Strikers 1945 – PlayStation / Arcade
Publisher: Agetec, Inc.
Release Date: 2001 Playstation / 1995 Arcade
Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10
Reviewed by Nerdberry
Welcome to hell. Strikers 1945 is possibly the most difficult game I have ever played. My neighbor, friend, and fellow video game lover (Peeps) and I used to walk down to the BP gas station and play this game on the arcade for $.25 a credit. I can’t tell you how badly we wanted to beat this game or how badly we wished we had more money! So together we saved up our money, changed them in for quarters, and with about $20 in our pockets, we set off to make history… And make history we did.
*I own this game on PlayStation and I have heavy experience playing this in the arcades, so I will be borrowing from both games (PS and Arcade) to formulate an overall opinion of the game.
When one first starts Strikers 1945 on the PlayStation they will notice they have a difficulty option that ranges from 1 to 7, with 7 being the hardest and 1 being the easiest (1 is also known as “monkey,” true story). The arcade version does not offer such luxuries as their goal is to literally drain you of every quarter you’ve ever seen in your entire stupid life. The arcade version calls your bank to withdraw $.25 from your bank account each time you get a game-over. There are about six jets to choose from and each one is armed with its own unique weapon set. This makes the game fun and actually plays an integral part when playing with a friend as you will surely want to have different jets to ensure the 2 of you cover all your bases with your gunpower.
What you’ll first notice when you start playing Strikers 1945 is the fairly decent graphics and the easy visual separation of background and foreground. The enemies are clearly defined; it’s not hard to tell what is going to attack you and what is just a solid piece of building. There are many levels, or “missions,” but I see no real cosmetic difference. The only difference is the increase in enemy quantity, increase in enemy intelligence, and the sheer volume of bullets floating in the air ready to kill you at any minute.
On the arcade, they make these games virtually impossible to beat. You get unlimited continues that way you’ll keep dropping quarters into the machine. The developers know this. That’s the point. But the challenge of an arcade game is half the fun! So Peeps and I went through almost our entire stash of quarters, often finding ourselves scrambling like mad-men to get a quarter out of a pocket and into the machine before the 9 seconds was up! “DUDE JUST REACH IN MY POCKET AND GET IT! I DON’T CARE! NO, IT’S NOT GAY BECAUSE WE’RE DOING THIS FOR OUR COUNTRY! YES THE WAR IS OVER BUT WE’RE BEING ATTACKED FOR PETE’S SAKE!!! !! GET THE QUARTERRRRRSSSS OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! HURRYYYYY!!!!”
Strikers 1945 is no easy game I tell ya. Strikers 1945 can be downright stupid crazy frustratingly difficult and seemingly impossible to beat. If it weren’t for the 60 something credits Peeps and I went through each, or the unlimited continues on the arcade port PlayStation version, one would find themselves playing in an impossible game. The enemies fill the screen from left to right and top to bottom with bullets and missiles. The only way to beat this is to analyze the bullet lay-out and find a way to sort of navigate your jet in a maze-like fashion. It’s truly rewarding when you get through a swarm of floating bullets/missiles.
Strikers 1945 is far from your normal post-WWII shmup, it’s straight up got crazy alien space ships that appear when you destroy a 1940’s war plane! Shit don’t make sense bro! But dammit… I’ll be damned if the sheer madness and chaotic firefight doesn’t make me love this game even more. The added benefit of the arcade version is having a joystick! The PlayStation version is not compatible with the PlayStation dualshock analog sticks, but perhaps an arcade joystick pad accessory would be very useful. The reason for NEEDING a joystick to be successful is the amount of bullet dodging one will need to do. If you take one bullet, there goes one of your lives. As you can see it is imperative that you avoid anything that resembles a bullet, because after a few missions, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a floating plane fragment and an actual bullet. The smoothness of a joystick allows for a fluid movement of forwards, backwards, left, right, diagonal, etc. The D-Pad is a little too stiff.
This isn’t your dad’s video game. This isn’t Galaga where you can just sit your butt on the back line and go left and right to dodge shots. You will find yourself sometimes at the VERY TOP of the screen and everywhere in between collecting much needed bombs and power-ups. The more you advance, the more you’ll discover the necessity for power-ups and bombs. The bombs are especially useful as they kill small enemies and wipe out all bullets on the screen. The power-ups allow you to go from shooting 1 line of bullets to 3, 4, 5, and up to EIGHT different lines of bullets/lasers/missiles forward, backwards, sideways, diagonal etc with the simple press of the “shoot” button.
Strikers 1945 is one tough mother effin’ game. It will challenge your reflexes and challenge your eyesight just from trying to figure out what the hell is happening on the screen. The arcade version is definitively the hardest version of this game because the lack of options (such as difficulty). But if it’s tough you want, then it’s tough you’ll get. Just put in the PlayStation version and beef up the action with the highest difficulty and let me know how it goes. I love the mayhem and complete chaos, and it’s fun to just pick up and shoot down some foes with these incredible guns and bombs. The music and sound effects are pretty good to boot. Graphics are showing their age but are still clear enough, and it’s easy to tell what’s what. Happy shootin’!
Nerd Rating: 7 out 10
Submitted by NerdBerry
PS: the end of the game has some good nudies for ya… but this was altered for the North American release. Shucks.
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