It was an end of an era in 1989 when developer Sanritsu and publisher Activision teamed up and released Bomber Raid for the Sega Master System. Bomber Raid would become the last licensed Master System game released in Japan. Would Bomber Raid send the Master System out with a bang or would it end in a wreck? The end of the Sega Master System begins with this Bomber Raid review.
Bomber Raid Plot:
Oh man, the text on the back of the Bomber Raid cover is fantastic.
“Who has Mach-6 speed, helabad weapons, and a love for wastin’ dweebs in tanks? You do. It’s the gnarliest fighter-bomber game ever. So hot it feels like a coin-op. Why? Two-mega power means we cram a lot more game in the cartridge. So you get more action for your money.
Wow, what a marketing message for the gamers in the late 80s. HELABAD FUCKING WEAPONS! WASTE FUCKING DWEEBS IN TANKS AS YOU BLOW HOLES IN THEIR ASS WITH YOUR GNARLY FUCKING FIGHTER BOMBER!
Anyway, there’s not much of a story in this Bomber Raid review. The most I could find is in the manual.
“After receiving your mission from headquarters, you’ll automatically take off from your airbase and soar into enemy territory. You have five dangerous missions to accomplish before you can return to your base to a hero’s welcome. Headquarters will inform you of the main target in each mission. The main target must be destroyed before you move on to the next mission.”
Bomber Raid Gameplay:
The Sega Master System has always had vivid and bright colors in its games. With the ability to produce more colors on-screen than their competitors at Nintendo, Sega took advantage of it throughout most of the games on the first generation. Bomber Raid has a few small cut scenes and they all are brightly colored. The cockpit is especially fun to look at between levels with the many buttons littered on the dashboard, each a different color.
I’m learning from my Bomber Raid review that I really enjoy shooters and Bomber Raid is no exception. Like many other shooters, you’ll be able to power up your craft in various ways. There’s speed boosts to pick up and power boosts. You get these by shooting capsules that break open during the levels. There are tons of them throughout the level and it’s not uncommon to pick up five or six of each boost throughout the level. I picked up a moderate amount of speed but didn’t want to go too fast throughout the screen. The power boosts continued to ramp up my firepower and by level three I had maxed it out with a powerful falcon-like fire shot that obliterated anything in my path. With my weapons at full power, even the bosses weren’t much of a challenge. You can drop mega-bombs but I rarely did it as my maxed-out weapons tore enemies to shreds. I did use them a few times on bosses but that’s just because I was bored.
There’s another power you can get throughout the game and that’s having two smaller planes mimic your movements including shooting and steering. You can change the formation of your small planes by getting a power-up that’s numbered between one and four. If you shoot the round red sign, the number will change along with the formation. Formations from my Bomber Raid review include the planes shooting behind you, to the side, right in front, and diagonal. You need to be careful steering yourself around because unlike other shooters, the smaller planes that mimic you can be shot down. Their power will not increase if you get weapon boosts. Something that I found rare was the ability to shoot down incoming bullets. For most shooters, you just have to be evasive when flying around but in Bomber Raid your bullets can deflect enemy fire making it easier to defend yourself in bullet storms.
Five stages are playable in Bomber Raid and you’ll have to play them in order. Each stage lasts two-to-three minutes and ends with a boss that is your main target for the mission. The bosses in my Bomber Raid review included a battleship, a large tank, a bomber plane, a fighter jet, and a ship with multiple turrets. The final boss was called the “ultimate weapon” but it was the easiest boss! I was super disappointed because I was expecting to find some mega-weapon or a crazy airplane but instead it was just a ship with a few turrets that went down in ten seconds! The bosses were easy but I’d rather them be easy than impossible. A few of them had second forms but after a few seconds, they were destroyed. After completing a level a stat page will pop up with how many enemies you destroyed and the percentage of total enemies killed in the level. I never reached 100 percent but I always was in the 92-98 percent so I was pretty close!
When you have survived all five levels and destroyed all targets you’ll be given a small cut scene of your plane landing and the pilot being awarded a medal for his heroics. THAT WILL SHOW THOSE FUCKING DWEEBS!
I remember researching the Sega Master System and seeing that Bomber Raid was the final game released in Japan and North America for the system. I was interested to see how it played and looked compared to some of the older titles in the library that I grew up with.
Bomber Raid Review Score:
Bomber Raid is a well-balanced shooter that sends the Sega Master System out on a positive note. The enemies aren’t overwhelming, the gameplay doesn’t break any barriers but Bomber Raid is a game that everyone can enjoy with the fair and relatively easy difficulty.
Bomber Raid scores a 7.5 out of 10.
What would you write in your Bomber Raid review? Do you remember when Bomber Raid first came out? Were you sad to see the Sega Master System cease the production of games? Where does Bomber Raid rank in the shooter library? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!