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

Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo – Review

Site Score
Good: Great classics, Tilting options
Bad: Could have used save states, Steep price
User Score
(3 votes)
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

NIS America released two collections quite close to one another, namely the Psikyo Shootings Stars Alpha and Bravo. Both bundles consist of arcade titles that date back from the day. Many of these titles saw a release under a different publisher in the past, but now they have resurfaced for our entertainment, and also for the sake of making an extra buck of off old releases. In the Bravo pack, we find the three Samurai Aces games, the 2 original Gunbird titles, and Gunbarich, which is the odd one out of the collection.

As the game consists of many different games, there are several storylines to be found. As these are all arcade games, the story value is nearly nonexistent and only serves as a way to push through the game. If the story was omitted from the equation, you’d still dive in and have fun, as the Gunbird games actually start without any context. These games are simple – ‘press start to play’ games, and they work best without too many whistles and bells in the story department.

Graphically the cast of the Bravo collection is somewhat diverse. We see many pixilated games, but the later entries of both series on the collection also embed 3D visuals for certain models, but still in the same 2D setting. The games still look good, even after all these years. Even if the offset of these games may be the same, except for Gunbarich, the environments you’ll have to blast your way through are quite diverse, as well as the character models and animations. The enemies are also neatly designed and are not overly used, making sure the palette of enemies doesn’t bore you quickly.

The sound design of all the games in the collection simply clicks. You’ll be treated to a rather upbeat soundtrack for most of the games, and it helps get you in the mood. The soundtrack is overall somewhat midi-ish and may be dated to some gamers, it still sounds rather badass if you ask us.

Essentially, all the games in the collection, except for the brick breaker that is Gunbarich, are top-down arcade shooters. The levels will scroll by while you blow everything to smithereens. The Samurai aces games are played in a sideways perspective (except for the first one), while in the Gunbird games you’ll scroll up. The latter can be altered to a sideways view as well when messing with the settings of these games. You can also edit your controller to respond to the sideway view, but we noticed in Gunbird 2, the control scheme of the second player does not adapt in the player select screen. It does when playing, which is most important of course.

Gunbarich is the odd one out in the collection. This game is still along the lines of all the top-down shooters, but it’s also a brick breaker. You’ll control a witch-like character, who will balance her board in order to bounce back the projectile(s). The levels have a time limit, and you’ll also have to survive boss battles after every set of stages.

As this collection is pretty much an emulator with a few games on it, you’ll be able to access different menu options, allowing you to change the view or remap your buttons. It would also have been nice to properly save progress per game. You can alter basic settings, which is certainly a plus, and we think you can edit the game to make it easier than it used to be, but we’re not that sure about that, as we don’t have the source material that nearby.

Overall the games control well, the bundle is decent and the gameplay is amusing. It’s clear that in the past it was difficulty over content, as many of these games are quite short, because of their difficulty level. If you’re good at these kinds of games, then the easiest setting might be a breeze for you.


The Bravo version of the Psikyo Shooting Stars collection is a worthy addition to your library of arcade games. We have to say that the collection is a bit on the pricy side for a spruced up emulator with a few Roms on it. Nonetheless, the option to tilt your screen, and the overall quality of the games still makes them loads of fun. If you owned these games in the past, or you simply like arcade titles, then you can’t go wrong with this package. Most of the games can be enjoyed in multiplayer mode as well.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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