Elemental Master (Genesis) review
"After the Thunder."
We all know this story, especially those of us who count the 2D shoot-em-up among our favourite genres: the tale of the game with the oversized reputation it doesn't deserve, whether for better or worse. Elemental Master is one of these games.
It was made by Technosoft, the same developer responsible for the perennial horizontal shoot-em-up series, Thunder Force. And so, quite unfairly, Elemental Master, Technosoft's top-down shooter effort of the same vintage, is often compared to Thunder Force. That comparison seems to have created two sets of fans. Those who are just upset that Elemental Master isn't its better known sibling, and as such, is a failure on that basis alone -- and those who champion this game to unreasonable degrees, ostensibly in an attempt to offset the other group’s criticisms.
The die-hards elevate Elemental Master to a legendary status that it probably doesn't deserve. And to be fair, it doesn't deserve the Thunder Force-fueled flak either. What we have here is a pretty good vertical shoot-em-up sporting a cool twist: in place of a spaceship armed to the teeth, our on-screen avatar is a dude on foot, hurling magic.
As an aside, the Sega Genesis seemed like the place to be for shooters with twists like this; we had Phelios starring a dude on a flying horse, and Undead Line, featuring a dude on foot and all by his lonesome, and Wings of Wor, featuring a dude with wings (he didn't even need the flying horse), and the list goes on. But I digress!
Staff review by Marc Golding (October 31, 2018)
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