Review – Fast Striker

Fast Striker is a weird title to talk about. This isn’t exactly an old game, as it was released in 2010, but it was originally released for the Neo Geo and the Dreamcast. Yep, you read it right: Fast Striker was originally released as a homebrew title for two dead consoles still receiving a few games every now and then thanks to their die-hard fanbase. Fast forward to 2018 and said retro game is now available for modern platforms, namely the PS4 and the Vita.

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You’ve seen that before, haven’t you?

Fast Striker is at its core, something you’ll see in bunches in the Neo Geo and Dreamcast homebrew scene. It’s a vertical-scrolling 2D shoot ’em up, the kind you’ve seen and played countless times before. That’s the main gripe I have with this game: I’ve seen this before. Unlike something like Ikaruga or RXN Raijin, Fast Striker doesn’t bring anything new to the genre. Its visuals are unchanged, meaning that it has been limited to a small portion of the screen in its original aspect ratio, with absolutely no enhancements besides a few filters you can apply. The soundtrack is also the same as before, something impressive for the Neo Geo hardware, given the system’s limited internal memory and amount of simultaneous sound channels.

The only thing that’s somewhat original about Fast Striker is that it has a neat concept in how you choose the difficulty for the level. Instead of just choosing between your typical “easy” or “hard” presets, each level difficulty is represented by a unique ship, each one with different weapons. It’s not much, but it’s something that will encourage a bit of replayability, since those ships play completely different from one another. That also helps extend the game’s lifespan a bit, but not much. If you’re experienced enough with shmups (meaning that you know how to evade the onslaught of shots coming at you like a ninja), you’ll beat all the half a dozen levels in less than half an hour.

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Shmup rule #1: pay attention to the shots, not the enemy itself.

I’m not going to say that Fast Striker is a bad game, because it’s still a somewhat competent arcade shooter at the end of the day, but it’s obviously dated and it brings absolutely nothing new to the table. This is a game made with the specs of the Neo Geo in mind and with the exception of the inclusion of a few trophies, this is the same game you could still in theory grab for that console or even the Dreamcast. If possible, and if you’re really willing to, try to grab a copy for those retro consoles as it will feel right at home there. If not, I hope you have a PS Vita. This game supports cross buy and it’s slightly more enjoyable as a portable experience, mostly due to its short duration and smaller screen size.


Graphics: 5.0

The typical Neo Geo-esque visuals you would expect from a game that originated in that console, with the added disadvantage of having a really low resolution.

Gameplay: 7.0

A bit stiff at times, most certainly due to the limitations imposed by the Neo Geo’s (very) aged hardware, but still very functional. Not groundbreaking by any means.

Sound: 7.5

Sound effects aren’t anything to write home about, but the soundtrack is pretty good, especially if you’re into retro-infused game music.

Fun Factor: 5.5

While Fast Striker can provide you with a bit of retro shooting fun, there’s nothing in here that you haven’t seen a million times before. Not playing it on a Neo Geo or a Dreamcast doesn’t feel right.


Final Verdict: 6.0

Fast Striker is available now on PS4, PS Vita, Neo Geo and Dreamcast.
Reviewed on PS4.
A copy of Fast Striker was provided by the publisher.