Switch version tested
Review code provided
Part one of the Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha is Strikers 1945. We all love retro games and this throwback title has been dug up from 1995! Jumping from arcade to PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and finally Nintendo Switch. We can thank NIS America for bringing 1945 in part of the shmup collection to Switch hand in hand with the Flip Grip. Strikers 1945 is a game that always attracts me in the arcade, so I’m happy to have it in my hands at home. I began on normal mode but there are a total of seven difficulties so all can enjoy. That paired with six different planes to choose from boast of high replayability before the game even starts. Leaderboards are also available per difficulty level so you may challenge yourself. Unfortunately, they are not online but that would be awesome in the future. To offset that, I coincidentally found another player that started this game at the same time as I did. Together we decided to post our high scores and start a community leaderboard! We’ll see where it goes.
It’s a shame there are only nine seconds to choose one of the six fighter planes because it shows output, speed, and weight. Although these details are shown I don’t think they mean anything. Through picking a plane and restarting multiple times the speed varies per ship so that detail may be accurate. Since the fighters shot isn’t explained the player must learn by trial and error. The good part about this is the player will learn the levels and enemies better while finding a particular favourite pilot. I did my best to explain the aeroplanes as best I could, strap in and enjoy.
- P-38: sporadic twisting double shot, homing missile upgrade, barrel roll bomb
- P-51: four thin double shot, spread shot and multi rockets, triple plane bomb
- SpitFire: four double shot, spread shot and rockets, fire blast
- BF-109: thin double shot rapid-fire, homing shot, four plane bomb
- ZERO: four thin double shot, spread shot and pepper bombs, thunder bomb
- SHINDEN: single thin shot, four wide single shot and rockets, straight plane bomb
Music at the start-up of the game is a drum roll, very fitting to the military vibe going on here. During the game, it turns it up a bit to the tune of EPIC! I’m talking about hyping up the action and making things feel tense. It really adds to the pressure when you’re covered in enemy fire and the music is very dramatic.
I’ve played Gunbird, a game on the Bravo collection, so the old school graphics are familiar. It would be nice to have a much different appearance but that’s asking too much from a game that’s decades old. Very retro, arcade bit graphics. Regardless, the game looks great and what sets it apart is the gameplay. Just on normal mode for now, this game is action-packed. Plenty of bullets flying and enemies of all sizes to shoot. Small size enemies whiz around individually as well as in packs. Keep an eye out for the red plane as it will drop a power-up you need to help progress easier. Moving on up to the big leagues let’s talk about boss battles. For one they are massive, and two they transform multiple times during the fight. Both of these factors keep the fights interesting. Time to unleash your bombs then duck and dodge all the peppered bullets. The game doesn’t explain exactly where the hitbox is located but we can assume in the middle of the plane. Sometimes it feels as though it may be a larger portion of the body or even including the wings but it’s difficult to tell. I can’t pay attention to exactly where I get hit amidst the busyness of the screen.
I’m loving Strikers 1945 and see myself putting many more hours into it. I can see why this game has made its way forward from console to console. Different difficulty and plane options along with your local leaderboard keep the replayability high. Challenging myself to get a better score keeps me coming back. Very easy to pick up and play, as well as recommend to others.
TBG Score: 7.5/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 24/01/2020
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Shooter, Arcade
Developer: CITY CONNECTION
Publisher: NIS America
Download link: eShop