Major Stryker is a 2D scrolling shooter released for DOS in January of 1993. The game was developed and published by Apogee Software. The story follows that Earth is at peace following World War III, but this peace doesn’t last long as invaders named the Kretons invade Earth via wormholes. It is up to Major Stryker to take the fight to them through three episodes (in this game, they’re called planets).
Graphics-The scenery and enemies all look decent, but the animation is a little choppy. The bosses are okay looking also, and provide something unique to a shallow roster of enemies.
Sound-The soundtrack is pretty good, and each level has its own music. The music fits each level very well, and makes you want to be a part of the action. Fans of the 1986 movie Alien will recognize the “Game over, man” sound clip when the player loses their last life. While this does make the game over more interesting, this was a feature that really served no purpose whatsoever. The sound effects were also well done.
Gameplay-This is the game’s biggest flaw. It’s not that the game itself is horrible (far from it), but the concept of one hit deaths is something that wasn’t needed. A life bar (and maybe shield bar) would’ve made the game better, but instead the developers went with the “Super Mario Bros.” route by having option upgrades be the extra hit (meaning that if you collected an option upgrade, you’ll gain an extra hit, but getting hit loses the power up, and the next hit is death). This is somewhat made up by having three shields to allow extra hits (the ironic thing is that you can still die even with a shield). The levels are broken up into four stages with three sub-stages each, with the third being a boss level. Along the way, there are hostages that need to be rescued which will boost up your score upon completing a mission.
Value-For what it’s worth, this game is free, and does provide some fun, but doesn’t break any new ground.
Overall-Major Stryker is a solid scrolling shooter, but due to a lack of weapons for the player, repetitive enemies and choppy animations, this game may not keep the player interested for very long.
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