Bomberman is an arcade action game where you control a weird little man... some might call him a bomberman
... and you blow stuff up with bombs. Yes. In order to clear a level, you must blow up all the "bad" guys. Along the way, you can blow up some obstacles which might be hiding some power ups. Did I mention that you get to blow stuff up? With bombs?
You can save up to three different games at once- so if your friend who’s bad at video games wants to play it, they won’t mess up your current game. But you have to play a certain number of levels to actually save the game… which almost defeats the purpose of saving.
There are a few power-ups you can collect along your bomb droppin' journey. These power-ups will do all sorts of fun things for you, such as: increase your bomb distance, give you the power to kick bombs, increase your time limit, increase your speed and finally increase the number of bombs you can drop at a time. There are hidden wizard icons that will unleash a powerful, "mystic" attack on the inept bad guys. Be careful with the icons you pick up though… they can actually decrease your power. Icons with the arrows on them will take your previous power-up away. What a drag!
Because I’ve logged countless hours of Super Bomberman on SNES with my friends WAY back in the day… Bomberman will always have a special place in my heart. I even gave Bomberman 64 a try. Not a long try, mind you… but I still played it. So I came into this review with a little bias. It happens. I’m being honest about it right now.
And honestly, it felt good to play Bomberman again. It’s an addictive game and pretty easy to figure out and jump right into. The graphics and gamplay are just like the old classic ones, (unfortunately the controls aren’t… aww…)
The enemies don’t really do anything other than move back and forth. In other Bomberman games the enemies will come after you- some will even move through walls. But these enemies don’t really seem to care that you exist. A few will move towards you, but it’s not very threatening. You might be thinking to yourself, “Brian, why is this considered a good thing?” Because… the controls leave me feeling so insecure that I’m not sure I’d be able to stop the bad guys if they were more actively trying to kill me. What I’m saying is… the controls are a pain. Hey that’s a great segue into…
It’s kind of difficult to control the little terrorist. It’s hard to drop bombs on the run like the good old days. Precise control is one thing that you’re definitely going to want when you’re playing with bombs. Lives are at stake here, people! And without having better controls, facing off against a more advanced A.I. would suck.
I don’t like the fact that the kick power-up doesn’t carry over into the next level. I guess the SNES spoiled me, since you only lost powerups when you died. Oh, it was a simpler time back then. But seriously, if you pick up that power-up at the end of the level, it won't do you any good. Plus, kicking the bombs doesn't have the same effect that it once did. It used to kill enemies when the bomb hit them- now it just stops next to them. Lame.
I could have lived without all of the boring cut-scenes. Or at the very least, an option to turn them off, because when I play a game, I want to play the damn game, not watch a story I don’t care anything about. It’s not like following the story is imperative to beating the game. Each level- you kill all the bad guys, then move onto the next. It’s not rocket science. Or even bomb science. Hudson, you don’t need to try to involve me in some story crap… you had me at “blow shit up.”
Lastly, Bomberman without multiplayer is like baseball without steroids. It just doesn’t make sense! That was one of the most appealing aspects of the other incarnations and it's not here. And while I can't take off any points for that missing feature, it certainly isn't going to get any extra credit.
This game is better than Bomberman 64, but that’s really not saying much, I guess. I really wanted to like this game. I did. The graphics are just fine, the music is reminiscent of the older games, (read: mute the music), but the controls are tricky and the game is very short. It's like a watered down version of Bomberman. And... it's just not that fun. It needs work and an online multiplayer mode, because that's what Bomberman was all about. It's certainly not worth the eight bucks they're charging...