Bomberman. How many hours have I spent playing Bomberman? Probably too many, but back in the day it was one of our favourite games on the old Nintendo console. It was an unbeatable cheap night in with a few friends and a few drinks, and an incredibly good laugh. The aim of the game is to place bombs in such a way as to destroy all of your opponents and be the last bomber standing.
I was happy, then, when this game had a resurgence when it came out on the PS2. Bomberman for a new generation. Great, i thought, and went out to get a copy.
Unfortunately, as with many games that are at their best in their simplest form, the makers, ubisoft, have tried to add lots of extra stuff to make the game more interesting. Unfortunately, this has an opposite effect and makes the game feel cluttered. Thankfully, they have kept the format as a party game, which is how it is best played, rather than in an adventure mode as in previous incarnations.
The disc itself contains 4 games; the classic Bomberman battle, Tennis, golf and baseball, as well as the ability to create and customise your own Bomberman character.
The original Bomberman format. Best played with a group of friends, utter devastation will ensue. I feel the makers have added too many variations and options, and some of the options make gameplay worse, such as the new slot machine option, which gives you 3 random weapons. This gives some players too much advantage over others. I do however, like some of the new features, which include a race for the crown, where a crown is placed on the board and players must compete to be the first to grab it, whilst avoiding their opponents attacks. The characters are a bit boring, being just based on colours, and only one female character.
This is a fairly run of the mill Tennis sim, with the cute Bombermen playing on a variety of court surfaces. Nothing special, and serves are a bit awkward.
I really like the golf sim. It is great to play with friends and has fairly easy controls. The music and courses are sweet and not too challenging, which makes it good for families to play.
This one is best avoided. Gameplay is dull, and I generally find baseball sims in general are a tad boring anyway and lose something in translation.
This is a cute idea, although in practice it could be done better. you unlock coins that buy different faces and body parts when you play the main games. you can then use them to create your own bomberman that can be used as a playable character in the main game. The body parts don't have much variety, though, and the bomberman gets boring to watch after a few minutes.
In summary, this is a poor successor to its Nintendo predecessor, and has has nowhere near the success of the original. With this game, simplicity is the key, and the addition of too many extras leaves the game feeling cluttered and the gameplay suffers as a result. Shame.