Retro Mini Review: Journey to Silius

   Jumping in Journey to Silius isn’t as precise as you may want from a game that involves jumping—this makes negotiating the more sadistically placed enemies and a later auto-scrolling level more a chore than a challenge.  Add to that a mechanic which precludes you from turning and jumping too quickly—you will turn and your jump will simply not happen—and you have a run ‘n’ gun that is more rewarding to deliberation and sweet-spot-finding than quick fingers.  This can be fine, but once you figure out all the tricks and sweet spots to each level and boss and complete the game there’s not much reward to coming back and polishing up on your dexterity.

The game contains several moments where taking damage is unavoidable.  Particularly notable are elevator sections where you cannot move and enemies may freely shoot you if the wicked game mechanisms operating behind-the-scenes don’t favor you.

Visually and design-wise, the levels and enemies therein become quite varied. Though, boss battles are very similar—jump and shoot the weak point—and aren’t very interesting. I found the best ways to approach certain obstacles were completely different than others, and the game provides a decent challenge even if the challenge doesn’t last that long, which is fine, too. Supplementing the possibilities when overcoming obstacles, you have access to a cumulative collection of weaponry, though you’ll find yourself coming back to your handgun and probably staying there.  It seems like the option for different weapons is only there because Mega Man has it, and the additional weapons don’t add any meaningful nuance to the game. Despite these and other flaws, there is fun to be had with Journey to Silius. It’s not the best game in my library, but it is an enjoyable one.

And yes, the music is wonderful.

You can enjoy a bit of Silius‘ music here:

And watch me beat the first level here:

Next game I will be playing is:

Ninja Gaiden II (NES, 1990)


7 responses to “Retro Mini Review: Journey to Silius

  1. And apparently, the game was initially supposed to have the Terminator title, but Sunsoft lost the license to the name before they had the chance to finish. So if you notice a crappy story line, you know why. But hey, guess who got the terminator title instead.

    • Yeah, that’s what I heard too. And the story is pretty crap but it’s also an NES game. You press start and start running right. It’s pretty much as simple as most NES games as far as story. Although, the cutscene in Silius is kinda cool. Has some decent pictures even if the story itself is bad.

  2. The name “Journey to Silius” and that cover with the eclipsing moon make it seem like it would be a more “atmospheric” game. Something like Flashback, or even like a video game version of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I don’t know– maybe that’s just me.

    Neat robot designs, though.

    • I could see that as giving the impression of a more atmospheric game. You’re right, the name doesn’t exactly seem like it goes to the type of game that it is.

      As a side note: I think 2001 would make a really bad game.

      • Lol, yeah– that’d be a pretty slow game. You’d sit for ten minutes, press a button to talk to Hal, sit for ten minutes, pilot the space pod for a little bit, sit for ten minutes, slowly enter the ship and deactivate Hal, then sit for half an hour, watching the Star Gate cut scene.

        I think a game based off one of Jack McDevitt’s space archaeology books would be a better analogy for what the name “journey to Silius” brings to mind.

        • I’ve never seen or read either of those. and yeah, there’d be a lot of sitting. There’s probably be some stages where you learn to use tools because an obelisk told you. and another where you’re on the moon discovering the second obelisk.

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