Rolling Thunder 2 is a decent game that plays similarly to Shinobi or Sunset Riders. It’s fun in a “This game’s ok, but not really fun enough to put on the Top 100, plus we already too many games like this” sort of way. What really makes it interesting though is that the original arcade version was released in 1990, which means that the “80s Hangover” that you see in so many games, TV shows and movies released around that time is in full effect here.
Playing Rolling Thunder 2 feels kind of like opening a time capsule from the late 80s. So while the game isn’t good enough the keep its Seal of Quality, we still couldn’t just throw away so much nostalgic goodness without at least sharing a bunch of screenshots with you:
Brad: I have to admit, being assigned a partner codenamed “Albatross” doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence about this mission.
Stryker: Nice tux, though. The pink shirt is a particularly inspired choice.
Brad: It looks like the end of every 80s show – just freeze this frame, cue the theme song, and and roll credits!
Stryker: I think he’s supposed to be looking at her, but it seems more like he’s fixated on that one hair sticking out over his forehead. Seriously, are you Razor Ramon?
Brad: I can’t help but wonder if this was a mistranslation – like the Japanese development team asked some producer in the US about different American criminal organizations, he mentioned the Black Panthers, and then they took it literally.
Stryker: That explanation only works if there’s also a gang I don’t know about called the Stone Pussy Eaters. Seriously, what’s going on in the corner there?
Brad: Actually… if they were taking everything literally and there was such a thing, that guy would be eating an cat made of stone. Oddly enough, I think this is the only context I’ve ever seen in which that would actually be less disturbing than what’s already going on.
Brad: Albatross, what happened to that snazzy tux? I’m disappointed. And what’s she pointing at?
Stryker: It’s the 80’s, right? Probably some used hypodermic needles on the beach. Did that problem ever get fixed, or did people just stop talking about it?
Brad: I’m assuming it fell out of vogue so people assumed it had been fixed. You know, like the rainforest.
Brad: You walk around Miami, get into gunfights constantly, and everyone’s trying to kill you. It’s like the developer had a premonition and decided to make a Burn Notice game 15 years before the show came out. Why someone would do such a thing is beyond my comprehension.
Stryker: Rolling Thunder: Vice City.
Brad: This is the music test screen. I have no idea what the fuck is supposed to be going on, and it kind of scares me.
Stryker: I suppose no 80’s nostalgia would be complete without a tribute to Showbiz Pizza Place.
Brad: If I was friends with G. Gordon Liddy, I’m guessing he’d send me postcards that looked like this whenever he went on vacation.
Stryker: Dear Brad, Having a “Blast” with the ladies in Miami! Wish you were here. Also, socialism is killing Free America. Yours, GGL
Brad: Oh, Albatross – ha, ha, ha! But seriously, this is why nobody ever invites us to parties in the first place, you lunatic.
Stryker: I’m trying to decide if a “Bring Your Own Bullets” party is better or worse than one where the host provides the bullets for the guests. I think I’ll just stay home, actually.