(taken from English Wikipedia entry)
Thunder Force VI (???????? VI, Sandaa F?su VI) is a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up video game released for the PlayStation 2 on October 30, 2008. The director is SEGA employee Tetsu Okano, who has previously worked on Segagaga, Astro Boy: Omega Factor and Gunstar Super Heroes. The game was licensed by Twenty-One Company's Tecnosoft division.
It is the year A.D. 2161, ten years after the artificial intelligence known as Guardian went rogue and its subsequent destruction at the hands of Cenes Crawford, the pilot from the events of Thunder Force V. As Earth reenters an age of prosperity after the previous war with the AI, an extraterrestrial force known only as "Orn Faust" appears to start an invasion of the planet. Unfortunately, the Unified Earth Fleet is powerless under the might of the alien forces and is almost destroyed. Meanwhile, the Unified Earth government receives strange readings from its analysis report of the underground chamber on the island Babel, where Guardian was once installed. Inside, the remaining Vasteel technology which was abandoned and sealed by the government shows a startling synchronization with Orn Faust's approach.
As researchers analyze the once forbidden technology they had abandoned ten years ago, they find an alarming message embedded within the fragments. It is said that Vasteel was once Rynex, the ultimate weapon created by the extraterrestrial power called the Galaxy Federation, used to combat the evil Orn Empire. The message also contained a warning of their impending arrival and an interstellar call for help against the Orn forces, which is trying to spread its influence of death and destruction to other parts of the universe. In addition, the storage cells within Vasteel material contains four space coordinates leading to the homeworld of the Galaxy Federation. Left with no other choice, scientists recreate the Vasteel technology into the experimental starfighter known as Phoenix, the last hope for the human race against Orn Faust.
Sega has created a 3D scrolling system for the next-gen Thunder Force VI, where the gameplay proceeds in 2D as before in previous games but scenery moves in three dimensions. There are oftentimes where the player ships executes rolls, turns or dives in the background, though gameplay is not hampered by this new addition. Each ship is equipped with five types of weapon arms and an Over Weapon, a special weapon gauge which collects energy gained by destroying Orn forces to unleash a powerful attack.
The player has a total of three ships(two must be unlocked) to select before starting the main game. Each ship has its own unique attributes that makes the best use in combat situations, though the controls are quite similar.
An update first appeared on the official Tecnosoft website on January 2008, stating the title of Thunder Force as a registered trademark, and to let visitors know that the site is being renovated. One of the original key staff behind the previous Thunder Force games, K Matsuoka, held onto the IPs of the games after Tecnosoft was bought up by pachinko maker Twenty-one Company. With the announcement of Thunder Force VI in July, it has been revealed that Tecnosoft has licensed the new sequel to Sega to develop and publish the game. The company in turn has assigned Tetsu Okano, otherwise known as Zolge Ichizo in his pen name, whose earlier works include Segagaga and Astro Boy: Omega Factor, to direct Thunder Force VI. Development apparently began on April 2007, with Okano bringing in a fresh team with lots of shooter experience to handle the project. The team then brought in Tamayo Kawamoto (RayForce), Go Sato (Raiden series) and Motoaki Furukawa (Gradius II, Salamander, Gunstar Heroes) to compose the game’s soundtrack. As seen in the two trailers released thus far, the development team created a unique feel for the game, by using the tangut script, an ancient and now obsolete Chinese logographic system, for themes relating to the Galaxy Federation, with Mongolian terms used as language for the Orn Empire.
In an interview, Okano has stated that he would like to hopefully release a sequel to an as yet unknown game, if Thunder Force VI sales go well. In Okano’s blog, he has confirmed that Thunder Force VI is the first game that he placed under the “STG Project”, with two other projects under wraps, which depends on the game’s success. On the official Thunder Force VI website, the words “PROJECT S.T.G-001” can be found on the bottom right of the front page, indicating that Sega may be planning a revival of three shooting game franchises, with Thunder Force VI leading the charge.
Official Website: http://thunderforce.sega.jp/
Note: This game is part of the Japanese shooter series from Tecnosoft/Sega, and not the unrelated Taiwanese SRPG series by Dynasty.