Format reviewed: Sega Master System
The final games released for any system are rarely worth writing home about – with top-notch developers moving on to more powerful machines as they become available, it’s rare to see a truly amazing send-off for any system. Still, it’s hard to imagine that Sega could have wanted to end the Master System’s Japanese life in such an underwhelming way as they did with Bomber Raid, a shining example of a wholly average shoot-’em-up.
That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with Bomber Raid – it’s a reasonably attractive take on the 1942-esque biplane shoot-’em-up, with the usual military-themed enemies to defeat. Pick-ups are limited to power-ups, speed-ups and up to two side craft, firing left and right in various formations. It’s a competent system, but the lack of additional weaponry is a shame and as is so often the case with older shoot-’em-ups, once you die it’s a major struggle to turn your biplane into anything like a useful craft again. Likewise, bosses have multiple targets to destroy but are otherwise not particularly interesting to fight.
Sanritsu’s game was the very last to be published for the system in Japan, arriving less than three and a half years after the Mark III launched and just months after the Mega Drive arrived on the scene. It was something of a premature end for Sega’s 8-bit console – its best years were definitely still ahead of it, with the likes of Sonic, Castle Of Illusion, Psycho Fox and Master Of Darkness still yet to come.