Silent Bomber is a 1999 top down action game for the PS1 developed by CyberConnect and published by Bandai. Instead of being a shooter like most other top down action games this one has you defeating the opponents using bombs hence the name.
Before you even get to the mention you are shown a strange cutscene with voice acting with gameplay mixed in, it was obvious from the start that the game was originally Japanese that was then dubbed over because some lines seemed very dumb but at least I got an idea what was going on. Options were simple with control mapping and a few audio options but not much worth mentioning.
Also note the VR arena is something you can’t load without already having a save file which is essentially a 2 plauer versus with unlockable stuff (I’ll explain near the end). It always bugs me when something says “Data Load”, so many games say it I’m not even sure its a spelling mistake. Tutorial was great but the ingame cutscenes were kinda awkward as they didn’t carry as much weight as they should of (like what Jutah, the main character, does at the end of the tutorial).
Gameplay was rather easy get used to for a game that doesn’t use analog sticks, reason being you didn’t really need to use lock on if you get close and just drop them and if you manage to get a lock on you can spam the place button to use them all up on one enemy. For some reason I didn’t notice any music but the graphics were definitely noticeable, without the slightly enhanced emulator graphics the characters look like terribly done sprites (since the console still has the resolution of the SNES if I remember correctly). Level layouts were ok and nice looking with plenty of enemies to destroy and what seems like a very arcade feel, not only are you rewarded for killing multiple things at once but you are also ranked at the end based on that alongside time taken and life left.
Each level had its own boss and while it say sound easy when you think it’s about targeting weak points with bombs you can still get annihilated if you’re not careful. I really liked how the weaknesses were notable without the horrible red glowing or weird design choices that some games have but considering lock on will lock to these places for you it wasn’t necessary. Throughout levels you can get E-Chips which are basically upgrades which can do things like bomb amount, lock on range and defense so bosses can definitely get easier if you take your time during the levels.
Although there are a few things that make the levels start getting harder and thats the inclusion of powerful melee enemies, not only are these quite difficult to defeat with old PS1 movement screwing up your aim sometimes but it also became more notable just how dangerous your own explosives could be to yourself as well. Something else worth noting that it seemed quite easy to cause lag if you use all of your special liquid bombs in quick succession (and as big as possible), in fact a few cheats to have infinite napalm can actually break the graphics completely although that’s 100% my fault.
Outside of the main game you have the VR arena which is a 2 player versus mode where you get to fight using some unlocked stuff (via “Data Chips”) like Jutah and 2 of the bosses. While it seems like a cool thing when you first see it in truth it’s absolutely terrible. It might be different against another player but the CPU opponent is a master of whatever you pick for them, perhaps even better than whats actually humanly possible too. If you weren’t perfect with attacking and blocking you were dead and after trying a bunch of times I got frustrated and quit.
Overall its a decent game although sadly one that’s showing it’s age, full 360 movement and some improved graphics would make this a great game but its still recommendable now.