*Now in 2D
This week’s Arcade Archives entry is another Namco oddity, as Hamster has prepped and readied little-seen sequel 3D Thunder Ceptor II, now available to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Released in 1986 as a pseudo-sequel to the original Thunder Ceptor, (which only launched earlier that same year), 3D Thunder Ceptor II ii an into-the-screen shmup/rail shooter, which sees the player pilot the titular vessel is fast-blasting sci-fi action. Devised as Namco’s answer to Sega’s hugely successful Space Harrier, Thunder Ceptor II features similar gameplay, (though nowhere near as fast), although it does include a rudimentary HUD, offering up information such as weapon selection and enemy position.
Check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber Replay Burners.
In the arcades, 3D Thunder Ceptor II turned heads due to its groundbreaking use of stereoscopic 3D. The cabinet itself utilized a variety of layered windows in order to create false depth, making the enemies seemingly leap off the screen and toward the player. While the game itself wasn’t widespread, its utilization of 3D technology was praised, with other developers following with their own 3D titles in the following years, including Namco’s own Starblade. Of course, it goes without saying that the Arcade Archives release does not include 3D support, kind of removing a key element of game’s concept.
3D Thunder Ceptor II is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.