Silent Bomber (PSX) Review

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Review by The Every Gamer (July 2016)

Score: B (3.5/5)

    You know, it’s about time I take a look at another obscure game. And it’s for PS1 no less, there are many games I need to take a look at that aren’t Spyro or Final Fantasy, though I’m way off from playing those as of yet. This was a game I have been trying to get to for a while, but never got to it. Throughout June, I was going to play Final Fantasy II…long story short, I screwed up, but I have a lot to say anyway. So now I’m left with a blank, what do I do? Whelp, might as well do this game. I remember getting this game at my cousin’s house. His friend gave him some PS1 discs and he gave them to me, and this was one of them. Silent Bomber (サイレントボマー), developed by CyberConnect (now CyberConnect2) and published by Bandai in Japan and in the US, but was published by System 3 in Europe and was released in 1999 in Japan, and in 2000 in the US and Europe.

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   Jutah Fate, a genetically engineered man, was a former war criminal who was on a mission for the military government to destroy the enemy. He lives only to follow orders and to kill. During his training session, he was forced to blow up a town that was full of innocent civilians; men, women, children, the pets…all BBQ-ed. Then the military government disbanded and Jutah was sent to prison for his crimes, but that day where he cooked a good roast turned him into a moody, emotionless weapon…I mean an anime character. Eventually, he is drafted to an operation where he has to destroy a giant space ship, known as Dante, whose intent is to destroy Jutah’s home planet of Hornet. Along for the ride is the suspicious Benoit Manderubrot, the cowardly Micino Tifone, Tim, large bloke John Loss, and the Commanding Officer Annri Ohara. The story is OK; it’s entertaining for how basic it can be, minus the obvious element to the story. The characters aren’t the most interesting, but I love the voice of Jutah, he has that cool tone in his voice and certainly fits the character, to my surprise he’s in it to do the mission and there’s dedication in his empty soul.

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   So what kind of game is Silent Bomber? Well it’s an action game where you BLOW EVERYTHING UP! OK, there’s more to it but that’s how combat works. You can plant bombs, detonate them and watch them explode. Plant one bomb, it will blow up, but plant as much the game allows you and the explosion will be much greater. There will be many enemies that you have to plant bombs near to destroy, but if the enemy is quite difficult or runs away from the explosion, you can chuck the bombs at them instead. You also have special explosives that do so much more than explode, known as enhanced bombs. These include napalm bombs where fire will spread and cause more damage for a short period of time, Gravity forms a black hole that can suck enemies in and Paralysis disables robotic enemies for a short period of time. When placing explosions to destroy enemies, you get points, the more you blow up, the more points you get and you even get chain points.

   You want to cause more chaos? In the levels, you can collect E-Chips. These are devices that can upgrade your gear like the amount of bombs you can detonate, the range you can throw the bombs at and shield, which lessens the blow from enemy attacks. The E-Chips are very essential to collect, especially for later in the game, all because of Mission 11…the game was tolerable until Mission 11. Yeah, it will be difficult for many people to finish it, but hey, there are 14 missions anyway so I’ve played the majority of the game.

   But playing the game itself, it’s so much fun and so fast-paced: it’s a short but sweet experience, and the explosions, (especially making big ones) are so satisfying. In an odd turn of events, Silent Bomber has some of the best looking explosions seen in a video game, I mean, I look at explosions in modern games and they don’t have that same effectiveness, it’s real, but whilst you may get a little satisfaction from your explosives, the ones in Silent Bomber are chunky, slow and hilariously bombastic, especially when it comes to bigger explosions and the sounds they make, it makes you feel like watching a Michael Bay movie, except that it has more explosives and less story…so yeah, a Michael Bay movie. In terms of challenge, it’s not too bad, there are some tricky situations, but it’s not impossible…until Mission 11, I mean I wish there was a level skip, but there isn’t one and that makes me sad because I really enjoyed this game.

   The controls are pretty good, and we can use the analog stick, hallelujah! Though when it comes to gameplay, it’s decent for PS1 standards, although trying to be accurate throwing bombs, especially at designated moving targets can be kind of clunky,but not infuriating as you think, it’s that you got to dodge attacks and it seems impossible at times since the gameplay isn’t smooth enough for it to be in your favour. The graphics are pretty good, especially for 1999 and the level design is a futuristic ship, something you’d get out of sci-fi media, but it’s stylish and detailed. The music is that clubhouse music from the 90’s and not my thing, but it was cool for the time and now fittingly cheesy.

   Overall, Silent Bomber is a blast to play (heh); I can happily say that this is a heavily underrated gem on the PS1 and one that still holds up today. Whilst the story and characters are nothing to write home about, the gameplay is the meat of the package and just explosive fun; because in the end, video games are supposed to be fun, right?

You can get it on the PlayStation and on the PlayStation Network Japanese Service if you have a Japanese account.

Rating: 3.5/5

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