#41 Bulk Slash

53956-Bulk_Slash_(J)-8

  • Original release year: 1997
  • Consoles: Saturn

If you want to get the full experience of what the vastly underrated Sega Saturn has to offer, then you have to delve deep into the vast Japanese library of games. Some of the Saturn’s best games unfortunately never received a Western release. Bulk Slash is one of those games.

The Saturn is often considered the weakest console out of the main participants of the 32/64 bit generation (namely the N64, Ps1 and Saturn),  although in truth, it is a 2D powerhouse, with incredibly complicated architecture that developers struggled to utilise effectively (even Sega themselves). There are a lot of games that did push the system to its limits though, producing some fantastic 3D gameplay.  I think Bulk Slash is possibly the best example of this, boasting these huge environments, massive explosions, large numbers of enemies and allowing the mech you control to both do battle on the ground and take it to the skies.

Bulk Slash is has a number of stages, each of which have mission based objectives. Although the game is in Japanese, it really isn’t too difficult to follow for non-Japanese speakers. More or less, every level involves blowing everything in sight up and shooting anything that moves. Sometimes you may also protect something from enemy fire. It’s never too complicated though.

Keep things grounded or take the battle to the sky, it's up to you (well not really, you're going to have to do both).
Keep things grounded or take the battle to the sky, it’s up to you (well not really, you’re going to have to do both).

When it comes to the fighting mechanics, how you go about doing battle is up to you. There’s a wide choice of weapons to choose from, whether its the machine gun, grenades, or the sword for close combat. There are also power ups and special weapons you can pick up, like the flame thrower. Finally, as I said earlier, you can also fly and when you do, you are equipped with twin machine guns and homing missiles.

Bulk Slash really feels ahead of its time. The environments are huge and are almost what they now call ‘open world’ (obviously not Skyrim size). You can move in 360 degrees and run and fly across the city landscapes. The graphics are bright, sharp and vibrant, exploding with colour. There’s also not a single bit of slowdown, with the game running smoothly from start to finish. Overall, Bulk Slash is a fun, addictive and original game that every Saturn owner needs in their collection (pick up the Action Replay import cartridge if you need to – it’s not expensive at all).

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