[Beyond PlayStation] Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo Review
NIS America is back with a new shoot ‘em up collection that you should play on the Nintendo Switch. Come check out our Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo review!
After the great Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha, which includes Strikers 1945, Strikers 1945 II, Strikers 1945 III, Sol Divide, Dragon Blaze, and Zero Gunner 2, NIS America is now back on Nintendo Switch to offer us Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo, a new collection of arcade games. As was the case for Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha, this new collection is available for the Nintendo Switch for only $39.99, and has six arcade games. including trilogy Samurai Aces Episode I, Samurai Aces Episode II: TENGAI, Samurai Aces Episode III: SENGOKU CANNON, GUNBIRD, and its sequel GUNBIRD2, as well as GUNBARICH.
And just as Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha did on Nintendo Switch, Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo will throw you into a menu as soon as you boot up the collection so that you can select which one you’re going to take on first. Each of the games will feature a wallpaper to display on the sides of the screen since most of the games in this collection are of the “vertical display” variety. This does mean that you can go into the options menu to flip the screen so that it displays vertical games by using the full screen of the Nintendo Switch when in Portable or Tabletop mode – or if you’re playing on a Nintendo Switch Lite – as well as on a TV when in Docked mode so that you can flip it around and treat it as an arcade display.
Those of you who own the excellent Flip Grip, which you can get from Fangamer at a budget $12.00 asking price, can use that to play the game’s in Portable mode by sticking the console into the Flip Grip accessory, attaching the left and right Joy-Con to the left and the right of the Flip Grip, respectively, and enjoying these arcade games in a way that will do them justice. The Nintendo Switch’s screen shows the arcade games in the Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo collection in a great way, and you can even customize how they look by applying filters that will give it that old-school arcade look and feel.
All of the games in the collection can be configured to offer the best possible experience for you. There’s the option of changing the number of lives you have before getting a game over, the number of continues you get – which can even be set to unlimited – how many points you need to obtain an extra life, and more. The controls can also be remapped in cause you feel that the default settings for each game are not how you want to play these arcade releases. Having an autofire button is also a great quality of life improvement for these old-school games.
Oh, and before you jump into any of the games, I suggest that after selecting which one you’ll play, you immediately press the + button. Doing this will allow you to access the options menu, from which you can check out the digital manual for each of the games, so that you can get an idea of the basic gameplay mechanics, what each power-up you can collect will do, etc.
And now, let’s talk about the Samurai Aces trilogy included in this collection. You’ll get to play Samurai Aces, which released back in 1993, Samurai Aces Episode II: TENGAI, which was released in 1996, and Samurai Aces Episode III: SENGOKU CANNON, the last game in the trilogy that was launched back in 2004. This one is set in a science fiction universe mixed with Feudal Japan characters and locations. Because of this, technology and magic co-exist, which gives these games an interesting twist. While the first game is a vertical shoot ‘em ups, the second and third done are actually sidescrolling shoot ‘em ups.
For each of the games in the trilogy, you will have a selection of characters to choose from, and depending on which one you pick, you will have different weapons and bombs to use. As you collect power-ups, you will be able to boost the attack power of your character, as well as add extra bombs to your overall stock for that particular life. Bombs are very valuable since they can damage enemies on the entire screen while also taking care of any enemy attacks that might be coming your way. The third one mixes things up a bit by adding a special and powerful cannon attack, as well as by mixing sprites with 3D locations.
Next up, we have GUNBIRD and its sequel, the aptly named GUNBIRD2. GUNBIRD was released in arcades back in 1994, with its sequel launching in 1998. The story for the first one has you playing as one of the five available characters, who are trying to find and collect the pieces of a magical mirror that will eventually grant a single wish. The sequel has seven warriors who are out on an adventure to find the elements of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, so that whoever ends up bringing said elements to the Potion God can be rewarded with the legendary Almighty Potion.
While all enemy attacks are deadly, if you end up crashing into an opponent, you won’t die. You will, instead, lose one level of your attack power, which is still bad but not as bad as losing a life. If when you crash into an enemy, you’re already at the lowest attack power, then you will be penalized by losing one of your bombs in your stock. It’s an interesting way of dealing with hitting an opponent with your character since in other shoot ‘em ups you might have played, crashing into an enemy has no other outcome than dying.
And then, we have Gunbarich. Gunbarich is different from the other five games in the collection since, while it does have some shooting to do, it’s actually more of a puzzle game! Gunbarich is of the “block-breaking” variety, so you’ll be selecting between characters Marion and Grutan, who each have different power, speed, and magic stats. They will be flying around at the bottom of the screen and will have a pair of flippers you can use to send a ball upwards so that you can break all blocks on the screen to progress to the next stage.
You can collect different power-up items that will grant you special abilities to aid you on your adventure. There’s Hyper which will increase the ball’s power, Wide which increases the side of your flippers, Multi which will split the ball into multiple balls, Speed Down that will slow down the ball, 1 Up which will grant you an extra life, and Great Magic, which is a very special type of magic. You’ll be able to take advantage of these power-ups for as long as the magic bar on the bottom left of the screen still has some charge left.
Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha was an excellent shoot ‘em up collection on Nintendo Switch, and Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha gives us six new arcade games that complement what the first collection has to offer. If you’re a fan of the genre, then this second collection is also a must-have on Nintendo Switch. It offers a lot of replay value since each game has multiple characters to play as, as well as different difficulty settings to choose from.
This Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by NIS America.