I own three copies of SolarStriker. I've actually run across this game in stores, purchased it for dirt-cheap, taken it home & realized I already owned a copy twice. It's not that I have Mel Gibson's Consipracy Theory OCD; it's that this game is so forgettable, it keeps falling out of my brain.
It's an uncomplicated game to be sure, but it's not easy. You start with only three lives and no continues. Scoring 50,000 points earns you a bonus life, but unless you're really good at dodging enemy fire, that won't be enough to sustain you through all six of its levels. Dodging itself is a problem because, while you can move in any direction, you don't do so very quickly, and you can't outrun enemies at all. The SolarStriker is one pokey little spaceship, but then again the play field is so tiny, there are times when you can't avoid getting hit no matter how fast you move. Maddeningly, you can only shoot straight ahead, while most of your enemies can shoot in any direction. You're usually screwed if you let too many enemies get behind you, because there's no way you can take them out. Oh, how I yearned for a Super Zapper or something when this happened! Fortunately, the game is not so cruel as to actually spawn enemies behind you. It's not a thumb-busting button masher either, as you just have to hold A or B down to keep firing. Come to think of it, this may be the first shmup I've played to actually sport that feature.
It's unfair to be too critical of a launch title like this, as developers almost always have a tight schedule & limited budget to work with. SolarStriker certainly feels like a rush job, but there's a germ of a good game here. If it just had a little more variety in its design, a little more balance in its gameplay, and a little more reason to keep the player coming back for more, it wouldn't be so forgettable today. And I wouldn't own three copies of it.