If you're familiar with Treasure's work, then you know that Silhouette Mirage is a 2D side-scroller with loads of special effects, bizarre character designs and super-tight gameplay. It was originally released for the Saturn, then rereleased for the PlayStation with added particle and translucency effects. Working Designs will release Silhouette Mirage in August.
Download Silhouette Mirage
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Silhouette Mirage is the thinking man's shooter, to be sure. It's one of those old school-looking side-scrollers that was way ahead of its time when it first came out on the Saturn. Even now, the game's duo-color shooting system stands up well in the game-play department. Since you can only destroy enemies based on their color and yours, you'll find that the game constantly keeps you on your toes. A red shot will kill a blue enemy, while a blue shot will only drain it of its "spirit power." Your own color is determined by which direction you're facing...confused yet? Try keeping track of all this during heated moments of 2D mayhem. On top of that, Shyna (the game's unlikely heroine) has tons of moves she can pull out to help her exploit the game's main motif. There's no questioning SM's originality and depth, but sometimes, it's difficult to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Like all Working Designs localizations, SM is a labor of love--and this is especially noticeable if you've spent any time with the import. It's significantly harder, and parts of the game have been modified (dwindling spirit bar, more expensive power-ups) to provide longer play times. Despite all of its charm and originality, however, the game does reach a point of tedium. If you're a Treasure fan though, what the heck are you waiting for?
Calling Silhouette Mirage an old-school shooter would be doing it a disservice, because you've never played anything like this before. The clever, downright wild gameplay takes getting used to. Still, the first few levels baby step you into the game nicely, and you'll get the hang of your enormous arsenal of moves in no time. Despite its grating digitized voices, SM delivers all the killer Bosses and solid gameplay I'd expect from a Treasure title.
I'm all for surreal games, so Mirage gets my vote in that department. But all of that weirdness aside, the game is extremely original and provides tons of depth. And when you couple that with the Treasure name you get something truly special and fun. Now, I have to take issue with the sound effects and voice. My God, that stuff truly tested the limits of my sanity. If you're into anime or the Japanese scene, though you may be able to stomach the noise.
Like Mischief Makers (N64), Silhouette Mirage is a unique game with fresh ideas, all grounded in a traditional side-scrolling foundation. The whole red/blue duality bit gives this shooter a nice hint of strategy. The presentation and design are great. You know you're in for a Japanese-flavored treat when a boss gets killed by nearby apartment tenants because he's making too much noise. It's solid, refreshing and interesting. Give it a shot.