Review by Ryu Hayabusa

"Classic Psikyo blastfest!"

Agetec is a really cool company. I mean they have ported over some good stuff. This includes R-Types, R-Type Delta, King of Fighters Evolution, etc. And now, one of their latest ports, Strikers 1945 II (the ''II'' was removed to avoid confusion because the US didn't get Strikers 1945 I), is one of their best.

2-Player simultaneous Top-down view Shooter

Pros
Detailed 2D graphics on the Playstation
Hardly any slowdown
Intense game play
Good challenge and difficulty settings for all skill levels
Great sound effects and music

Cons
Questionable content removal from Japanese version
No extras
No vibration support :(
Short levels (Psikyo fans are used to it)

Game Play
This is a top-down view arcade shooter. You choose from 6 cool looking planes. Each of the planes has their own support attack, weapon, and super shot. For example, the P-38 Lighting shoots a steady stream of lasers and is accompanied by homing missiles. While the Flying Pancake (makes me hungry) shoots a spreader accompanied by homing lasers. The ships differ in speed, power, and technique. Some of the support attacks and super shots get rid of bullets while hurting the enemies at the same time while others are just there for pain. You will be playing for a while trying out different fighters and trying to master them.
There are 8 stages (which are pretty short in the Psikyo tradition). But if you really like shooters (like me), you won't care or notice after a while because the game is very intense. The first 4 stages are randomly organized and boss difficulty is determined by how late they appear. For example the Iron Casket boss may be a pushover in Stage 1, but if you meet him in Stage 4, you have a lot more trouble. This keeps the game fresh and keeps you on your toes. The bullet patterns the enemies and bosses throw at you are sometimes very imaginative.
Since this game was played on a tall vertical screen in the Arcade, you are given a choice on how the play area is viewed. Original 1 is a letterboxed effect that simulates the tall screen look. Bullets are slowed down a bit since the enemies are generally closer to you. Original 2 acheives the original height of the Arcade game but is still letterboxed. The screen will scroll depending on where your fighter is on the screen. Bullets are much faster moving but are more spread out as well. Agetec removed the Arcade mode which was kind of dumb. Sony may have told them to in order to avoid legal trouble with boneheads that mess up their TV's turning it on it's side.
You have unlimited continues. Before you scream ''rental!'' keep in mind that if you get to a lter Stage you will have to restart the stage from the beginning.

Graphics
These are very good 2D graphics that fit the WWII theme well. If you liked the graphics in Capcom's 19XX series or the Raiden series you will feel right at home. The animation of the sprites are very good. The bosses look really awesome. The bosses are constantly shedding and morphing ( a Strikers trademark!) and can do some really cool things. The weapon effects from your ships look really good and are colorful as well. Some of the special effects you get when you use your support attack or super shot are just awesome. Explosions are a bit pixelly but efficent.

Sound
You have very audible sound effects. Explosions are bland sometimes but they still sound cool. Your weapon sound effects are better than average and not annoying. The music is very good. It is just the Arcade music. It isn't really taking advantage of the PSX, but it just sounds sweet and compliments the action nicely. A plus is that the music dosen't ever have to re-load, it is streamed and infinitely loops. You can pause the game and listen to it all day if you want!

Replay Value
This all depends on what you are looking for. If you want a game where you unlock something everytime you beat it. Then you may want to look elsewhere. But if you just want a shooter that can literally be played over and over again, and dosen't get old fast like some shooters, then you will be very happy with this. Mastering bullet swimming on higher difficulties, trying to finish the game in one credit, trying out the fighters, beating your high scores, etc. You get the point.

Overall, this game is really good. But Agetec removed the FMV intro from the Japanese version and the Arcade mode. But these really add nothing to the gameplay but are questionable in why they were removed. If you are a shooter fan, or are just looking for a game that is easy to pick up for a good price, then look no further.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/20/01, Updated 11/08/01


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