Review: Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha (Nintendo Switch)

Initial release date: February 18, 2020
Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Thank you to the kind people at NIS America for providing this fun and challenging compilation of games for us!

When I think of shoot’em games, the earliest one I can think of is Galaga. I may be wrong, but I believe that is the game that started off this whole sub-genre. That arcade classic isn’t the one that I remember with the most fondness though, it would be R-Type. When dealing with monsters in space, there wasn’t another game like it. I wasn’t sure what I would be getting into with this review, but I am always up for new challenges in video games, so I thought this would be a fun way to try a type I’m not accustomed to, and in fact, and entire collection of them!

Ready, Aim, Fire

Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha is a group of games that play very similarly, but each one is slightly different. The list is as follows: STRIKERS 1945, STRIKERS 1945 II, STRIKERS 1945 III, SOL DIVIDE, Dragon Blaze, and ZERO GUNNER 2.

Striker 1945

The Striker games are top-down shoot ’em ups, where you control the aircraft and destroy hundreds of other planes, tanks, and yes, Gundam-like bosses that want to put an end to you. It’s not an easy game, and I could only get far or beat them with unlimited credits!

When there are tons of bullets, beams, and other projectiles coming your way, the screen can be hard to focus on. I can barely see my ship so I don’t even know when I get blown up, so if it wasn’t for all those credits I would not have made it far.

Sol Divide

Sol Divide lets you choose from a few characters, and you are fighting against some kind of evil forces that want to destroy the world. Nothing new here, but it was just so odd to play as a person, flying around and shooting blasts in the air. You fight against all sorts of medieval monstrosities, whether it’s skeletons, dragons, wizards, warlocks, flying monsters, and hydras to name a few.

I thought Sol Divide was the most off-putting of the set, as the graphics looked SNES era and it just has too much going on with all the selections for magic, health bars, power-ups, and other items.

Dragon Blaze was a little better. You select a character who rides a dragon and fights from a top-down view. It was also challenging, as I did not get very far but it was enjoyable! There isn’t much to say about it, as it’s similar to the Strikers 1945 games. What’s nice is that the characters had an anime art style which I thought was cool.

Screenshot 254
Zero Gunner 2

Zero Gunner 2 was the game I wanted to enjoy the most, but I couldn’t. The graphics were the best out of the bunch, and the enemies weren’t as intense as the previous Striker 1945 games. There was one thing I couldn’t stand though…

The controls!

You have to move the cursor around to aim, instead of just moving your helicopter around and shooting. So if you want to turn and shoot in a different direction, you have to move the stick at the same time while aiming. That is pretty typical for some games, but you turn so slow that you end up getting blown up. It just wasn’t working, no matter what I did.

Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha is a fun game for those who love shooters, especially the Striker 1945 set. This sub-genre isn’t one of my favorites, but it was good to get out of my comfort zone. Those looking for a challenge will find it here! Enjoy, and let us know what you thought of any of the titles, or the package as a whole.

Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha is available for purchase on Amazon.


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