Right into the Danger Zone
Still deep in the thralls of its Taito love affair, this week’s Arcade Archives offering from the retro enthusiasts over at Hamster Corp is Taito’s late-’80s shmup Fighting Hawk, now available to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Originally released on the arcade market in 1989, at the tail-end of the second shmup renaissance, Fighting Hawk features the time-tested trope of taking World War II artillery and fitting it out with spectacular sci-fi weaponry. The player guides the mighty air-to-air fighter “Falcon” across a variety of locales, ranging from dense woodland and metropolitan cities, to icy tundras and isolated snowfields. Battle enemies on land, sea, and in the air whilst taking down heavily armed boss guardians.
Get your pew-pew on in the video below, courtesy of YouTube channel Replay Burners.
Despite bearing many similarities to Toaplan’s excellent shmup Flying Shark (also known by its fantastic Japanese title Hisou Same! Same! Same!) released two years prior, Fighting Hawk is unfortunately not quite as engaging, compelling, or attractive as its predecessor. While this particular Taito shmup would still enjoy a relative degree of success thanks to the overall desire for shmups in the late-’80s, it would ultimately favor poorly against its brethren, failing to become a staple of the genre’s hall of fame.
Fighting Hawk is available now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.