Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade
Publisher: NIS America
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha – Review

Site Score
Good: Quirky classics, Great bundle
Bad: Steep price, Lack of save states
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Back in the 90s, it was all about arcade games and actually having arcades where you could go to and play games. We remember titles such as the original Pac-Man, Space Invader and such, but when the graphical prowess of the consoles got better, we were treated to titles such as 1945, Gunbird, and other top-down shooters. These once again got replaced later on by games such as Time Crisis, Virtua Cop and so on. Luckily, with the Switch being a great platform for old school games, NIS America decided to publish the Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha collection. This game includes 6 Psikyo classics that were revamped (in a very limited fashion) for our entertainment.

The games in the collection, or at least most of them, don’t have an elaborate plot to plow through. It are actually only the odd ones in the bundle that have little story value, simply because the fantasy theme of them asks for a bit of background information. The latter makes the experience a bit more pleasant, as it adds a bit of meat to the bones. Nonetheless, all these games function perfectly without any real story value.

From a graphical point of view, we get a mixed bag in this first Shooting Stars collection. We have very retro-inspired titles such as the 1945 series, while others try to embed 3D models to the equation, and Zero Gunner 2 brings a full 3D experience, in which you’ll also have to change the angle from which you blast your enemies into kingdom come. All games look good, even though some have clearly aged. The collection also allows some games to be tilted sideways to properly fill the screen. If one likes to play the game in its original format, you’ll see added character details on the sides, which originally weren’t there, which is a nice addition.

Sound-wise all the games share an upbeat soundtrack. Every game gets you in the mood to blast other planes from the sky, or even battle prehistoric monsters and legendary figures. The sound effects are fairly basic, but they do the trick.

All the games in the Alpha collection are old arcade classics. Many of these games already saw releases on older platforms, but they have now been ported to the Nintendo Switch. While many of these games didn’t see much in the way of edits, they have undergone minor changes, such as the in-game texts and the options allow you to mess around with your credits (lives) and even certain difficulty settings. This makes it so that many of these games can now actually be played and finished by less experienced players, rather than diehard arcade gods.

Overall the controls still work well for these titles, and they all only have a few button commands. For most games it’s all about dodging bullets with the left stick, pressing down your rapid-fire button, and occasionally use a special attack (melee or more powerful hit) and, if you have them available, dump some bombs on your enemies. The games are all straightforward and don’t have any hidden mechanics for you to actually learn.

These titles are all quite difficult, even on the easier settings. This makes it so that it’s fun to mess around with the games’ settings in order to make them more manageable. When doing so, it also becomes clear that the difficulty of these games was also the shtick of the genre, as they were all actually only about half an hour long. The limited content had to justify the price tag of the game, so they made them extremely difficult, having you die with one hit and having to learn patterns from certain boss fights.


Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha is a fun blast from the past, that includes the very well-known 1945 franchise, but also 3 quirkier titles, that make this a fun collection to explore. These games were once too difficult to beat, but they now have added settings to make them doable. If you love old arcade classics, but never got to play them, or simply couldn’t beat them back in the day, then this package might be fun to take along with you. We do have to say that the price tag is a bit steep for these old school titles.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha – Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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