Roger and Over
by Tibe (2011)
Psikyo is a japanese company, we could even say the descendant of the old Video System, as it was created by the ancient members of this one. Filiation with the Aero Fighters series (Sonic Wings in japanese version) is quite easy, since these games looks pretty much like Strikers 1945 Plus, both graphically and in terms of gameplay. As we shall see, this one is even better than these previous productions, thanks to a tremendous cartridge of 681 megs. Hard to say at first sight, as the graphics are nothing special. The backgrounds are nice and varied, planes have a smooth animation, the Bosses are fat as hell ... but all this looks a bit dull and lack luster, spectacular, like in others shooters on the Rolls that we've seen before. I especially think about impressive titles such as Blazing Star, Prehistoric Isle 2 or even Ironclad, who provided more sensations than our Strikers.
The game get significant - and we understand better where have gone the megas - with the quality of its animation and also its soundtrack. There are stricly no slowdowns to report, even with two-players cooperative play, and yet there's many many bullets on the screen! The Neo Geo accomplishes a great feat at this level. The music and sound effects are really nice, with themes that are epic at will, kinda "Heroes of World War 2! " Psikyo performs a perfect on the soundtrack, providing a catchy atmosphere. The Bosses, which are for the most technological marvels, are pretty tough, packing advanced weapons. Let me tell you it won't be easy to exterminate them without difficulties. The explosions caused by their destruction are the most beautiful effects of the game. Great job, as it keeps a perfect framerate even when there's hundred of sprites on the screen. We're undoubtlessly facing a pure Manic Shooter... with a refreshing old-school touch.
Speaking about gameplay, the game doesn't lack interest. Seven different aircrafts are selectable (you can enjoy the Ascender with this TIP), which are true legendary machines of the time. All have their own weapon, their own special and bombs. Different strategies can be adopted: it's all up to you, depending on the picked machine, which makes the game rather interesting. The Super Shot (a powerful special weapon , different from bombs or super attacks) can be charged by using normal shots, and unleashed by pressing down the fire button. Its power depends on the load level. More bombs can be retrieved over the stages, don't miss them! These techniques are a household on the screen and have you becoming invincible for a few seconds, which might at times save your life. The first four courses occur randomly: it's a good point that breaks the monotony. In addition, stages are varied (ice, land, enemy bases, canyons, clouds ...) and even if they're fairly short, the action they provide is still intense!
The latest levels will be more tricky to overcome, since for these, for each credit lost, the checkpoint is at the beginning of the stage.... We had already seen that feat in Sonic Wings 3 or even ASO II... It's still a good idea - a little perverse, certainly - but increasing in some point the difficulty of the game, which is fine. We are not newbies, come on! In the end, with a little practice, you can clear Strikers 1945 Plus in about forty minutes... which is not too short, since you can have more replay just for the pleasure of discovering other planes, or try a high-score; because the game is taking and not too repetitive. So yes, we would have preferred to play on a full screen (without the indicators on each side) or simply on a tate format screen, but I quibble. The interface is neat, although graphics lacks a bit luster, but the game is dynamic, addictive, and action explodes from the beginning to the end in this excellent Manic Shooter.
|The screen size is reduced on the sides for boards, offering smaller window for graphics.Despite that, sets are beautiful, finely drawn and various.|
|Truly a benchmark: fluid, fast, hyper decomposed... It comes close to perfection. No slowdowns at all, 681Mb are maybe doing something here... only one reproach, backgrounds are a little static.|
|Catchy milary and epic themes, while FX are providing great sensations while you fly!|
|Tou have to clear eight stages two times to finish the game, there's seven different planes, a good difficulty level... plus the 1CC is a tough challenge, and cooperative play very fun.|
|Controls are great, Strikers will require great reflex to reach the end with a good score. Very cool weapon system, bombs and bonus. Nice, a shooting game mixing old shool and manic!|
|This is an excellent vertical scrolling shmup on the Neo Geo, reminding the time of the 1941 and other legendary games. The realization is nice and the WWII atmosphere palpable!|
VALUE FOR MONEY (2011)
A convert that cost its weight in peanuts, like we say in France. Yes, because you can't find it under 300 euros. It's one of the best games of the genre on the Neo Geo, but at this price, it's to book for Shoot them up fans only.