Thor: Bring the Thunder – Browser Game Review

Games like: Rocket Knight Adventures, Aladdin, Rygar

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Thor: Bring the Thunder Joy2Key for Xbox 360

TL;DR

With Marvel practically taking the main stage in the theater box office, it would make sense for the gaming community to follow suit. Sure, we’ve had a bad rash of Marvel games being released as early as the Atari 2600 (featuring our favorite web-head Spiderman!) but as the popularity continued, along with advancements in technology, these games would be getting better and better? It’s true, there are a ton of great Marvel video games. Then why not take a chance on an independent developer to make a quick stab at a browser based game? Enter Thor: Bring the Thunder! A browser based action platformer featuring our favorite god of thunder as he takes back Asgard from the evil minions and save the Earthling Jane Foster.

Yeah! Go, Thor, go!

Yeah! Go, Thor, go!

Thor: Bring the Thunder is a browser based action platformer where you’ll control Thor and his sweet hammer battling baddies, collecting what can only be described as magical apples, and lighting power ups. Think you’re stuck using just the keyboard for control? Think again, my fine compatriot. While harnessing the power of Joy2Key, you’ll be jumping and throwing your hammer in no time. Designed for the Xbox 360 controller, we’ve fixed the issue of Jump being up on the keyboard by assigning it to the B button. Swinging your hammer and throwing it are also in the designated places they should be. Y will unleash your lighting attack and advance the text during cutscenes. You are armed and ready! Let’s get to it!

Thor: Bring the Thunder Xbox 360 Joy2Key layout.

Thor: Bring the Thunder Xbox 360 Joy2Key layout.

Your journey is to Asgard taking back what is rightfully yours either by “because I said so” or some sort of history long forgotten. Thor comes fully stacked with his hammer in hand swinging and throwing till your heart’s content. Scattered throughout the levels are pick ups in the form of different colored “apples” (I don’t know) and lighting strikes. Pushing itself as an arcade style title, Thor drives a high score in every pick up and enemy kill. One of these apples is purely for high score purposes whereas the yellow or golden apples will replenish your hit points.

Check points mark your half way.

Check points mark your half way.

Thor does some have interesting quirks. Walking straight into an enemy will deal damage to yourself (duh, right?) yet you can jump on their heads with no consequence. Doing so will make Thor jump uncontrollably into the air until you fall away. Often times you’ll try to jump on a moving platform to proceed only to just miss it and slide off. It’s hard to pinpoint when your landing is correct or not. Sometimes you’ll need to have the sprite completely on the platform to be correct other times it seems that just a foot clarifies as a proper standing point. There’s a fairly difficult point on the last level that has you jumping to multiple moving platforms. Even if you judge the timing correctly, there seems to be a random factor that you are unaware of causing you to fall into the pits below. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

You'll need three lighting bolts to unleash your special.

You’ll need three lighting bolts to unleash your special.

The level design is tolerably basic. A simple “left to right” mentality with some enemies blocking your path is the framework for Thor. You will be rewarded if you journey a bit above the standard path to high platforms and secret areas where more golden apples will reside. During the level boss battles, these pickups will aid you if you become low in health or as a last needed lighting bolt for your special strike.

Throw that hammer!

Throw that hammer!

Thor: Bring the Thunder is done in a fairly cartoonish Game Boy Advance style of graphical design. All of the sprites are clean and there is even some interesting work going on in the backgrounds. All of the enemies and bosses are twice the size or larger than Thor himself so you get a nice sense of contrast of good and evil. Who doesn’t like nice, big sprites in their video games? These elements are fairly well done yet nothing to really separate itself from other Superhero platformers from days past.

Surtur and his giant sword!

Surtur and his giant sword!

There is one music track… that’s it. And it plays over and over again throughout the entire game. Once you think it’s going to move on to something else, it repeats. Granted, the classical track does have the epic superhero battle theme you’d hope for in a game like this, but it’s just the one track. Although Thor: Bring the Thunder can be completed in about 30 minutes, it would have been nice for some variation in the soundtrack.

What could this puny man have against Thor?

What could this puny man have against Thor?

When the main game because easily beaten and the highest score achieved, why not hang out in the Survivor mode? A single stage, or room rather, with unrelenting enemy spawns to test your metal in a game of “Who can last the longest?” A marathon of jumping and hammer throwing will separate the weak from the god-like (see what I did there?) Much like any Survivor mode, if you aren’t absolutely in love with the main game and its mechanics, this is going to play out just like another dull addition to an already mediocre game. But, if you are a high score chasing lunic, this is the perfect place to hone your skills to make it to the top of the leaderboards.

Ah! A dragon!

Ah! A dragon!

On the surface, Thor doesn’t bring too much creativity to the genre. Anyone who’s a fan of Marvel’s Avengers will enjoy playing as one of the more other worldly members. Thor on the surface is a bash ‘em in the face superhero and the action platformer fits well with this type of character. It is a fun, mindless, quick romp that you journey through with little to no thinking but I would have liked to see something produced out of this game. It’s as generic as you can get for an action platformer which isn’t a bad thing. You’ll enjoy yourself the first time through, although the fighting becomes mechanical, the survivor mode is an after thought, and you’ll become frustrated more or less with the odd sliding and strange jumping. But not enough to cast the controller down in lieu of a different title.

Game complete.

Game complete.

Thor: Bring the Thunder is a short, browser action platformer that will fill a small void for any fan of superhero games. Take back Asgard from the evil minions in a pursuit to save the fair Jane Foster. Giant sprites get overshadowed by simplistic level design and one single music track that repeats over and over. A quick break for those looking to mindlessly beat things up for a few minutes, Thor: Bring the Thunder is enough for a single play through that may not have you coming back to try again. But it’s free and I love the Avengers so who am I to judge?

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Thor: Bring the Thunder Joy2Key for Xbox 360

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