opposed to 480i) and the lack of input lag improves it a lot. Thunderjaws..? I'll have to look that up.


@bplus I can't speak on the NES of GB Elevator Action ports but I'll be surprised if they're not reasonably faithful to the original. I do recall enjoying both the GBC and GBA remakes of it though, with the latter (Elevator Action: Old & New) being pretty good in light of the other farmed-out remakes that got released under the same banner..but ultimately more interesting than genuinely great.


As for Rolling Thunder 3.. it seems to me like a downgrade overall in most areas. No co-op. Generic lower grade music (some of it sounds like the lazier GEMS sound driver stuff). Seems to lack the panache and character RT2 had so much of (despite the odd rough edge it had). I definitely haven't given it fair shake though so it might get a lot better further in.

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  • 1 month later...

Having had Elevator Action Returns sitting on my shelf for a week or so, I was interested to see what this thread had to say... looks like I should actually fire up a Saturn at some point and play it, by all accounts it sounds pretty good, and appears to be bit of a blind spot in my game playing, as I've played neither of the series before!!

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