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Bomberman 64 Package Art

Bomberman 64

Hudson's Bomberman, the only other title the big N is pushing this holiday season, is something to be admired. For what it offers, is the first title that is comparable to Mario 64 in category and elements. Because while it doesn't capture the full feel of the N64's flagship title, it most certainly does deliver the goods and offers a well rounded challenge with an excellent multiplayer mode, which brings back the good old days of the SNES incarnation.


Cosmetically, Bomberman could use a facelift. Its appearance won't inspire numerous clones a la Mario 64, courtesy of it's manga style influence, but it the game in itself is quite a treat. Through its simplistic nature, it offers a multitude of nice effects, with a combination of sprites and polygons, somewhat similar to Mischief Makers. However, Bomberman makes better use of the sprites, keeping them cleaner in appearance than Mischief Makers, and minimizing the washed out look. The environments are quite large, with repetitive textures, which, for the most part, are quite clean. The color and lighting provide a vivid atmosphere, giving Bomberman his own distinctive world to play and explore in, complete with roaming butterflies and swimming fish. Given all that, there's little to say on Bomberman's behalf, other than it's a solid example of gameplay over graphics.


Musically, the songs are well done, blending well with the setting carrying distinct themes with each world, though it loops somewhat frequently. While nothing memorable, it carries a sort of charm that can be expected. As for the sound effects, they're dead on with the deep explosions and other bells and whistles.


Gameplay plays similar to what would be expected using the analog stick to move about, A to make bombs, Z to detonate remote bombs, B to pick up items/talk, the C group to adjust the camera angles and R to stop a bomb when kicked. Bomberman can also pump up bombs to increase the force of the explosion and make bridges of bombs across land to reach higher up places or previously inaccessible areas. It should be noted for that, unlike the usual platformer, Bomberman cannot jump, thus adding a bit of challenge and puzzle to determine how to access those inaccessible areas. Moreover, it only takes one hit to kill Bomberman, unless he collects a heart which, quite frankly, don't appear all too often. Fortunately, getting knocked temporarily unconscious and the easy AI patterns provide a relief to the one hit basis. The basic idea of the game is to go about completing a puzzle or beat a boss to progress to the final bout with Altair, your nemesis, who, naturally, has an evil plot scheme: draining planet's life force for his own evil plans.

And while the game's AI doesn't provide any hefty challenge, the puzzles in the game provide most of the challenge a la Blast Corps, including finding all the custom parts for the multiplayer modes and gold cards that later open up a secret 6th world. Fortunately, there is an adjustable difficulty level of Normal and Hard, with Hard being sort of a Fast Animation cheat, where the enemies simply move faster and with less power up to boot; not as easy as it sounds but not too hard either.

It's this balance in gameplay that help make Bomberman stand out from the rest of holiday games and make Nintendo's publishing it, a wise choice.


Like its predecessors, it's the multiplayer mode that stands out. Similar to the SNES days, players are given a selected Bomberman of different colors and are pitted against each other to the last one standing. The change here are the 3D environments, some flat, some multi-leveled which enhance the series one step further. Of course there are power ups, such as viruses which vary in effect, an evil power up which affects everyone, the usual power ups that allow a larger explosion or allow Bomberman to make more bombs, hearts that provide an extra hit, and the power up bomb that grants the player a stronger type of bomb. All these and the life after death feature (i.e. ghosts) make the multiplayer mode incredibly fun. Thankfully, Hudson has provided gamers with an option where one player can take on the AI in multiplayer matches, making it all the more fun. When the clock gets down to one minute, ghosts disappear and Sudden Death takes over; that is, where certain events happen to hurry up the frantic battle such as closing walls, rising water, or falling meteors.

During multiplayer matches, the camera takes an isometric view, meaning no split screens giving players a full view of what's going on. Teams can also be chosen where one team has to destroy the opposing team's gems providing an alternate from the all too common deathmatches. But what helps make the game more fun are the custom parts. Hidden incredibly well throughout the one player mode, these parts allow players to fully customize their Bomberman's head, body, arms, and legs (you can also name your character). Ranging from dragon armor to a cat suit and bunny slippers, some of the items are quite random.


Fans of the series will most certainly want to pick this up, but I'd recommend it for most anyone. After all, Nintendo publishes games for the general audience, and Bomberman is no exception.

final score 8.0/10

Staff Avatar Aldo Merino
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"To be or not to be? That is the question."

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