A relatively obscure Taito arcade game from 1989*, Fighting Hawk is a vertically-scrolling bullet hell shooter where you fly an A-10 ‘Tankbuster’ up the screen, fighting its way through waves of enemies and bosses.
The A-10 has a standard front-firing weapon and a limited number of homing missiles. As the intro says: “Good fighting is required!” and Fighting Hawk does require some skill to make any sort of significant headway. Actually: that’s a lie – the game does have infinite continues (if you continue to put money into it), so you could feasibly go through the entire game in one sitting…
Fighting Hawk is a lot of fun though. If you like bullet hell shooters. It has fairly long, multi-part levels; a wide variety of enemies; levels that scroll backwards (!); and some tough boss fights.
The music is pretty poor, but the graphics throughout are quite wonderful and the gameplay is mesmerising. Until you lose your weapons, that is… Actually, it’s not too bad if you do because you can build them up relatively quickly again.
I enjoyed Fighting Hawk because I like vertical screen shooters and this is a good example of a decent shooter from the late ’80s. I had never seen it before until recently though.
*= Although it says “1988” on the title screen, Fighting Hawk was actually released in March of 1989.
Note: the game forbids the name “SEX” on the high score table. If you enter that word it will be replaced by “H”! 😀