The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.
Blue Thunder was made in 1987 by Jeffrey White Productions for the Worlds of Wonder ActionMax. I have covered the system in episode 13. The video you are going to see is recorded from the original VHS tape, transmitted to my capture card via YPbPr. As such the video might be the highest quality version of the footage in the whole internet. Please remember that video on VHS is stored in a s-video like fashion but with much more compression using a color under technique. As such the video quality is not very high.
Contrary to popular belief the game is not based on the movie of the same name. The story and setting is entirely different. Merely some scenes of the film have been used for the game, which were rearranged and sometimes altered for this purpose. In my opinion the movie is quite good and targeted towards a mature audience. Eventually it spawned a TV series spanning 11 episodes, which was targeted more towards kids. This series also used material of the movie, some of which is also used in the game. Besides that no footage shown in the series was used in the game. The director of the video game Jeffrey White later contributed to famous movies such as “Last Samurai” and “The Italian Job”.
In the game’s story the player is part of Blue Thunder, an airstrike unit using special helicopters. A meeting of the world peace coalition takes place in L.A. and Blue Thunder protects the air space. The game starts off with a short training session. After that helicopters are fought which try to disturb the meeting. Eventually the hostile helicopters are gone and jets appear which are fought too.
I think the game doesn’t feel like a kludged movie tie in and is enjoyable on its own. This game stands apart from the other ActionMax games as here the flashing targets are triangles instead of circles, which in my opinion makes them harder to hit. Personally I like the game. If I had to choose something I don’t like about the game it would be the training session at the beginning of the game. It is too short and is, compared to the rest of the game, too difficult. For some reason Blue Thunder is quite a bit more rare than the other games and therefore fetches high prices on auction websites.
The cover is held in the same style as the other ActionMax games and shows one of the enemy helicopters.