For the fourth game beaten this year, I wanted to continue playing games that involved mechs. However unlike most mech games being a third person shooter, Strike Suit Zero stands out by being a space flight simulator where your jet transforms into a mech like in anime series Robotech/Macross.
Strike Suit Zero is a kickstarter game developed by Born Ready where you play as a soldier in the middle of a war between the Earth from the Colonial army. To turn the tide of the war and save the Earth, you end up piloting the Strike Suit, a ship with the capability of transforming into a mech.
If you’re familiar with flight sim games like the Ace Combat series, you know what you’re getting into. Each mission will have a series of objectives for you to complete usually defending or destroying a target as you engage in multiple dog fights and battle against massive battleships. The thrill of flying and fighting in space doing barrel rolls, evading missiles, and being able to turn the tide of each mission is what makes flight sim games enjoyable and Strike Suit Zero certainly delivers. However, there are two parts of the game that makes playing Strike Suit Zero hard to get into and enjoy. The default controls and the targeting system.
First, the default controls. My personal experience with the game was using a controller, not a flight stick or mouse and keyboard. The big issue I had that made Strike Suit Zero hard to play was flying the ship. Born Ready made the design choice where in order to fly your ship in flight mode the left analogue stick controlled rolling while the right analogue stick controlled the yaw (moving left and right). As a result, if you wanted to move around, you would have to use both analogue sticks at the same time. While you could move around using the right analogue stick, the flaw of this setup meant that you were using your right hand to fly, select targets, transform, and fire your weapons. My recommendation is to fix this by switching the yaw to the left analogue stick and the roll to the right analogue stick. Thankfully since you don’t have to worry about crashing too much since you’re in space, you rarely have to roll.
The other gripe I have with Strike Suit is the targeting system. In Strike Suit Zero you have two buttons for targeting. The objective and a visual targeting button. However the flaw with both of these is that neither of them focus on the closest target. Half of the time I’m given a target that is on the other side of the battlefield requiring to spend multiple attempts just to target something closer so you can focus on that enemy. The other issue of targetting is the capital ships. However, targeting capital ships was handled in the worst way possible. The objective targetting system will target the capital ship itself, but to destroy the capital ships there are weak points that the targeting system completely ignores. I should also mention that for some strange reason the only way to target the weapons on the capital ships can only be done in flight mode using the visual targeting button. Thankfully, for the majority of the game you’ll be in dog fights or focused on destroying the weapons on captial ships and not the capital ships themselves.
Outside of those personal issues, Strike Suit Zero is a fun space flight game where they balance between flight mode and strike suit mode. While dogfighting in flight mode is fun there are so many enemies that in order to turn the tide of battle you’ll want to use the strike suit mode. Strike Suit mode is extremely powerful as you’ll have unlimited ammo, auto targetting, and piloting the strike suit turns into a third person action game. However, your ability to stay in strike suit mode is determined by how often you use your weapons and how many enemies you destroy. As the highlight of the game, strike suit mode does an amazing job of making you feel like an ace pilot as you take on entire fleets of enemies by yourself as it is something you earn by improving as a pilot.
Graphically the game looks great as the expanse of space looking at the planets, moons and nebula is breathtaking and while the ship designs are simple they each stand out. The strange part of the game was the choice of music. The songs themselves aren’t bad but is an odd choice as you listen to mantras as you engage in dogfights.
Beating the game took me about seven hours but there is plenty more to do post game as completing challenges will make your ships stronger and the director’s cut has a second short campaign of simulation battles. I had a lot of fun with Strike Suit Zero enjoying its short and self contained gameplay and story. Something to try out if its been a long time since you’ve played a flight sim game.
Watch the playthrough here