Category Archives: Preview

Thunder Force V Perfect System Preview Copy – Working Designs

Thunder Force V is one of these games that I like to come back to at least once a year because it’s just pure fun, great graphics and killer heavy synth metal soundtrack!!! This week, I digged out my PSX for a game of TFV on a special disc that I acquired many many years ago. Tecnosoft is a company that I always had a little passion for… Not only because they made some great shooters but Thunder Force II was the 2nd game I ever bought on the Megadrive back in the days, so TS holds a special place in my gaming heart.

Many of you may remember Working Designs, a US based publishing company that specialised in the localisation of Japanese titles for the US market. They did a lot of decent jobs on the Turbografx, SegaCD, Saturn and of course PSX with amazing packages in some instances (Lunar PSX anyone?). Sadly, I don’t own any of their releases… I managed to acquire this disc though. I understand that it was issued by Working Designs to a now defunct US publication in order to preview Thunder Force V during localisation back in 1998.

Working Designs Preview Only
Working Designs Preview Only

So what’s so special about this disc, I hear you asking? Well not much, to be honest… I spent a few hours playing the game and the only real difference I found between the Jap release and the US release apart from different file dates is that this disc crashes when I try to save settings in the option menu, not so exciting… I didn’t expect any differences between retail and this disc, as the original game was developed on the Sega Saturn then ported to the PSX, any beta/dev/proto version would have to come from the Saturn era. These sort of discs are not easy to source and personally, I’ve never seen anything popping out from TecnoSoft in Japan. Anyway, here is a screenshot of the crash:

TFV Crashes

Once it’s crashed there isn’t a lot you can do apart from enabling/disabling texts and graphics layers, which begs the question, does the game comes with debug functionalities? Ideas and suggestions welcomed, as I haven’t found any other commands yet, still looking… Right now reset is the only option to get the game working after a crash 😦

RVR-01 Gauntlet

So that’s it really for this preview disc, not extremely exciting but it’s still worth to have for a die-hard fan of Thunder Force like me,  if you have anything more exciting that this to sell then please by all means, let me know 🙂

Sabre

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Lords of Thunder – Beta/Review copy – MCD

I have had this nice and shiny MEGA CD-R gold disc for quite some time, gathering mostly dust. This one is Lord Of Thunder from Hudson Soft, a port of Winds Of Thunder on the PC Engine made by Hudson Soft and Red Corporation or so they’d like us to think… It was actually developed by CAProduction Co Ltd., who gave us the likes of Gate of Thunder and Hagane to name a few.

Winds of Thunder is a solid and challenging shooter and the SEGA CD version inherit most of its qualities with a few changes like a remixed soundtrack (that you may love or hate compared to the original PCE version.) slightly inferior graphics compared to the PCE… (For a full comparison between the versions check out this article from PC Engine FX.)

I have yet to see any differences between the final release and this disc, the first few levels and intro seem to be the same as the final product. The seller told me this disc originates from a now defunct US Magazine. The files written on the CD are dated from 20/12/1994 but on the final release they are dated from May 1995, the soundtrack is the same as on the final game but according to my hex editor the final and beta/review data part differ, probably  few code optimisations here and there.  Since the game is mostly a straight port from the PCE version, I wasn’t expecting massive differences between the two, here is a picture of the disc.

And a gameplay video, I did manage to crash my MegaCD, so it’s possible the code is still buggy on this version: