Become a pothunter (no, we don’t know what one is, either) and join the battle against a band of terrible sky pirates. Blasting them out of the sky is too good for ‘em!

Take a trip around any arcade and it won’t be long before you come across a coin-op which bears some resemblance to Power Strike Il. Gemini Wing, Fire Shark, 1943... they all take the vertically-scrolling approach with a pile of power-ups to plunder.

Surprisingly, the Master System has never been blessed with much in the way of shoot-’em-ups (see this issue’s feature). There was the adaptation of everyone’s favourite arcade machine, Super Space Invaders, but that takes a different approach, with static screen after static screen of aliens to destroy. This is the first proper vertically-scrolling blaster we’ve seen — and it has one of the weirdest plots...

The what?!

It’s been two years since he had the accident. The ‘pothunter’ was a pilot on a commercial airline when he was attacked by a sky pirate, one of a curious gang who spread terror by attacking planes carrying desirable cargo. Following a horrific crash, he spent months in hospital, slowly regaining strength, waiting for the moment he could climb back into a plane and seek revenge.

In his high-tech Flying Falcon (do you know of any other kind?), the pothunter sets off on a quest to rid the sky of these evil-doers. They won’t know what’s hit them when they see the firepower this guy has tucked up his trouser leg!

Power Strike II has level upon level of shoot-’em-up mayhem to get stuck into, each with a giant sky pirate at the end and tough cookies to crack along the way.

Wonderful weapons

Starting with nothing but a simple nose gun, shoot down enemies and blast open icon boxes to reveal power-ups and become an invincible fighting machine — well, almost.

There are all the usual collectables, like 1-Ups and smart bombs, but each special weapon has five levels of power. Collecting matching icons moves the weapon to the next power setting until even the nasty ring-leaders cringe in terror!

A bonus is the playing speed option. When you first play Power Strike II, use Slow mode to get used to the controls and enemy attack patterns. When you’re confident, pump up the speed and prepare for the blasting experience of your life. There are four speeds in ail — something for everyone’s taste.

The joypad buttons give even more versatility to the Falcon’s weaponry. By holding down button [1], you fire the current weapon continuously, but if you then let go, you send out a mega-blast. Button [2] selects special weapons and changes flight speed.

If you’re a fan of classic shoot-’em-ups, have a good firing finger and fancy a blast check out Power Strike II this instant!

Paul blasts... ‘A MINDLESS SHOOT-’EM-UP’

Take a handful of horizontally-scrolling levels, add a sprinkling of power-ups and a teaspoon of enemies, and what have you got? A classic-style shoot-’em-up. Power Strike II holds nothing new or exciting. This type of game litters arcades up and down the country and can be fun and exhilarating but soon loses my attention.

Power Strike II’s plus points are the wide variety of weapons: laser guns, power bolts, energy pulses... they all give the enemy one hell of a battering. The other bonus is the speed of this cart — it whizzes along at a frantic pace. At some points it’s tricky to tell what’s going on, things are moving so quickly.

Presentation’s top rank, animated sequences telling the Power Strike story. A pity the tunes and effects are nothing to write home about.

The difficulty setting’s far too high. I selected Easy and could only just make it off the first level! Quite a challenge.

If you enjoy quick blasts of mindless action, you may be interested in Power Strike II. Don’t expect to be playing for long, though — it’ll melt your brains!

PAUL 69%

Tim bums... ‘COUPLE OF GRIPES’

I’ve played loads of games like this in the arcades but hardly any on the Master System, so when I heard of a new one I was rather excited. Now I’ve played it, I confess to mixed feelings.

Power Strike ll’s an entertaining shoot-’em-up romp, fun to play and very challenging. It’s no doddle and should keep you occupied for hours.

However, I have a couple of gripes. The visuals are heavy on the eyes: your aircraft’s difficult to see as it zooms over multi-coloured landscapes. By the time I’d finished playing, my head was spinning and my eyes were bulging out of their sockets (Nothing new here, then-Ed).

Gameplay’s terribly difficult at times. There are so many aircraft shooting at you, it’s almost impossible to survive. Once you’ve lost a life in the middle of a heavy level, you’ve had it because you lose your special weapons at the same time.

Overall, a good game spoilt by a high difficulty factor and brain-boggling graphics.

TIM 69%


Wow! This is what I call a tough game. Power Strike II’s fast, furious and extremely addictive. There’ve only been a handful of shoot-em- ups on the Master System (see our feature on page 48) and most of ‘em are pretty poor. Being the helpful multi-national company they are, Sega heard the gripes of gamesplayers and produced a cart that’s right at home on the 8-bit machine.

As with many shoot-’em-ups, the action’s seen from above your ship as hordes of bad guys fly past at high speed, taking potshots at your tiny ship. Even on the first level, enemies move swiftly and can take a real pounding — whereas you have to make do with minimal armour.

The real fun lies in trying to power-up your vessel with the incredible weapons which float past. These devices, such as missiles, shotguns and absorption guns, give Power Strike the look and feel of a top arcade game.

The only problem I have is that the flickery ship sprite is hard to spot and tricky to control, but the difficulty settings, extra lives and awesome weapons will keep you playing for ages.

MAT 76%

MF Rating



A decent shoot-’em-up that’s both explosive and challenging

Sega Master Force magazine
Sega Master Force - Issue 3

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