Strikers 1945

System: Playstation


Game Type: 2D Overhead View Shooter
Set just after World War II, but your WWII-era planes are given ridiculously powerful guns and pitted against gigantic transforming robots. Top-down view.

Gameplay: 95/100
Ah, I do so love a good shooter. Strikers launches enough ammo at you to make your jaw drop. Fortunately the bullets move slowly enough (except on the hardest difficulty levels) that you can weave your way through all but the densest clusters. Gives you a pretty good feeling when you've beaten one of the more trigger-happy bosses without losing a life.
There are 6 planes to choose from, each with its own weapon type (sorry, no switching in mid-game). Each can be powered up 4 times, and as you gain power little mini-planes (options) join up with you, flying in a formation that varies according to your choice of planes. Each plane also has a special attack charged up by holding down the shot button, and its own type of bomb. There are lots of little nuances to using each plane that add a lot of variety to the game.
I do have a couple complaints. The game is far too short. There are only 8 stages, each about half the length of a Raiden II stage. Also, you're given an infinite number of continues (with no way to limit them that I've discovered). I beat the game in the first half hour. Since then I've been limiting myself to one or no continues, and the game has been much more enjoyable.

Graphics: 85/100
Except for the nifty prerendered intros Strikers makes no pretense of being 3D, which is why I fear it will never be brought out in the States. It's a notch below Raiden II graphically, but still pretty decent. The art for the stages is dark and brooding, appropriate for the WWII setting but not quite to my taste. The weapons and bomb effects have lots of flash. Sorry anime junkies, although you can tell the artwork is Japanese it's definitely not anime/manga-style. A cool option borrowed from Raiden Project is the ability to project the game image sideways, so if you have a monitor you can set it on its side and play with a full-size screen (and it doesn't mess up the controls, either).

Sound: 50/100
The music (which is swap-friendly) isn't annoying but it's not on par with the beautiful tunes I've become accustomed to on the PS. Sound effects have decent clarity but no real volume. Merely average.

Overall: 90/100
It's not by Capcom, but Strikers 1945 has a lot of the flavor of the 194X series. If you're lucky enough to have Gunbird in a local arcade give it a spin and you'll have an excellent idea what Strikers is like (sans cutesy graphics), since it's by the same developer. As far as graphics and audio it's not too fancy, but gameplay-wise it's pretty addictive. A safe bet as an import for any shooter fan. (Just don't abuse the infinite continues!)


Copyright © 1997/1998 Jay McGavren. All Rights Reserved.