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Strike Suit Zero Director’s Cut Review

Space, the final frontier. Years from now people will be traveling through the cosmos just like how people now travel on a highway. Humanity will live in space colonies and a whole generation of space born humans. Its a motif that many forms of media, especially video games always use and is one that I personally get tired of. This also happens to be the setting for Strike Suit Zero. Now Strike Suit Zero did come out last year on to the PC, but the version we will be looking at is the recently released Strike Suit Zero Director’s Cut for the PS4.

Positive Gs

Zero-G flight- Trying to simulate the feeling of flying in space has eluded most game developers since the first space flight game. In this generation of gaming, several devs have managed to create the feeling of zero-g flight, but it would still feel as if I was still bound to gravity. Strike Suit Zero manages to capture what its like to be piloting a star-fighter in space. At first it was kind of difficult to navigate around space since there is no gravity and no proper horizon line to focus on. But after a while you get used to managing when to use full thrusters, when to use machine guns over plasma cannons and vice versa, and of course when to use the Strike Suit.

Macross/Gundam-esque story- One of the things that made Strike Suit Zero fun for me was the story. Sure its a melodramatic space opera story that has been told countless of times, but as a fan of anime like Macross and Gundam, it was right up my alley. In fact the story seems to take cues from the original Gundam show, Mobile Suit Gundam. The character Adam is chosen by the Strike Suit’s AI pilot it. After getting the Strike Suit back to base, he is made to pilot the Strike Suit for the rest of the war due to him being the only knowing how to control it. In the original Gundam anime, Amuro Ray commandeers the RX-78-2 Gundam when Zeon attack Side 7.He is also made to pilot the Gundam to due him also being the only person who knows how to control the thing in the first place. While totally different situations, the similarities are there and personally I think its cool the the developers found inspiration in anime.

Mech and ship designs by Junji Okubo- Speaking of finding inspiration in anime, Born Ready Games enlisted the help of artist and mecha designer Junji Okubo. Not a lot of people may not recognize his name right off the bat, but if you have heard of Steel Battalion, Appleseed EX Machina, Viper’s Creed and Infinite Space. Okubo’s mechs are realistic in design, meaning that they could be physically build, given if the funds were provided. He lends his skills in designing the spacecrafts for  the UNE, enemy spacecrafts  and the Strike Suits.

Director’s Cut filled with extras- The extended title for the game is Director’s Cut, and like all director’s cuts there are extra features that have been added in. On the PC version of the game there was a piece of DLC called Heroes of the Fleet that adds five new missions to the game. In the Director’s Cut those missions are added in. Two new Strike Suits, the Raptor and the Marauder, also have been added in a well.

Eerie yet awesome soundtrack- The soundtrack to Strike Suit Zero Director’s Cut has to be one of my fasted liked soundtracks in a game. I think the reason that I took to it so fast is that I reminds me of the Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex soundtrack. They both use Eastern European and Middle Eastern influences and mix them with electronica, giving it a very eerie feeling when flying in space and then all of sudden picking up the pace as enemy fighters show up.

Negative Gs

No joystick support for PS4- So far in the seven months that the PS4 has been out, other USB perpetuals besides charging cables for the controllers and flash drives are still not supported. I know that I said that you get used to controlling the starcrafts after a while, but this game just begs for a flight stick to complete the illusion that you are a space fighter in a transformable mech. I really do hope that someone makes a fight-stick that is compatible with the PS4 soon.

Not for the easily motion sicken- As I played through Strike Suit Zero, there were times, mostly at the beginning of the mission, where I would get dizzy a bit. For me personally a bit of dizziness is really nothing. However there are people are really sensitive to accelerated motion and get sick, aka motion sickness or in this case simulation sickness. And with how fast paced the space battles are, I can see people getting motion sickness, even if its from a simple maneuver.

 

For a game that is build on many previous tropes, Strike Suit Zero Director’s Cut manages to entertain our fantaies of flying a mech in space and getting into Zero G dogfights. This is as close to an actual retelling of the original Gundam story that doesn’t have the words “dynasty” or “warrior” in it. The designs for the ships and the Strike Suit are really awesome, and the soundtrack gives off such a eerie vibe and heavily reminds me of the Ghost in The Shell Stand Alone Complex soundtrack. On the downside, this game begs to be played with a proper flight stick, but unfortunately the PS4 still doesn’t accept third part controllers yet. Also those who are prone to motion sickness will probably lose out on playing the game and give it a skip. If you’re a big fan of space operas, and shows like Macross or Gundam, give Strike Suit Zero a try.

7/10

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