Strike Suit Zero starts off pretty much as a space flight-simulation. When I started playing the game after watching the gameplay trailer, I was kind of disappointed. I wanted to jump into a robot mech and launch hundreds of missiles at my enemies! Don’t worry, you get there, and it only takes making your way through three or four levels first. It’s not that the game starts bad, it’s actually pretty fun.
It had been years since I played a flight-sim before playing Air Conflicts: Secret Wars semi-recently on OnLive, and now this. When I used to play these kinds of games, I remember aiming at the ships themselves to shoot them down. Nowadays the games put a target reticule ahead of the ship that you aim at instead. I like the effect that it has, watching bullets (giant lasers in Strike Suit Zero’s case) curve through the air and such.
The story is decent. I don’t remember exactly how it starts, but I definitely remember liking it. Also, I haven’t gotten very far in the game still, so the main story hasn’t fleshed out much yet. I’ve been doing quite a bit of escort missions, protecting huge carriers from torpedo missiles and swarms of enemy ships. There’s a lot of ships flying around, including enormous ones. Some are bosses and mini-bosses, and some are on your side. There’s a large space battle going on, and you’re right in the middle of it.
I finally got my Strike Suit and it changed everything! Now, I’m the pilot of a transformable ship straight from freakin Macross! (An awesome anime if you don’t know.) I can lock-on to twenty to thirty targets at a time and launch missiles at them. It wasn’t easy at first, I had to learn a couple of new tricks when I first took flight in my new ship. And the first mission I was thrown into blasted me in the face pretty hard. I had to restart the mission cuz I didn’t fully understand it at first. It’s certainly not hard to learn, it was just new to me. Once I got used to it, I became the ultimate destroyer of planets! That’s how I felt anyways. So far, there’s a very nice mix of switching between your regular flight mode, and your Strike Suit.
The Strike Suit itself isn’t unlimited. You can use it as many times as you want, but not for as long as you want. You have an energy-type bar for the Strike Suit mode that drains while you are in mech form. The bar fills up on its own very slowly over time, not too slow, but slow enough to keep you from using the power of the Strike Suit non-stop. The bar also fills up quicker while destroying enemies. You still gotta think about when and where you want to use it. It works really well though, for a fan of non-stop action like myself.
Once you go “Strike Mode”, you can lock onto multitudes of targets to launch missiles, which is required on the very first mission you acquire the suit. On top of the awesome new multiple-missile-lock capability, you have a close-quarters auto-lock system. Holding LShift, you spam fire your machine guns at enemies within close range. Every time an enemy dies, as long as you’re holding the Shift key you will automatically target the next closest enemy. This destroys enemies super quick, and it’s totally awesome. Sounds easy right? Well, like I said, you still need to time the use of your Strike Suit properly, and you fight multitudes of enemies so no, it’s not that easy, which is a good thing. It keeps you on your toes.
If this has made you interested in the game, it’s on sale right now for $5 for the base game, or $10 including all DLC, an artbook, and the soundtrack!