Fast Striker is an old school 2D vertical scrolling shoot ’em up from developer and publisher Eastasiasoft Limited. Releasing on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, benefiting from the Cross-Buy feature, it is a port of the last ever Dreamcast release from 2010. A year later it also made an appearance on the mobile iOS platform but most of us would have missed both iterations in all honesty.
The game is steeped in retro roots from its visual to gameplay but it has specifically been designed to be accessible from the off for both the seasoned pro and newcomers alike. With roots firmly in the vertical shooter category it will be interesting to see how it has translated onto the more modern formats.
The story is minimal and the game is set over six different stages. You play as a rebel starfighter pitting your wits against an evil force determined on destroying all that is good. Presented with three different game modes you have the choice between original, manic and novice, all of which provide a scalable experience. Fast Striker has a heavy emphasis on scores, naturally the higher the better but this is in part what hampers the experience. There is just a little bit too much focus on this and often I found my ship crashing into stray bullets only for it to pass straight through me on the easier of settings. An additional Omega mode is available but I’ll let you play that for yourself.
Having said this one of the areas that the game excels in is that novice mode it provides a good entry point for all levels of gamers. It is fun and simple enough to provide that pick up and play experience, something that our mobile gamers of today will appreciate. Fast Strikers allows for its simple game mechanics to give players the opportunity to easily master enemy and bullet patterns. The longer you play the more credits you accumulate which in turn makes the game just that little bit easier to complete.
To its credit though, the further you progress within the game and get to grips with it the more comfortable everything becomes, acting as a stepping stone into the harder game modes. As you advance into the harder difficulty settings you are presented with a whole host of new enemy spaceships and bonus scoring systems. As you gain confidence things suddenly become easier by comparison and tempts you to finish the game on a single credit and reveal the hidden boss in order to see the true ending of the game.
Visually and sound wise it does a good enough job to keep everyone happy. As a plus point with this latest edition of the Fast Striker the developers have added a large variety of trophies and have included a Platinum which is easily obtainable. Playing on the PlayStation Vita it was nice to have the ability to change the screen settings from the original square perspective to a full-screen mode, which by today’s Switch standard is a little on the small side – so every little helps.
My biggest gripe with the game is that the controls seem a little jaded and unresponsive when shooting, it just gave off the feeling of being sluggish. It is an ok shoot ’em up that offers little new but being the last ever Dreamcast release will go in its favour for all that loved the much underrated Sega console. Maybe wait until this is on sale and I very much doubt playing this on the PlayStation 4 will add anything to the experience.
Beard Score: 4/10
Genre: Action, Shooter, Arcade
Publisher: Eastasiasoft Limited
Release: 17/10/2018 (PSN)
Format: Dreamcast, NEO GEO, iOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita