Played Truxton (Tatsujin) [Sega Genesis].
Truxton is a bit of a cult-classic early 16-bit space-shooter, and I’ve had a secondhand affinity for it ever since I started watching Classic Game Room (which constantly references it as a running gag) in the primordial days of YouTube. It feels almost like a natural evolution of Star Soldier from some parallel timeline where Hudson Soft didn’t develop the successive Soldier games, and instead Toaplan took the reins. My copy of the game is actually the Japanese release, Tatsujin, but I was surprised to see it boot-up as “Truxton”, since it apparently auto-detects the region of whatever system you’re playing on.
The biggest draw of Truxton is its mesmerizing weapons, namely the 3-pronged homing electric beam. In any other shoot-em-up, a laser like that would render you near-invincible, yet Truxton’s frenetic design keeps you on your toes even at full-power. This makes the game’s trademark, screen-clearing skull-bombs all the more indispensable. Luckily, easy mode (which I obviously played on) is generous enough to reset your bomb-count and power-level after each death (and even on each new credit). Credits are unlimited as well, although the checkpoint system is precarious in that dying early in a section can sometimes send you back to a previous checkpoint.
Truxton’s gameplay places extremely heavy emphasis on split-second bullet dodging in cramped quarters of enemy-filled screens. So for someone like me, who has the reflexes of a geriatric sloth moving through half-cured cement, finishing this game felt like a monumental accomplishment (even on easy mode).
Truxton would have the trappings of a great pick-up-and-play title, if not for the punishing boss fights that ruined any sort of momentum I’d gained in the stages themselves. That being said, the game left a positive impression on me even if it isn’t fit for frequent revisits.