[PlayStation 4] Thunderflash Review
Thunderflash from SEEP and Ratalaika Games is a top-down action game. Check our Thunderflash review!
Inspired by nostalgic retro games you know and love, Thunderflash will drop you into the combat zone top-down, and the intensity will never let up. Play a solo mission or with a partner, and choose from bad boy commandos Rock or Stan, and go up against an army of mercenaries, military weapons and more!
In Thunderflash from Ratalaika Games, you take control of the titular team in charge of winning back Kashmir from the bad guys. You can select either the Normal or Hardcore difficulty setting, and then you can choose one of the two main characters to take onto the battlefield. Both characters control the same, so it’s really a matter of personal preference since the only change will be how your character looks.
The game has you controlling your character with the left analog stick, advancing through the levels as you basically keep the fire button pressed at all times or using your limited stock of grenades to deal some considerable damage to your enemies. You have to be in line with the enemies in order to hit them, and this is my biggest complaint about Thunderflash: you fire your weapons with the X button instead of using the right analog stick, which is right there on the DualShock 4. I know this is to mimic how things were done way back in the day of arcade games, but everything would have been better if this was treated as a twin-stick shooter – or a dual-stick shooter like, say, Smash TV.
As for the levels, they are varied and offer 20 stages for you to play through. Since this game is set as an homage to old-school games from a long-gone era, you can complete the entire game in half an hour to an hour at most, as long as you don’t run out of credits. I also liked how the gameplay changes from a vertical to horizontal perspective every now and then while having your character change from moving on the ground to taking control of a speedboat, a motorbike, and even a jetpack.
There’s a good arsenal of weapons that can be picked up, and they all offer more power than your base weapon. As expected, this means that they’ll have limited ammo, or else they would be too overpowered. The bosses are really easy to beat at the Normal difficulty, and if you lose all your credits (lives), you can either restart at the current level or take a moment to go into the game’s options and increase the credits to 15. Lose all of your credits again, and you can go into the game’s option and then bump the credits to 20. No matter how bad you’re at arcade games like this one, you will eventually make enough progress to see the ending.
The presentation for this one makes it look like an early 16-bit era game displaying in a 4:3 aspect ratio, and you can select if you want to see CRT scanlines for that classic TV look. As for the trophies, there are five Silver and ten Gold trophies, along with the Platinum. The trophies are awarded for completing the levels and beating the different bosses, along with one for completing the game and one for destroying 100 enemies in Survival Mode. All in all, the Platinum trophy is easily attainable in around half an hour if you play this one in the Normal difficulty setting.
Thunderflash is a fun but monotonous game that pays homage to the arcade classics. I really wish it used the second analog stick to fire instead of the X button, but it’s probably not going to be a deal-breaker for some of you. It has a Platinum trophy waiting for you, and it’s cross-buy between PS4 and PlayStation 5, all for a low $4.99 price.
If you’re curious, here’s a trophy guide to help you get through the game even more quickly:
This Thunderflash review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ratalaika Games.