Pretty hot on the heels of Shooting Stars Alpha, Psikyo has another release full of classic shmup goodness for you… plus one notable (and IMHO pretty awesome exception). Starting with the shooters there are 3 titles from the Samurai Aces series and from game to game these show pretty surprising variety in their unusual cast of characters (each with their own shot patterns), moving between vertical and horizontal shooting, and simply changing up their feel each time. Whether or not those alterations are ultimately successful is a fair question but I appreciate their not settling on repeatedly offering more of the same. The other franchise in this collection, Gunbird, is more traditional with its first two titles featuring very classic vertically-scrolling play but I’ll admit the oddball characters and some of their attacks crack me up. That brings us to the collection’s final title, the surprise that is Gunbarich which plays more like the classic brick breaker Arkanoid, but that has a style all its own. As with Alpha be warned that this collection delivers on pretty solid content but it’s a no-frills experience with nothing like rewind or save states to sweeten the pot. Still, if you’re a shmup fan there’s some real quirky fun to be had here.
Justin Nation, Score: