Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Solar Striker

How environmentally conscious of 1989 Nintendo to make their strikers solar powered. Of course, I could be misinterpreting the game, and the objective could be to strike the sun. In fact, this could predate Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2003 as the first game in which the final boss is he sun. I wouldn't know because I never got that far.

I should say up front that I'm not much for shmups. I've played quite a few on MAME and whatnot, but it has never been my genre. Anyway, Solar Striker is a first party Nintendo vertical-scrolling shooter, which was one of the earliest titles for the Game Boy. It is a pretty basic game of the genre. Stuff flies at you, you shoot it, you get the occasional power up, and at the end of a level you kill a boss. There isn't really anything impressive about it, but maybe it was impressive to see a console/arcade style game on the brand new Game Boy back in its day.

I understand the UFOs and stuff, but what are these spinning peanut things?

As someone who isn't a hardcore shooter fan, there are a few features that are pretty nice to me. For one, you don't have to keep pressing the button to fire your weapon, you can just hold it down. The need to keep hammering on the fire button in arcade shooters is one of the annoyances that turned me away from them because it just seems unnecessary. Another nice thing is that when you die, you don't lose all of your power ups, you just step down one level. So, if you've got a triple shot, you'll drop down to double, and so on. Also, the pace is relatively slow for a shoot 'em up, so it is not too stressful for someone who sucks at them such as myself.

I can't say I love it, but it is a solid game. For something I got out of that magical two dollar bin I also got the mystery GBA game from, I'm happy with it. The furthest I've ever got in it was a little bit into the third stage, but I'm okay with that. It's more fun than I'd probably get out of some two dollar smartphone game.

I should mention that the game looks pretty nice with color in a GBA and the like.  Not pictured: colors.

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