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November 18 2017

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  Strikers 1945 Plus - ©Psikyo 1999





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Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
Shoot 'em up

Size:
346 Megs
Japanese Name:

Strikers 1945 Plus

Released On:

MVS




Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
- The King Of Fighters: Maximum Impact (PS2)
- Art Of Fighting (Neo Geo)
- King of Fighters 2002 (Neo Geo)
- Metal Slug 5 (Neo Geo)
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- Matrimelee (Neo Geo)
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Other Opinions - More Reviews On NG4L:
Review 2 - by Randorama


Review Introduction:

After finally playing this game, I have to say that I don't completely agree with the above review of this game (Review 2). It is FAR a terrible game (in fact it isn't bad at all), but I very much doubt it is one I will rush to buy for my MVS (maybe if it was cheap). Randorama was partially right though - there is a good game inside this cart, but it is partially ruined by one flaw... I'll get to that in a minute!


Gameplay:

What we have here is the latest game in the "Strikers" series made by Psikyo. The other Strikers games are not on the Neo Geo but another piece of arcade hardware, which is why not all Neo Geo fans have heard of it before (although it is fairly well known). Strikers is a vertically scrolling shoot em up that is a little similar to the Aero Fighters games, and also Capcom's classic shooter 1941. You pick from a variety of World War II style planes (like the Spitfire) and then get ready to shoot, dodge and bomb your way to victory.

Many of the enemies you encounter are not the same sort of planes as the ones you fly in. Many of them are huge mech style craft, such as the first boss: he starts off as a huge bomber style plane, but after you hit him a few times it blows up and he turns into a big robot (this actually seems to be the pattern for all boss encounters: destroy the first part and then you have to kill a big robot or something similar). Whichever way, you have some pretty good firepower to tackle the bad guys with. As is usual with shoot 'em ups you can pick up icons that make your guns more powerful, but you also have "super shots". These are activated by holding down the fire button instead of tapping it. You only have a limited stock of these however, but they do get replenished every time you shoot an enemy craft down. You also have a stock of "bombs", which are activated by pressing the B button. When you do this, an indestructible plane (or even a squadron of friendly planes) appears from the bottom of the screen, and wreaks havoc upon your foes. This is very useful as it also shields you from enemy bullets, but I usually save them for boss fights as you only have a limited stock. These can be replenished by picking up the power ups that appear on screen occasionally.

Graphics:

Other than the things mentioned above, Strikers 1945 is more or less standard shoot 'em up fare. Graphically it is fairly nice, although I have seen better on the Neo Geo. If you have ever seen this type of game before then you will know what to expect, as there aren't really any surprises, although this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The backgrounds are drab, but this is probably intentional, so that you can see the brightly coloured bullets better. That's probably the best thing about it: all the enemies shots can be seen quite clearly, which can really make or break this type of game - if you can't SEE what you're supposed to be avoiding, how can you do it? I've played so many shoot 'em ups in the past that had so much happening on screen that you didn't know what you were doing and got killed easily, so it is pleasant to play a game where that doesn't tend to happen. To get through this game it is mostly a case of learning the enemy attack patterns (like Randorama said above), as most of them can be easily flown through once you know what you are doing. I'm not great at these games, but I surprised myself once or twice by getting through some unbelievably tight squeezes! :)

One thing that does seem a little bit weird though is that the developers put big borders one both sides of the screen. I can remember hearing that this was to give the same effect as a vertical game (one where the TV is basically on its side so the screen is narrow but tall... see Capcoms Mercs or something similar). All your game info such as points, remaining lives and supershots/bombs are displayed within these borders, but I still think this is a little bit weird... I think they should have done it the same was the aforementioned Aero Fighters: vertical scrolling, but still with a wide screen area. In all honesty though, it isn't as bad as I thought it might be before I played it, and I soon forgot about it after ten minutes playing the game.


Sound effects & Music:

I almost forgot about the sound in the game too actually, as it is fairly generic. The music is the usual standard for this type of WWII shoot 'em up... it's pretty average and doesn't detract from the game at all, but it doesn't add a lot to the proceedings either (not like the great music in Blazing Star). On the plus side, the sound effects are pretty decent. The sound for gunfire and explosions in a shoot 'em up can really make the game more satisfying, and thankfully, Strikers has some fairly good ones. Not mind blowing, just fairly good.


Overall:

Anyway, on to that "flaw" I mentioned earlier that you may be wondering about, which would be the horrible slowdown this game suffers from. Granted, there is slowdown in many (or most) of the other great shooters on the Neo Geo... and yes: it can be annoying sometimes. However the slowdown in this game is pretty bad at times; in fact it is almost a constant, which makes me think that it is more down to bad programming rather than a case of the Neo Geo's processor being too slow to cope with it (although the Neo's processor is a bit slow really). Surely they could have gotten rid of some of it by maybe having a few less enemies on screen at times, or even a bit less detail, but unfortunately it looks like they rushed it out. I suppose they weren't going to spend THAT much time on it really, as this type of game doesn't really do massively well in the arcades these days, but it is a little disappointing. After playing on the game for a while it stopped bothering me, but it is definitely a lot choppier than games like Blazing Star (even if that game does slow down a bit at times).

I never played any of the other Strikers games, but they seem to be fairly popular between shoot 'em up fans. Psikyo has done a commendable job with this game; it's just a shame that it is a little bit spoilt by slowdown that shouldn't have been as bad as it is. The game can also be a bit frustrating at times, especially after you reach a certain point in the game (around mission 5 I think): after this point, you can use continues, but the game puts you right back at the start of the stage if you do. This might be ok for expert players as they would probably breeze through these areas anyway, but for a casual shoot 'em up player like me, it can be very tough :) It does stop you from finishing the game by putting in credit after credit though, so maybe this helps out with the replay value a little?

Overall, if you are a serious shoot 'em up fan then you will probably get quite a bit of enjoyment out of Strikers 1945 Plus, or if you are a fan of the series then I'd also recommend playing it. Otherwise, it is still worth having a look at - but I'd recommend Pulstar and Blazing Star over this game any day of the week... I really don't think those games will ever be beaten by anything else on this system!

A good game, but not amazing.


Graphics: 7.5/10
Sound: 7/10
Game play: 7.5/10
Replay Value: 7.5/10

Overall Rating: 7.5/10



Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


Review by Sifl

Above links open in a new window.
Aero Fighters series
Another good Vertically scrolling shooter series!


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