Fast Striker (Review) PS Vita

Fast Striker (Review) PS Vita
Review Score:

Fast Striker is a fast-paced, 2D bullet-hell shooter that was developed by NGDEVTEAM, a group of talented German developers who (up until this point) specialized in releasing games for SNK’s Neo-Geo MVS arcade cabinet and AES home console. Since their introduction, NGDEVTEAM has released a variety of high-quality shooters (some even ported to the Sega Dreamcast) that all bear the same hallmark(s) – massive 2D sprites;  gorgeous CGI rendered backgrounds; and gameplay that is both challenging and fun. Fast Striker for PS Vita is no different. 

For starters, the game comes with four modes of difficulty- Novice (an easier mode for beginners), Original (a mode for gamers who like a challenge), Maniac (a hardcore mode for veterans that enjoy their games harder than nails) and OMake (a variant of Maniac with different weapons, enemy patterns, etc.). Each game mode includes a different ship, bullet patterns native to the difficulty selected, and the ability to earn credits (i.e. continues) as the game progresses. 

Like any well-balanced 2D shooter, Fast Striker eases the player into the action before it unleashes its punishment. For example: The first stage on Normal difficulty starts off slow, but intensifies as the player closes in on the first boss encounter. Enemies are numerous, but they’re not packed as closely together like they are in later levels. This helps the player get a sense of the controls before tackling the ‘hell’ that awaits in the remaining 5 stages.

As the game progresses, the player must deal with an onslaught of enemy spacecraft that attack from all directions. This can be dealt with in one of three ways – by pressing the X button to shoot forward;  pressing Square button to fire from the rear; or pressing Circle button to activate a shield. The ability to fire in both directions adds more depth to the gameplay. For example: when enemies arc around in half circles – or completely surround the player after making their first pass through – the player can use their ship’s rear cannons to quickly clear the bottom of the screen. This prevents the player from being boxed in and it makes it easier to retreat from anything that happens to fly in from the top.

Since Fast Striker is an arcade game in its purest form, the game itself places an emphasis on obtaining a highscore. When enemies are defeated, small (and sometimes large) clusters of ‘score’ modules appear on-screen to be collected. If the player is firing their ship’s cannons, these modules become difficult to pick up. Essentially, the player must remain vulnerable for a brief moment to collect these items. In addition, these modules only float through the playfield for a short time, so it’s important to collect them as soon as possible. 

Fast Striker’s graphics are breathtaking.The CGI rendered backgrounds contain a stunning amount of color and detail. Plus, the bosses themselves are screen-gobbling, CGI rendered monsters who occupy half the playfield when encountered. It’s amazing to think that Fast Striker is a port of a Neo-Geo game that was developed in the 21st Century.

Fast Striker is chock-full of thumb blistering, arcade-style action from start to finish. The gameplay is intense; the enemies are relentless; and the bosses never fail to impress. Developer NGDEVTEAM deserves praise for a flawless port of Fast Striker to PS Vita; it’s definitely worth the price of admission.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: PS Vita (Crossbuy w/ PS4)
Developer: NGDEVTEAM
Publisher: eastasiasoft
ESRB: E (Everyone)
Price: $6.99

Fast Striker Official Website:
http://www.eastasiasoft.com/index.php/games/playstationrvita/fast-striker

Review Score
Graphics
The CGI rendered backgrounds contain a stunning amount of color and detail.
Sound
Arcade quality sound effects and a memorable soundtrack.
Gameplay
Fast Striker is an arcade game in its purest form
Overall
Developer NGDEVTEAM deserves praise for a flawless port of Fast Striker.
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