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 Post subject: Strikers 1945 I & II [PS2/PAL]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:08 pm 

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Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 739
Location: Owermongie, England
Strikers 1945 I & II (PS2/PAL)


Misc Info
Developers: Arcade version by Psikyo/Ported to PS2 by Play It
Publishers: Play It
Cost: £2 to £10

50/60 hrz: 50 hrz only
Tate: Yes (also allows rotated controls for horizontal screen play!)
Save: No
Extra's: None

Play It, simply put have a very bad reputation on these forums mainly because they tend to butcher there ports so badly that in some cases that they are simply unplayable but at least they are not as bad as the infamous XS Games, the creators of the "Mobile Light Force" series. So when I saw Strikers 1945 I & II for the PS2 in my local video game store's used game bargain bin for £2 i thought "meh why not, I'll buy it just so I can review it!" and so I did and now I am writing about it, see what I do for you guys!

Anyway lets go though all the background stuff that you probably already know about. Strikers 1945 is essentially Psikyo's homage to Capcom's 1942 series. Psikyo decided that they would not only bring the presentation of the game up to date but also make the game play more modern and thus the game play is much more like a manic vert shmup as supposed to an old school shooter like 1942, the game that this game is inspired by. Saying that though Psikyo has kept some old school magic in the game by keeping a very traditional power-up system which involves collection power-up icons that float about on screen. Also the player can pick up gold bars which increase there score if they manage to collect them. The gold bars can be found by blowing up scenery or destroying powerful enemy ground units. There are also six ships to select which have different strengths and weaknesses as you would expect although for some reason they are completely different from game to game. For example "Zero" in part I has mini homing attack ships as the secondary fire function (explained later) while in part II it fires out these fairly thin blue lasers which are not as cool in my opinion.

Now all you need to know about the controls of this game is that there are two buttons, fire and bomb. Bomb is the almighty screen clearing device that can save the player from colliding with an enemy fighter jet or on coming fire as it clears everything off the screen that is not the player(s), power-up's or a any ship that looks like a mid-boss/boss type. The fire button has two functions, keep pressing it and the player will release a steady stream of fire which varies in spread and power from ship to ship. The second function is activated if you hold down the fire button for a second or two then release it. Essentially it activates the "secondary fire" button which again is different from ship to ship but this is normally some sort of ultra powerful energy blast, rapid stream of fire/bullets or some sort of homing shot.

So what is the game like to play? Well that depends on what you are playing it on. You see like I mentioned before Play It have a nasty habit of rushing out their ports and not taking that much time over them so for the time being I will describe what the arcade version is like then compare it to Play It's PAL PS2 port.

Strikers 1945 1 & 2 are solid examples of how a vertical shoot-em-up and pays a fine tribute to Capcom's legendary shoot-em-up series. The graphics and sound of the game are wonderful. Each enemy, each background looks as lush as the last. Typical the game will throw military plane after plane which all resemble World War II in till you get to the bosses that is. If there is one thing that Psikyo do well is creating Boss characters in there games and I have to say that the Strikers series has some of there finest works. Humongous, Robotic, Multi-sectioned and very surreal in places, I am almost always excited every time I encounter a new boss type character in Psikyo's games because I know that they 95% of the time they do the game justice.

The game play as I mentioned above is very simple but I consider that to be a good thing because it means that you feel more in control and thus it's a much more entertaining experience. Speaking of entertaining the difficulty of these type of games can make or break the players experience. and lets just say that the two games in Strikers 1945 I & II pack are very well balanced and do provide an challenge specially in the later stages and defiantly in the second loop were there are many, many bullets to dodge. Speaking about bullet dodging the bullet patterns in this game are simple but move at an average speed although because they are yellow they do tend to blend in to the explosions which is kind of annoying although saying that in general they do provide a fair challenge in general.

So Strikers 1945 I & II sounds like a solid game right well yeah it is but yet again Play It's lazy porting skills have come to ruin what could of easily of been a 9 out of 10 game if they bothered to port the game properly. Now the game is perfectly playable with no huge faults as such so it's not the second coming of Mobile Light Force of the PSX which can only be a good thing.

You see Play It included Tate Monitor support and even has the option of allowing the player to rotate the d-pad around so they can play the game horizontal style without having to turn the TV around thus taking advantage of the whole screen. But what will make a lot of gamers that visit this site mad is the fact that Play It decided not to include a Save option or 60hrz option which is a real shame. I mean I can actually live without the Save option because you can record your scores VIA other methods like pen and paper or if you are really feeling flash digital camera but what really will grab most players goat is the lack of 60 hrz mode. Now this may seem like a killing blow to the game but actually it's not all that bad because the Strikers series is not the most fastest paced shmup so unless you insist on being able to compete in hi score contests it's not that much of a biggie really. Saying that though most fans of the gender (who are probably going to be one the ones buying this game) would probably of preferred it Play It keeping 60 hrz mode. I mean common it's not that hard to do all you have to do is make two games one 50 hrz and one 60 hrz. After all they don't take up much space so they could of gotten away with it with ease but they could not be arsed which is frustrating I have to say.

At the end of the day you do get what you pay for. Strikers 1945 I & II are wonderful games and if you really want to play them in all there glory then I would suggest MAME or buying it on Import from Japan for your PS2. But if you do find this game for cheap enough like I did then it might just be worth looking at because although the port is not perfect the game is still perfectly playable. Bottom line is that you should buy this game if you are either looking for that smug look next time you are asked by MAME "are you legally allowed to play this game?" or looking for some cheap shmup fun or you may just be buying this game just to remind yourself that perhaps a certain Cave ps2 port that has to much screen softening effect is not all that bad after all and could of been a lot worse, Mobile Light Force kinda worse. [6/10]
Don't Drink and Bake! ~ My blogg, mainly about gaming!

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