We’ve been expecting you, Mr. Bont
Hamster has brought a real gem to the Arcade Archives this week, with the arrival of Namco’s awesome run ‘n’ gun sequel Rolling Thunder 2, now available to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Released to arcades in 1991, as a release for Namco’s popular System 2 hardware, Rolling Thunder 2 sees a returning Agent Albatross once again taking the fight to the villainous GELDRA organization, who plan to seize a colony of satellites for domination of the stars. Assisting Albatross in his mission is the beautiful agent Leila, who steps out of her original damsel-in-distress role to throw a little lead in harm’s way.
As the WCPO agents, one or two players battle through flat-planed, two-level platforming action, taking on an army of evil henchmen and ensuring that laser-fast reactions and forward planning while preventing the fragile duo from biting the dust. Much like in the original, extra ammo and weaponry can be picked up on-site, and refuge can be found by ducking into handy doorways.
Check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber Media Pool.
Rolling Thunder 2, while maintaining near-identical gameplay to its predecessor, is a surprisingly enjoyable title even today, thanks to its breathless game ‘n’ gunplay, necessity for fast reactions, and cool, jazzy soundtrack. The sequel would receive a nicely handed Sega Mega Drive port shortly after its arcade debut, which is how most fans will have experienced the sequel.
A second sequel, Rolling Thunder 3, was released for Sega Genesis in 1993, but this was limited to North America and represents the series swansong. I’m a big fan of the series, particularly the first two titles. And I hope that, somewhere down the line, a new sequel, remaster, or remake can be considered for this pioneering action series.
Until such a day, Rolling Thunder 2 is available now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse