Review: Blazing Lazers (TG-16)

Blazing Lazers is a vertical-scrolling shooter that was praised for surpassing the limitations of the hardware of its time.

Originally released in Japan as Gunhed, Blazing Lazers was one of the most heavily featured titles in the original TurboGrafx-16 adverts, and with very good reason. Considering the age of the title (it was originally released in 1989!), it's nothing short of stunning and remains one of the best shooters on the system.

Graphically, it's in the same league as Super Star Soldier and Soldier Blade (some people even group Gunhed in the same series as these classic shooters). It has bold, colourful sprites and some extremely detailed, fast scrolling backgrounds. The PC Engine was famously able to display more on-screen sprites than any other console of its time and this is certainly showcased here - the screen is packed with enemies at times. The boss sprites look a little weedy compared to more recent 2D shooters, but they pack a fair degree of challenge which more than makes up for this. The sound is great too, with some suitably pumping music and high-quality voice samples. Again, at the time of release this was something of a revelation.

While the weapons system looks a bit dated today, it nevertheless offers a wide range of attack options and players will find themselves experimenting with all the choices as they fight their way through the game.


Debate still rages about which shooter is the best. Many fans feel that the aforementioned Super Star Soldier improves on Gunhed, others feel the opposite. Whatever viewpoint you might have, there's no denying that Gunhed stands out as one of the finest shooters money can buy and ranks as a truly essential download.

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