Aero Blasters (TurboGrafx 16)

Aero Blasters


It’s that time again! Time to compare a TurboGrafx-16 game to a port on a different console. Aero Blasters is actually a game I’m familiar with. As soon as I started playing I knew I was playing a early version of Air Buster. Air Buster was the second game I got on the Sega Genesis and one of the few shmups I’ve managed to complete. This review will be like my Ninja Ryukenden review complete with screen shots to compare!

There is no story, it’s just straight into action. You take control of a jet that is equipped with a single gun. Holding down button one allows for a steady stream of bullets while holding down button two releases a blast that kills all enemies on the screen. You will have to wait for the bar at the top of the screen to refill before you can use the blast again. The controls are exactly the same on the Sega Genesis and the graphics really aren’t that much different. Just some very minor differences. In most cases the Genesis version had more background detail.

WM Boss 1 Compare

It didn’t take me long to notice that the TurboGrafx-16 version is the more difficult version. In the Genesis port there is an options menu that lets you raise your lives and continues. I maxed these out every time I played Air Buster. But on the TG16 there is no option to do this. All you get is two lives and five continues and believe me these will go fast! By the time I reached level two I had used two continues! Compared to the Genesis version I wouldn’t have even used one and only died once on the first level. They definitely made the game easier on the Genesis.

WM Level 3 Compare

Some parts of Aero Blasters are just plain unfair. I’m assuming that is because this version is more based on the arcade original and as we all know, most arcade games were designed to eat our quarters. On level two Mechanized Cave for example, there’s a high speed area in which you zoom down tunnels. This part is doable on the Genesis, but on the TG16, I couldn’t pass it! Luckily there are some cheat codes for the Tg16 for more lives and a level skip. I’ll share those at the bottom of this review. It’s obvious they knew the Tg16 was too hard and made it much more easier on the Genesis. I’m not saying the Genesis version is simple, it’s still fairly tough but with enough practice you’ll be able to beat it. Unlike the unfair Tg16 version.

WM Level 2 Compare

Both Aero Blasters and Air Buster only have six levels. They have the same power ups as well. Random big yellow containers float by. Once shot power ups fly everywhere. They are your typical shmup weapons. Some are heat seeking missiles or two guns that float beside you adding to your firepower. Be sure to collect the orange P’s as they add another bullet stream to your jet. These are probably they most important power up to get. You’ll be mowing down big bosses in no time!

I’m more partial to the Genesis music. Only because I’m more familiar with it. The TG16 music isn’t bad, but I personally prefer the Genesis. Some of the later levels have some of the greatest music on the Genesis in my opinion. The arcade music of course is the better out of all the versions but again I still prefer the good old grungy sound of the Genesis. Seriously, listen to some of the music on YouTube. I promise it will not disappoint!

WM Boss 2 Compare

Overall, I’d say stick with the Genesis version here. It’s still challenging but not cheap. I still can’t believe I couldn’t beat level two on the TG16. Of the two levels I got to play, the level designs were slightly different than on the Genesis. One sweet thing the Genesis had over the TG16 was a glove. Yes an actual glove that you could send off for. It helped you “because the action is fast and furious. And the game is hot.” I actually owned this back then and wish I still had it. It did nothing more but to make you feel cool. But yes, if you want a darn near impossible experience play Aero Blasters on the TG16. If you want a better more enjoyable experience with rocking tunes, play Air Buster on the Sega Genesis.

I wish I still had my glove.

I wish I still had my glove.

Final Verdict:

  • A hard as nails schmup
  • Genesis version is more fair than the TG16 and has better music
  • No glove offer on the TG16
  • Other than the difficulty and minor graphical differences, they are identical

Score: TG16: 2/5 Genesis: 4/5


Extra Lives: Right-Right-Right-Select on the title screen

Level Select: Enter the extra lives code first, then hit button one 10 times to start at level 2. To start at higher levels, Press button I once more for each level above 2. (i.e., 11 times to start on level 3, 12 times for level 4, etc.) To complete the code, press Select, Select, Run.




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