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A forgotten series: the Strike series from Electronic Arts

July 10, 2015

desert-strike-cover-artwork

The Strike series was a helicopter action game with free roaming 360° capabilities. But it was not only a 360° shooter, with it’s limited ammunition, fuel, armor, life, multible targets it got some strategic elements.

In the setting you could adjust physics or not on your helicopters movement. That felt really cool at the time. From it’s roots it’s a MegaDrive/Genesis series. Electronic Arts developed it for the MegaDrive/Genesis, but ported the games later to many other systems (see below).

The name of a Strike game, describes the (main) region the game finds place. Desert Strike in a post Irak war desert setting, Jungle Strike in South America (and Washington), Urban Strike in urban areas, Soviet Strike in influential regions of the former Soviet Union (Black See, Afganistan, e.g.) … … o.k. the Nuclear Strike title is different and describes the thread you have to take care of. Always you fight for the US freedom … wich means of course … for the world!1 😛

I love that series, but I have to admit, that I played the games Jungle Strike and Soviet Strike back the days with the 10 lives cheat instead of the standard three. The game on normal settings with three lives was really hard, and the missions (divided in 5 or more submissions) were long and you was only able to save/get a password after completing the multiple mission task.

Desert Strike

DesertStrike-ReturnToTheGulf-Logo

The first installment of the series startet on the SEGA Mega Drive in 1992. With its free multidirectional gameplay it had a great and successful impact in the gamers community back the time and was ported to the SNES later. The port had some slowdowns issues, but was still good playable. In my opinion this game should be in any SNES collection if you don’t collect Mega Drive games. It’s an awesome game and a unique one for its time!

deser strikea (1)  deser strikea (4)

desertstrike  Desert Strike

Ratings from game magazines of the time:

MegaDrive/Genesis

Video Games 1992 – Rating 82%

Gamers 03/1992 – Rating 2 (out of 6 (1 = best; 6 = worst))

ASM 05/1992 – Rating 10 (out of 12 (12= best))

SNES

Video Games – Rating 82%

GamePro (US) 12/1992 – Rating 4.5 (out of 5 (5 = best))

Plattform releases 1992-2006: MegaDrive/Genesis, SNES, Game Gear, Game Boy, Game Boy Advanced, PSP, Master System, Atari Lynx, DOS, Amiga, Macintosh.

Jungle Strike

jungle strike (2)

Cause Desert Strike was a huge success for Electronic Arts they put the name of the predecessor in the name of the sequel. With ‘Jungle Strike: the sequel to Desert Strike’ the game hit the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1993. To offer the users of Desert Strike an enhanced gaming experience they added different vehicles like a hovercraft, sort of a bike, stealth bomber to the game. But your main vehicle remained the helicopter you use the most part of the game. It’s still a helicopter game, but with variations. The graphic was improved and the setting was changing from campaign to campaign; e.g. Washington, jungle, the see, snow.

Two years later the SNES port had been released … it needed soo long, but EA learned the SNES hardware and brought an equal port to the system of this great game. A late port, but in great quality! Dispite it’s an MegaDrive/Genesis port and came late, every SNES user should own this game in the collection.

jungle strike (1)  jungle strike (3)

Ratings from game magazines of the time:

MegaDrive/Genesis

Video Games 07/1993 – rating 85%

Mega Fun 08/1993 – rating 86%

Mega Blast 1993 – rating 85%

Gamers 05/1993 – rating 2+ (out of 6 (1 = best; 6 = worst))

ASM 08/1993 – rating 10 (out of 12 (12= best))

SNES

Video Games 07/1995 – rating 85%

Maniac 1995 – rating 78%

Total! 09/1995 – rating 2+ (out of 6 (1 = best; 6 = worst))

Plattform releases 1993-2006: Mega Drive/Genesis, SNES, Amiga CD32, Game Gear, Game Boy, PSP, DOS, Amiga.

Urban Strike

urban_strike_1

Urban Strike was the third part of the series and the last for the 16 Bit machines. As always first released on the MegaDrive/Genesis late 1994. This time they enhanced the gameplay by walk’n gun sections of the game. In the same isometric view as the rest of the game.

End 1995 the port for the SNES was released. But this time the game was not made by EA but ported by THQ (and published by Acclaim). Maybe cause EA released the SNES port of Jungle Strike in 1995 and therefore decided to outsource the Urban port completely. The SNES port of Urban Strike by THQ was not well executed and the quality suffered.

urban_strike_profilelarge  hqdefault

Ratings from game magazines of the time:

MegaDrive/Genesis

Video Games 10/1994 – rating 84%

Maniac 1994 – rating 81%

Gamers 10/1994 – rating 2+ (out of 6 (1 = best; 6 = worst))

Game Players10/1994 – rating 83%

High Score 12/1994 – rating 4 (out of 5 (5= best))

ASM 12/1994 – rating 11 (out of 12 (12= best))

SNES

Video Games 12/1995 – rating 58%

Maniac 1995 – rating 67%

Total! 01/1996 – rating 3,25 (out of 6 (1 = best; 6 = worst))

Plattform releases 1994-1996: Mega Drive/Genesis, SNES, Game Gear, Game Boy

Soviet Strike

SovietStrike_title

Soviet Strike was the first part of the series on a 32-Bit System. With the glory power of the 32-Bit machines, the series was now able to appear in a complete new look. With a CD Drive as storage and new processor-power, photorealistic environment was now the star. Today it maybe don’t looks so, but back the time it looked simply spectacular! Together with cinematic introductions the visuals and audio presentation felt fresh and up to date. The gamplay itself was more a going back to the roots of the series. Multible vehicles were skipped, the developers decided to concentrated the gamplay full on the helicopter. I think it was the a good decision, the helicopter was always the star of the series. And the helicopter movement and controls felt so good.

The photorealistic landscape looked amazing, maybe a bit jerky, but nothing that can stop this great game. And honestly … I love the color palette! For me it’s togehter with Desert & Jungle Strike my favourite intallement of the series, I love Soviet Strike.

 sovielt llä  sovietstr

PG_PSP_Soviet_Strike  soviet lkljk

Ratings from game magazines of the time:

PSX

Video Games 12/1996 – rating 83%

Maniac 12/1996 – rating 80%

Mega Fun 12/1996 – rating 86%

GamePro (US) 01/1997 4.5 (out of 5 (5= best))

Saturn

Video Games 03/1997 – rating 83%

Mega Fun 03/1997 – rating 86%

Maniac 03/1997 – rating 78%

GamePro (US) 04/1997 – rating 5 (out of 5 (5= best))

Electric Playground 05/1997 9.5 (out of 10 (10= best))

Plattform releases 1996-2010: Playstation, Sega Saturn, Playstation Network

Nuclear Strike

Nuclear_Strike_64_-_1999_-_THQ,_Inc.

Nuclear Strike was the last installment of the series. I regret that a lot, I would really like to see a new one on PS4/One/PC with perfect photorealistic environment. EA completely lost contact to its Strike series, so I don’t expect any successors. And if … I don’t would like to see it as an budget title … no, if they would decide a new, I want to see it coming in form of a A or AA retail title, no less!1

nuclear strike (3)  nuclear strike (1)

Ratings from game magazines of the time:

PSX

Video Games 11/1997 – rating 84%

GamePro (US) 11/1997 – rating 4 (out of 5 (5= best))

NowGamer 10/1997 – rating 8.8 (out of 10 (10 = best))

N64

Mega Fun 03/2000 – rating 77%

Video Games 03/2000 – rating 76%

Games Xtreme 03/2000 – rating 9.1 (out of 10 (10 = best))

Windows

Gamestar (Ger) 12/1997 – rating 82%

Plattform releases 1997-2010: Nintendo64, PC, PlayStation, PlayStation Network

There was a successor planned called Future Strike, but never released within the Strike universe. It has similarities to the Strike series (360° action gameplay), but had a complete different vibe. It’s a mech game. So Electronic Arts decided to release it as an IP standing for its own and called it Future Cop LAPD. I think that was the right decision, cause imo it’s absolutely no Strike game.

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One Comment
  1. I love the Strike series! Jungle Strike is one of the best games I’ve ever played during my childhood! The freedom of movement, open maps and mission-based structure were mindblowing when I was a kid, and the series’ games aged very well IMO.

    I sure hope this series would come back someday… But if a new game of the series was published by EA, I fear EA would add F2P and microtransactions bullshit on the game… 😦

    Maybe, an indie team could make a game inspired by the Strike series. I think indies could make a new game truer to the series’ roots.

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