Title: Fast Striker
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Reviewed On: Switch
Genre: Shoot em' up
As a kid, I would go to the arcade and found that I always gravitated towards the line-up of shoot-em’ up games. I wouldn’t consider myself particularly good at them, I’ve played many titles in the genre that I felt were just far too difficult for me, but still, I find enjoyment in the hectic pace and constant flow of action that the genre offers.
When EastAsiaSoft announced they would be published NG:DEV.TEAM’s Fast Striker on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, I was intrigued based on the development of the game. Originally, this was a Neo Geo title released in 2010. After playing, I found that this team is capable of pushing the Neo Geo to the limits, but there are some points of improvement that could have been added to this new console release.
At its core, Fast Striker is an arcade game. Straight from the main menu, the CRT TV lines can be seen stretched across the screen. These little touches set up what the player should expect when playing, this isn’t the fancy new shoot em’ up with large-scale stages and deep systems, this is going to be an old-school arcade shooter that would fit perfectly into the arcades that I used to frequent.
The game opens up by giving the player a few credits and allowing them to choose from four different difficulty modes. What I liked about Fast Striker is that each mode contains different enemy types, rewards, and ships. The difficulty can ramp up in every mode, but Novice mode has a good flow to prepare anyone playing for the higher difficulties.
The stages in Fast Striker are basic in design, but that gives this empty feel to them as if your pilot is all alone in this huge war out in the middle of space and no one is around to help. There are a ton of enemy types in this game and each of them offers a new stream of bullets that you have to get used to. There are some reskinned enemies that pop up from time to time, but their attack patterns are different enough to look past the repetition.
Each player ship has a different stream of attacks, I actually found the Novice ship to be more difficult to play as compared to the other ships because of the attacks. In the end, I preferred the Maniac mode ship the most, but I would have also liked the option to choose my own ship regardless of the mode. Each ship also has a shield that the player can trigger to get them out of a tough situation, which I used a lot.
Ships can fire two different streams of bullets in front and behind them. There are six levels and in the second have of the game I found that its required to use both shooting patterns in order to either defeat bosses or destroy enemies coming from the bottom of the screen. Firing in both directions felt smooth and easy and including it in some of the boss battles made the feature so much more epic.
Fast Striker does lack more options like adding credits from the main menu, which do increase over time as you play or customizing ships. While this does require the player master each gameplay mode and approach them differently, the option would have been nice. Also, I would have liked a boss rush mode or time attack modes. These are all systems that are found in modern shoot em’ ups, but as I said, this is aiming to be as retro as possible, but the extra steps for the console release would have been appreciated.
One of the best things about Fast Striker is the music. Even the worst level in the game, Stage 3, is enjoyable because it has by far one of the best music. I couldn’t rave more about what this team has pulled off in great sound design. And let me just add that the final boss, at least for Normal mode, is brilliant.
Fast Striker is smooth easy to pick up and fun. The game never makes you feel like you need to be an expert at this genre to have a good time. Every time I played I got a little further and found my skills increasing as I weaved through streams and streams of bullets coming from all corners of the screen.
With only 6 levels, and the lack of additional modes, Fast Striker isn’t going to take up too much of your time, but it will provide a fast and fun experience for fans of the genre. Similarly, I believe it is a great entry point for anyone willing to give this genre a try due to the game’s well-designed enemy patterns and controls.
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