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"Solar Striker" (Game Boy)

An excellent shoot-em-up game for the Game Boy. While the fourth level gets unbelievably difficult, the ending of the game isn't much.

Producer Gunpei Yokoi (rest in peace) gives a shoot-em-up game a shot with a title released during Nintendo's official release of the popular handheld console, the Game Boy: Solar Striker.

Solar Striker title screen

Shooting games like these really take you back, especially if you grew up hanging around arcades. Solar Striker ports that goodness into the Game Boy for everyone to enjoy at the palms of their hands. Being that the popular Super Mario Land broke the million-selling record, being awarded the Million Seller gold medal, why hasn't anyone brought the attention, nor a medal, to this game? It just so happens that this game had the same fate as Alleyway—the very first game released for the Game Boy.

By today, you'd think a game with six stages isn't anything to scoff at. Heck, some may think it's too easy or the game wasn't fully complete. We wish we could agree.

These six stages don't mess around: Getting the enemies' patterns is the biggest key to winning. Keep shooting and shooting, while obtaining power-ups, indicated by Power Pods—a cell-like hexagon with the letter P—and you increase the power of your bullets, shooting through enemies left and right. Plow through the enemies and you reach the final boss of that stage. Keep this up until the sixth stage, where you fight a mid-boss, first boss and the second, final boss.

The biggest struggle we've encountered happened to be at Stage 4. The shots fired toward us during the boss fight was an incredibly difficult manuever, being that you have to time your dodging AND shoot the center body of the boss. With about 8 bullets fired toward you, with very little space to move, it's no wonder that this frustrated video gamers. Some had it down and were able to avoid it perfectly, but for us, it was tough—upsettingly tough.

Solar Striker Stage 4 boss

As a matter of fact, for the sake of wrapping the game up, we shamingly—admittedly so—used a cheat for this game. While the video gaming community shuns and ignores other video gamers the moment they use some sort of cheat code to finish a game, the blood pressure was getting too high. Even using a cheat to charge our way through the game, we still struggled with the enemies' attacks and the boss fights (we used the infinite lives cheat). As we finally made it to the ending, it was nothing more than a page from the Super Mario Land ending: Have a small cut scene, roll the credits, then bring the player back to the title screen.

After beating the game, there is a more difficult mode featuring more enemies. We, too, played through that, with a cheat of course, and found it to be an incredibly difficult and an unforgiving challenge. We can't imagine anyone being able to plow through without a cheat (perhaps, it's a game we would like to suggest to retro video gamers who live stream on YouTube). Anyhow, we went and finished the game, and found nothing different in the game's ending.

Other than that the retro feel of playing a Game Boy game, let alone satisfying fans of shoot-em-ups, there's isn't much room drool-worthy enough for one's appetite to come back and play again. You just shoot, shoot, shoot, and barely get some sort of honorable badge that makes you look like the envious one among others.

If you haven't heard or played this game, we recommend it, especially for fans of shooting games. Approach with a low expectation, and given its tough challenge by Stage 4, we're certain you'll be better off playing something a little better, like Galaga or Space Invaders.

GAMEPLAY4/5

CONTROLS3/5

GRAPHICS3/5

AUDIO4/5

PLUSES
  • Fun shoot-em-up with little recognition for the Game Boy.
  • Not much of a storyline, just classic shooting enemies flying by.
  • Controls are fine, and the music is alright.
MINUSES
  • Level 4 Boss is ridiculous.
  • Beating the whole game without dying is impossible (that what cheats are for).
  • The ending isn't memorable.
  • The aggravating difficulty is likely why there isn't a sequel or a remake.
70% (C-)
Fan Rating
Profile
Game Title Solar Striker
Description Lasers, phasers, photon rockets, alien attackers in a distant battlefield!

Protect the galaxy. Defend the universe. SolarStriker.

You are locked in ferocious combat on an interstellar battlefield. Dodging and taking aim, alien rocketships stream past, circle, and attack. There are too many to count! Fire, fire, fire! The enemies' first wave is repelled. A moment's rest, and the attack begins again.

Gather extra life and fire power from floating energy cells. Prepare to duel batwing fighters and insect spaceships, avoid churning energy fields, alien cruisers and more!

The battlefeld [sic] is Space. An alien armada approaches. Only one lone small ship stands in their way—SolarStriker!
ISBN / Bar Code number 0 45496 73005 5
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) Full screen
Audio Format Mono (Stereo via Super Game Boy)
Language(s) English
Disk/Cartridge One (1)
Region(s) NTSC, PAL
Genre Action-Shooter
Rated --
Released February 2, 1990 (US), January 26, 1990 (JP), September 28, 1990 (EU)
Video Specification Monochrome
Licensed by Nintendo®
Developed by Minakuchi Engineering
Company Nintendo®
Product / Item / Catalog Number DMG P SS
Copyright TM AND ® ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO OF AMERICA INC.
©1990 NINTENDO OF AMERICA INC.
Other Formats ????
Quoted Reviews --
Other THIS OFFICIAL SEAL IS YOUR ASSURANCE THAT NINTENDO HAS APPROVED THE QUALITY OF THIS PRODUCT. ALWAYS LOOK FOR THIS SEAL WHEN BUYING GAMES AND ACCESSORIES TO ENSURE COMPLETE COMPATIBILITY WITH YOUR GAME BOY SYSTEM.

MADE IN JAPAN

This game pak for use with the Game Boy Compact Video Game System.

NINTENDO OF AMERICA INC.
P.O. BOX 957, REDMOND, WA 98073-0957 U.S.A.

WARRANTY
90 day limited warranty
(See full information inside box)
FOR SALE AND USE IN USA, CANADA AND MEXICO ONLY
Credits
Nintendo
Gunpei Yokoi

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