Hindsight : Silent Bomber
Cart: Silent Bomber
Cab: PS1 / PSN
Everybody loves blowing stuff up right? Sure shooting guns can be exciting, but there is something joyously powerful about watching bombs go kaboom! How else could you explain the huge life of Bomberman, whose games kept appearing for many years, despite Hudson forgetting to make the latter ones any good?
So if bombs are fun, you’d think that Silent Bomber, a 2000 (Europe) game built around blowing up vehicles and ships up with bombs would be well remembered, particularly as it plays a bit like a cross between Bomberman and Alien Breed.
Yet despite being fondly remembered by a small group of gamers, there has never been a follow-up made. Nor has anyone even made a game that builds on the core idea. (Or if they have, I sure haven’t seen it – please tell me!)
Silent Bomber lets you lay bombs, and place them directly on enemies using a lock on system, detonating on your command. As you progress you can upgrade your lock-on range, health, or the number of bombs you can use in one go. In addition you get one-off special bombs such as napalm, that cause additional damage.
There is a story, but it’s not really going to win any awards. The real fun lies in the simple mechanic: Aim, plant, Boom! Aim, plant, Boom! Except it feels far more varied than that, thanks to the range of enemies, and the upgrades work in making you feel gradually more powerful.
Sure the graphics have dated, 18-year-old me probably thought the chunky polygons were pretty awesome. He probably would have said ‘pretty awesome’ too. Actually I still might, but the overall art design though fits the game perfectly, robotic looking vehicles and mech-looking ships that wouldn’t feel out of place in a bullet hell shooter.
Every time I pick up the old PSX disc and play it, I wonder why on earth NamcoBandai have never returned to this game, or at least the central mechanic. Barring a Japan only PSN re-release in 2006, the rest of the world is still yet to see a Silent Bomber return.
It is the kind of game that would fit the download template perfectly. Brilliant in short bursts, with the kind of short, sharp, re-playable gameplay that those of us who enjoy Japanese arcade-style games love.
Silent Bomber is an ideal candidate for a WiiU/XBLA /PSN sequel or HD remake. Even if only to remind the many people who missed it first time around just how much fun it can be blowing things up with bombs.
Aim, plant, BOOOM!
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Rob is an advertising strategist and author of 'The Ad Pit' blog. Rob has been playing games for 25 years - which makes him feel very old. He used to have a victory ratio of 40:1 in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, but that was a long time ago! #dogyears