I was just on lunch break at work and perusing the regional eShops on Nintendo Switch for new releases and sales, as I like to do on a weekly basis. It's awesome to be able to download a game onto my Switch at work and be able to begin playing it right then and there and then continue it later on the big screen at home. While doing so today, I discovered that Strikers 1945 has been released on the Japan eShop currently with a 42% discount. With the discount, the game is currently 500 yen ($4.52 USD).
Strikers 1945 is a Japanese shoot 'em up (SHMUP) from 1995. I have and enjoyed the Sega Saturn import version (considered the superior console port over its Play Station counterpart).
Psikyo’s most prolific series started here, and it gets a nice conversion to the Saturn – the presentation is slightly downgraded from the arcade version, but nowhere near enough to make any real difference, especially seeing as it plays so faithfully. That said, the only real “extra” here is a “fighter index” where you can listen to a guy talk (in Japanese, of course) about the airplanes featured in the game – nice for history buffs who can speak the language, I suppose, but the rest of us will just get right to the game.
Otherwise, Strikers sticks to the standards of the series, and Psikyo’s output as a whole – you blast your way through a combination of random- and set-order stages, all brimming with unfriendly orange bullets. The setting is, ostensibly, World War II, but you’re able to select several aircraft (including prototypes that were never actually produced) from both the Axis and Allied sides, who have apparently united to face a greater threat – I don’t recall my school’s history books ever mentioning giant mecha rampaging around in the 40’s, but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention that day.
As with most Psikyo shooters, memorization is as important to success as your dodging skills are – the bullets are pretty fast and your hit area is pretty big, so you’re best off knowing in advance which patterns are navigable and which you’d best avoid altogether or bomb through. Scoring is straightforward except for the gold bars some enemies leave behind – watch them closely and you’ll see them sparkle and glint, and the shinier they are when you snag them the more points they’re worth. Unlike its sequel, the Saturn port of Strikers is considered the superior version over the PS1’s, and is not prohibitively costly to buy, so it’s a no-brainer for Psikyo fans and a pretty sure bet for most others.