Psikyo - 1998 - Space Bomber

Space Bomber

Psikyo - 1998

Reviewed by Malc

Say "Psikyo" and people will reply "Strikers 1945". Or they might say "Dragon Blaze", "Gunbird", or "Whaaa?". One thing's for sure, they definitely won't say "Space Bomber".

Space Bomber is a single screen shooter updated for the late nineties, so imagine Galaxians married with Strikers 1945 and you have a good idea of what the gameplay is like. Move left and right, and shoot things, but avoid heavy swarms of bullet patterns.

Graphics are completely bonkers, have a look below at the screenies. Beautifully realistic backgrounds (which look heavily retouched I might add) with lots of animated effects like fog and clouds scudding by, with plasticky rendered aliens plastered on top. Pure madness! Add to this the icing of some plinky plonky music and effects and you have to be brave to be caught playing this game. Brave or mad.

Although it is indeed a single screener type of shmup, your craft can move in 8 directions, and has a slightly more complex button system than just shoot. The second button sends out a grabby arm which can pick up most smaller enemies, and places them behind your craft - you can pick up to 3 of them in total.

Then, by holding down the main fire button, you can shoot them off and they work in your favour. Turtles for example, will sit there and protect you from shots, while others will send out blasts of lasers or wide spread fire.

An extra function (which I call the Bomby Attack) is available by tapping the second button AS you hold the main button, which BLASTS the captured ships out like a bomb, and is very useful for getting big bonuses or fighting bosses.

Two player mode is an absolute riot, with lots of elbow nudging and screams of hatred and glee filling the air. I can't really figure out why the 2 player mode is so good either, but the last time I played it was at a games meet and it was played nonstop for the whole time. I think it was just the sheer stupidity and silliness of it all, combined with the competitive play of getting those large 100,000 point bonuses.

Whatever, there's a lot of fun to be had in this game, no matter how you play it, and its very recommended. But just a little bit short - it won't last forever!

Score: 8.5 / 10

Squids in! >>

This really is a ridiculous looking game, check out the handles on the motherships - my gran used to have a big dish like that.


<< You My Friend

Oh no you're not having Earth - Go to Star! says Bill Clinton. Go to Hell! says us, jumping into our blobby little spacecraft.

Turtle head >>

Each grabbable baddy has different powers - the turtle blokeys are ideal for protection.


<< Mixed up

I can't really describe the style of graphics - it's sort of photo realistic with rendered cartoons and hand drawn bits. And I love it.

You Betrayed Us>>

Hah, it *IS* supposed to be Bill, isn't it. Pre-'blowjob from tarty intern' days though I reckon. Before he betrayed everybody and ostensibly lied a lot. We don't need no Steenking Aliens.


<< Dusty Bin Strikes Back

Is that the twin towers in the background? I think they are. How long ago was that now? It only seems like yesterday I spent all day agape at the telly.

A raytraced piggy >>

You just know this guy is going to have lasers coming out of his nostrils, don't you?


<< Big Points Big Prizes

Now, using the bomby attack means you can destroy whole swarms of baddies and grab nice big 100,000 point bonuses like this. Practice it. It's fun.

Down under >>

Don't they look a lot like Men at Work, remember them? No? Must be me. Anyway, throw that bunny head at them.


<< Pick up that bunny

Try and keep your stock of captured beasties full up, because they are very handy you know. Try and also avoid carrot missiles.

What ruins? >>

Eeek, looks like things are going to hot up a bit! Scratch those itchy trigger fingers, you won't be getting much of a break.


<< Shiny Robot

The attacks are pure Psikyo, the bullet pattern styles just scream "Strikers 1945".

We're done for! >>

I must practice more, it's such a nice little game with funny touches all round.


<< Oh no!

How exciting! Ancient ruins in that direction! Maybe they are ancient ALIEN ruins... eh? EH? Woooh!

As I was playing through the game in MAME, I realised that a hefty pc is required for it, because it goes all juddery when the semi transparent backgrounds effects kick in.

So (and you knew this bit was coming) pick up the pcb instead. If you can find it, that is. I'd been after mine for years and years and I've only ever seen one for sale. So if you see one, and like the sound of this, GRAB IT! - malc


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie