Publisher: Hamster Co.
Developer: Hamster Co.
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
The beginning of August was a good time for Switch owning fans of vertical scrolling shoot ’em ups. We received two strong older titles ported over, Strikers 1945 and Aero Fighters 2. Both titles take some liberties with just about everything, but Aero Fighters 2 takes the crown in that regard. Are you ready to jump into war with a dolphin as your pilot?
Aero Fighters 2 has you choose from 6 planes/pilots, each with their own primary weapon and secondary bomb special attack that will guide you through 10 levels with increasing difficulty. The game has fun with itself by having pilots such as a robot, a baby, a ninja, and yes, a dolphin, because why not. The game starts you off easy as you blast away your enemies with not much trouble, but quickly becomes extremely tough, forcing you to pump virtual quarters into your Switch almost non-stop. To give you a few extra options from the standard release, you can also go through the game in the original Japanese mode, a Hi Score Mode, and a five minute Caravan mode
If you are going through either the original Japanese or English mode, the one biggest annoyance comes from the use of continues. You really can add as many quarters in as you want with no penalty. That means racking up your score really doesn’t mean anything in these modes since you could play endlessly growing your score without the fear of having it deducted or knocked out altogether. The biggest penalty you will find is actually pretty amusing, as if you hit enough continues by the time you face the final boss, the game will eventually take pity on you and turns the boss into some pretty hilarious forms.
The interesting pilots and even crazier bosses come together to give this shooter a unique voice that has allowed it to still be a great game after all this time. The only real downside is the temptation of unlimited continues destroys the purpose of replaying for a high score. The extra modes help alleviate this, but it’s still a surprising choice. In a way it makes sense since the original developers would have been more focused on grabbing all of your quarters, it just takes away from how it stands up today.