[Beyond PlayStation] Strikers 1945 Review
Strikers 1945 from Zerodiv on Nintendo Switch is a port of said arcade release from way back in 1995. Check our Strikers 1945 review to learn more!
This being and arcade release, the action is fast-paced, and the controls are easy to understand. You move around with either the D-Pad or the analog stick and can attack with the Y button – which also calls for a formation attack when it is held and released after a certain time. The B button activates your bomb, which is great for times when you are surrounded and need to decimate your opponents. The A button is for rapid fire, so you’ll probably be going back and forth between it and the Y button as needed.
The game begins with a nice full motion video montage showing planes going into battle to get you started. Press the A button, and you’ be asked to select one of the available difficulty options, represented by numbers (1 to 7). Each difficulty also has a name, starting with Monkey (1) before continuing with Child (2), Very Easy (3), Easy (4), Normal (5), and Hard (6), all the way up to Very Hard (7).
The next step is selecting one of the six available planes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, not to mention a slightly different “feel” when flying around. Once you’re flying, the rules are very simple: destroy everything in your way and avoid enemy fire. As you fly around each level, you’ll find items to aid you, such as the Power Up which increases your power level by one while adding one escort aircraft. The Bomb obviously adds one more Bomb to your arsenal, while the Bonus will increase your score.
Each of the game’s levels features hundreds of enemies trying to destroy you every step of the way. As you can probably guess, at the end of the level you’ll fight against a large and deadly boss that will throw everything it has at you. You’ll need to make good use of your bombs to stay alive since at points the game approaches bullet hell territory. Overall, based on your skill with vertical shoot ’em ups of ages past (and on the difficulty you play in), you’ll spend 30-40 minutes doing a full run of the whole game. After this, you can give it another go with a different plane, or even increase the difficulty setting for an added challenge. Each difficulty setting also has its own leaderboard, so you can always aim to improve your high score at a particular difficulty.
Since this is an arcade port of a 1995 game on a 21st Century console, Zerodiv has included a handy Option Menu you can bring up with the – button. This will allow you to change the display setting between Landscape (the default setting which places the vertical arcade screen in the middle of your display – be that the TV or the Nintendo Switch screen) and portrait which is excellent on the undocked Switch as it pretty much replicates the arcade experience. But the fun does not stop there since you can also apply one of the three available screen filters to give the game a cleaner look, a more pixelated original look, or a sharper overall image. But one of the most important sections of this menu will be for increasing the number of lives you get (up to a total of 9), the number of continues (up to 99 or even unlimited) or the score at which you can get an extra life (600,000 or 800,000).
I did a couple of full runs in landscape mode, which places some art on the sides of the arcade screen, and then undocked my Switch for an extra couple of runs whole in portrait mode with the detached Joy-Con. Both options are fun, but the portrait mode is definitely the better one since it brings you closer to the original presentation for the game back when it was originally released. Remove the Joy-Con and place the console on the 3DS Kid Icarus stand, and you’re good to go!
Strikers 1945 is a fun vertical shooter on Nintendo Switch. It is faithful to the original arcade release, reproducing it perfectly on your TV or the screen of the Nintendo Switch console. The options available for playing the game in landscape or portrait mode, the screen filters, and being able to change the difficulty, number of lives and number of continues make it possible for players of all skill levels to enjoy this slice of 20th-century gaming.
This Strikers 1945 review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Zerodiv.