Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Silent Debuggers

Data East / NEC

Silent Debuggers is the miserable, monotonous result of Data East's attempt to craft a "suspenseful" first-person "sentry shooter." The player must patrol a mazelike area and rid the hallways of hostile alien creatures who all look and act the same. I can't understand why people hype up the "atmosphere" in this clunker and make the game out to be some sort of shock-filled thriller. I don't think I was surprised by even a single thing that happened during my hall-patrolling exploits. Why would I have been when there's but one type of enemy and it appears over and over again, with its arrival almost always preceded by audible and visual signals? I do like the look of the creatures and the noises they make, but little else.

Choose two weapons to tote. The Sleep Launcher is quite handy as it can stun the aliens, rendering them immobile and defenseless for brief periods.

Defend the zones in your base. Each serves a purpose, and some (such as the reloading room) are essential to survival.

The action is terribly repetitive. All you do is run around and clobber countless look-alike aliens (some breeds of which are stronger and sneakier than others). Note the timer: once you complete the first level, you're allowed "only" one hundred minutes to finish off your adversaries. This adds oh-so-much suspense to the proceedings. Imagine my anxiety when I saw I had but 94:00 left to finish five more stages of doing the exact same thing.

Well, here I am ninety minutes later... still fighting the same fools. Some of the tough guys in the last stage pull a little funny stuff through powers of invisibility.

Wish I could say the same.

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