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Old 02-23-2005, 06:44 AM   #399
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,147
Night Striker
Sega CD/Mega CD

It's a car, it's a plane, it's a bunch o' different robots!

Night Striker is best described as a hybrid of Space Harrier, Thunderblade, and Taito. It kind of plays like Space Harrier, and it kind of plays like Thunderblade, and it definitely sounds like Taito and seems to be programmed by them (ie: not quite Sega arcade quality). This was a 1989 arcade game that made the world forget about everything else, including John Denver. And when you have an arcade game which is this good, what are you gonna do? Reprogram it for Sega's Mega CD and not release it in the US, of course!

Looks like a blocky Thunderblade (arcade version) at night.

Graphics: 3/10
Ummm... Hmmmmm... Yeah. Well it seems a Japanese Sega CD/Mega CD developer FINALLY figured how how to use the scaling feature within the Mega CD. Unfortunately, they didn't quite figure it out all the way. While there is scaling a-plenty in this game, everything is incredibly blocky. You know how in Super Mario World for the SNES how the screen gets really blocky whenever you go into a world? Well imagine if Night Striker did the same thing, but got STUCK right after it started getting blocky. The entire game is a mess of jumbled pixels. But everything moves really fast! The overall resolution is effectively reduced to about 160x112. Apparently Taito never bothered to check out Batman Returns or Soulstar on this same system, games with amazing scaling far better than this game, and no blocky pixels. There is quite a bit of variety in the stages, but nothing to knock your socks off.

This game makes HDTV images look like Colecovision!

Sound: 7/10
The sound effects are arcade quality (for Taito, that means "decent"). The arcade music is included as well as some Zuntata arranged tunes. The music is pretty good. But like most Zuntata music, it's certainly nothing fantastic. It's certainly no Darius Gaiden. The arranged tunes are a bit better, but not tremendously so. There are some voices which chime in when you get hit and whatnot. This voice is obviously the exact same female bitch-whore who voices Thunder Force 2, 3, 4, 5, for the Genesis as well as Thunder Force Arcade. This game is featured in stereo for your immense enjoyment. Crazy!

The tunnels in this game are boring.

Gameplay: 5/10
You move around and shoot enemies while dodging everything else. Like Darius and Out Run, you select which path you want to take at the end of each stage. There are 6 different endings as well. In the last stage, you get some form of assistance via transformations or extra helpers flying around with you, and this varies depending on which path you take as well. That's about it. Not much more to say about this game, but I'll try. Since the graphics are so blocky, they can actually interfere with the gameplay since it is so hard to make out what onscreen objects are. Also, there are no power-ups... just a single shot and a rapid fire. The pace of the game is pretty quick and it is very easy to beat. In fact it might be even harder NOT to complete this game than it is to beat. But the different paths do add some replayability. This game was never released in the US, and it would have been criticized immensely if it were due to the pixelation. If it weren't pixelized, it would have made a great release. Oh well.

The Sega CD shows it's immense power with multiple layers
of scaling images on the bottom of the screen as well as multiple
layers of boss ship attacking you from above.

Wrap up:
A fun arcade shooter from Taito with great scaling and the Atari 2600's resolution!
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