One of the first things you notice when you play RoboWarrior is that it’s very similar to the Bomberman series. That could be because it’s made by Hudson, who also made the Bomberman series. Some would call this a lack of imagination and creativity by Hudson; others would say that if the formula works, why change it?
RoboWarrior isn’t the most popular NES game. In fact, I’ve only seen negative reviews for it. As far as NES games go, it isn’t the best of the bunch, but it certainly isn’t the worst. It’s been described as a more mature version of Bomberman, and how can that be a bad thing? Sure, there isn’t much variety in the gameplay—walk over there, blow up that thing, mind that bad guy, blow up another thing—but you could describe a fair amount of games like that!
My mate had RoboWarrior when we were very little (well, eight years old), and we played it to death. We completed it only once, though, when a glitch rendered us invincible; his sister never believed us, because she played it to death as well but could only get so far. Suffice it to say, it’s a pretty hard game. I’ve tried playing it quite a few times in the past couple of years and I couldn’t get past the second stage, and when I tried again before writing this review, I couldn’t even get past the first stage! I don’t think it was always this hard; I think my NES skills are just deteriorating in my dotage, which is a scary thought…
As I mentioned earlier, the gameplay is quite basic, and there isn’t much variety to it—but it’s fun! I love just going around blowing up bushes to see if there are any items hidden in them. If you’ve never played Bomberman before (but really, that’s like having never played Pac-Man), the idea is quite simple: You are a little bloke with lots of bombs, there are objects and enemies blocking your path to the exit, and you must use brute force to get them out of the way. BUT, if you get in the way of the raging fireball created by your bomb, you die. Same goes if you get hit by an enemy, or the time runs out. The difference between RoboWarrior and Bomberman is that Bomberman has always (at least, in the older incarnations) been restricted to a single screen for the playing field, until the next level where the obstacles change. RoboWarrior is more of a cross between Bomberman and Zelda, if you will, in that the playing field spans over many screens, and there are cute little green bushes everywhere.
The graphics are nothing astounding, but they are functional. Everything is clearly defined, so you know exactly what’s going on in the mayhem. Although, occasionally it gets a little too hectic for the poor little NES to handle, with sections of slowdown; but this is not often enough to ruin the gameplay. The intro impressed me quite a bit in those days, with a little spaceship zooming toward its destination; it’s like Mode 7…but much less impressive…
The sound is what you’d expect from 1988—a few sound effects with a few tunes along for the ride. Nothing really make me want to turn the volume down, so that’s got to be a good thing.
In all, I think this is a good little game. A little bit difficult, and multiplayer would have been a nice option (though I think the slowdown would’ve been at unacceptable levels); but overall, good, clean fun. There’s not much to come back to though once you’ve played it for a while, and there’s no real incentive to complete it, but it’s a good laugh in short bursts.