1945 I & II


Review by Christopher Coleman



Graphics: 6

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7

For all intents and purposes, this is Strikers 1945 I and II on one disc, but for some reason, the PAL release has had the "Strikers" part removed. Perhaps Psiyko, the company that made the original arcade games, would have charged Midas, the publisher, more for licensing? Maybe Midas thought calling it "Strikers 1945" in England would make people think it was a soccer game? It's hard to tell. (Striker is a position in soccer, and there have been soccer games with "Striker" in the title - at least for PlayStation 1, anyway)

This budget compilation disc for PlayStation 2 has both Strikers 1945 and Strikers 1945 II on the same disc. If you're not familiar with the Strikers series, the games are vertically aligned scrolling shooters loosely themed on World War II. I say loosely because after the first few stages, you'll find yourself blasting satellites, giant mechs and space monkeys.. Didn't the Japanese have a secret space monkey project in 1945? I need to stop watching the History Channel while chugging Stolichnaya - or else the game designers do.

In both games, you have a choice of character, each with their own particular appearance, shooting style and special attack - if you hold down the button for a set time, you can activate this - an example would be a set of three small fighters that constantly fire forward and move up the screen, attacking everything in their way. All ships also have bombs, standard for the genre, really.

The graphics are fun - interesting character designs, varied backgrounds and crazy-in-all-the-right-ways adversaries keep things interesting. The music bops along, and the sound effects keep things going well. Neither game is a bullet frenzy to the extent of some recent Dreamcast shooters, at least until later stages and higher difficulties, but the game never really gets outright impossible to the extent of something like Ikaruga or Mars Matrix.

Both I and II have various configurable settings, such as amount of lives and credits, difficulty level, and screen orientation. You haven't lived until you set it to vertical alignment on a widescreen television - mind you, you'll have to lie on your side to play it, but we all make sacrifices in our lives.

Unfortunately, these PS2 conversions are very pedestrian - they're identical, to all intents and purposes, to the previously done PS1 conversions. Midas released Strikers 1945 II for PS One not so long ago, and I defy the reader to see any differences between it and the version on the PS2 release. Having said that, if you don't already have any version of Strikers 1945 I or II for your system of choice (Saturn, PlayStation, arcade PCB, MAME), you're in for a treat. The disc shouldn't be that expensive, as it was released on a budget range - as of 2004, it was $AUS30 new in Australia, which works out to roughly $20 US.


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Last updated: Sunday, April 22, 2007 09:03 PM