Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha & Bravo Special Editions (Switch)

A few weeks ago I reviewed Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo, a collection of scrolling 2-D shooters from the 90s and early 2000s.  I liked it so much that I got the physical copies of both Alpha and Bravo, which only come as special editions with extra stuff.  So let’s take a look at them!

First, here’s bigger pictures of the boxes for both Alpha and Bravo.

Let’s take a look at Alpha first.  Here is everything you get.  The game, of course, as well as a CD soundtrack and postcards with art on them.  There is also a smaller artbook inside the game case with more art, but more on that later.

Here’s the smaller artbook.  See how it fits in my hand?

The inside has blueprint-like drawings of the craft and airplanes in the games, mostly from the Strikers 1945 series.  So it’s kind of boring.

Anyway, here’s a brief description of the games included on Alpha, since I didn’t review that one earlier like I did Bravo.

Strikers 1945 1, 2, and 3

I imagine Psikyo made these to ride the coattails of Capcom’s 1942/1943/1944 series of shooters.  But they’re not related.  I do remember seeing these in many arcades, though.  I especially like how the second game lets you pick an aircraft called the Flying Pancake.  Even though most of the planes you play as and bosses you fight look like vehicles and planes from WWII, the bosses will detach from the vehicles as you shoot them and turn into mechs.  I don’t remember that happening in the history books!  Also, at the end of each game, your plane will fly into outer space to defeat the last boss!  I didn’t think those kinds of planes could support space travel, but I guess it’s just a game and I should really just relax!

Dragon Blaze

This vertically scrolling shooters has you play as medieval fantasy warriors flying on dragons.  In a way it kind of reminds me of Dragon Spirit.  Except you don’t bomb things and it’s not near as hard as Dragon Spirit.

Sol Divide

This is another fantasy themed shooter, but this time it’s horizontally scrolling.  And your characters just fly on their own somehow.  I do like the sprite based graphics in this one.

Zero Gunner 2

This shooter features 3-D graphics as you fly a helicopter in 2-D space.  You can rotate around and shoot in any direction, but the controls are a little hard to do so.  Bosses also turn into mechs, but it has a more modern setting.  Not sure why this collection doesn’t have the first Zero Gunner game to complete the package.

And those are all the games in Alpha.  I think I like Bravo’s games a little more since they have more character, variety, and personality.  And speaking of which, here is stuff you get in the Bravo collector’s set.  It’s pretty much the same as the stuff you got in Alpha, just with the games featured in the second set.

It has a tiny artbook, too.  I wish the artbook had art from the Sengoku Ace series instead of Gunbird because Jun Tsukasa did the art for the Sengoku games and I really like that artist’s work.

I won’t go over the games in Bravo since I already reviewed it, so just check out the link to my review here.  Overall, while I really like the games in these sets, I was disappointed with the collector’s editions.  I’m not sure the music in these games warrants a full soundtrack, and I wish they included more art I like.  Plus I think they’re a bit overpriced and I wish we could’ve had the option to buy the physical copy only, without the special edition extras.

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