Based on Carol Shaw‘s classic vertically-scrolling shooter, but not created by her, River Raid II is a more challenging and slightly more complex take on the River Raid concept.
The 1987 conversion of Ikari Warriors is bit of an “auteur piece” on the ZX Spectrum. What I mean by that is: one guy made it on his own. He programmed the game; created the graphics, and did the sound. That man was David Shea, and the truth be told: he did an excellent job of it – managing to squeeze in most of the arcade game‘s features. Which is pretty impressive on a Spectrum.
The original Raiden, developed by Seibu Kaihatsu and published by Tecmo, came out in arcades in 1990. This handheld conversion wasn’t released until 1997 – well after Atari had discontinued the Lynx. And even then the game was only available by direct order, and through a few select retailers. It’s still available to buy now, at the time of writing.
MUSHA is a well-liked Megadrive shooter, made by famed Japanese developer Compile. It is part of the Aleste series, but features a ‘mecha’-suited protagonist fighting against a super computer that has taken over the Earth, rather than a spaceship.
A relatively obscure Taito arcade game from 1989*, Fighting Hawk is a vertically-scrolling bullet hell shooter where you fly an A-10 ‘Tankbuster’ up the screen, fighting its way through waves of enemies and bosses.
Fantasy Zone is a colourful scrolling shooter from 1986. It was created by Sega and it looks simple and cartoony, but is in fact very challenging.
The main character, Opa-Opa, is sometimes referred to as “Sega‘s first mascot” and is very similar to the one seen in the earlier TwinBee. Both TwinBee and this game have been credited with the creation of the “cute ’em up” genre, and that is probably not too far from the truth.
Thunder Blade is a single-player helicopter combat game that debuted in arcades in 1987, courtesy of Sega. It combines overhead shooting sections with third-person, ‘over-the-shoulder’ shooting sections and it features lots of impressive graphical scaling effects on the buildings and enemies.
Mercs is a classic arcade shooter from 1990. It was jointly developed by Sega and Capcom and features simultaneous three-player cooperative gameplay.