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Bomberman Blast Review

Not surprisingly, it's a real blast to play

When it comes to great multiplayer gaming, the kind that sees you and your friends shouting, swearing and occasionally pushing each other off your seats, there are only two games worth mentioning: Mario Kart and Bomberman. Both have been around for over a decade, yet both still manage to create the same frantic scrabbling for controllers and enthusiastic fervour that they always have. Needless to say, if you haven't been part of a full-on multiplayer session of either game - and we mean with everyone in the room at once - you're missing out.

Of course, that probably won't be the case for most of you when it comes to Mario Kart because the Wii version's been a huge success. Bomberman, however, is a different story. You may have missed one of the various DS games released in recent years as they haven't exactly troubled the top of the charts and the same applies to Bomberman Land on Wii. Admittedly you can download the excellent Bomberman 93 on Virtual Console we urge you to get this WiiWare game instead.

Click to view larger image

Bomb Da Bass

It's not that it's only 1,000 Wii Points (roughly £8 in real money), although that does mean you can't really argue about value for money. It's not that it focuses purely on multiplayer battling, shunning the kind of story-led single-player modes that we've seen tacked onto other recent versions. It's not even that it supports simultaneous eight-player action, online play against friends and strangers, AND the ability to have a mixture of in-the-room and online players playing at once. No, the main reason you need to get this WiiWare effort is, well, because it's fun. Like, proper old-school real fun - the kind you really don't see much of any more.

That's mostly because as concepts go, it doesn't get much simpler than Bomberman. You are a Bomberman. You drop bombs. After a brief moment, bombs go 'kaboom'. Soft blocks that get in the way of these kabooms get destroyed, clearing the path between you and the other seven Bombermen in the arena (and possibly dropping power-ups like more bombs and bigger kabooms in the process). And, not surprisingly, hitting other Bombermen with kabooms doesn't end well either... but then, that's the point.

While the prospect of blowing up your enemies and being the last Bomberman standing sounds easy enough, it never is and that's exactly where the fun comes in. It's frantic, to the point where rushing to beat others to the power-ups and dodging explosions by the smallest of margins becomes the norm. It's frustrating (but in a good way) as you swerve to avoid explosions only to be caught by one you might not have spotted coming. And, of course, it's incredibly satisfying to take other Bombermen out in traps you laid, if only because there's far more strategy to catching people out than there looks.

Click to view larger image

You The (Bomber)Man

But then, that's always been Bomberman - so what's the justification for getting Blast on WiiWare over, say, Bomberman '93? Certainly, the subtle tweaks to the formula stand it in good stead. There are new clever power-ups such as the Rocket and Bomb Change (detailed above) that definitely add new strategy to how you play. The new modes are mostly great too, with Countdown (which replaces instant death with a 20-second timer that can be transferred to other players to save your life) and King (players fight over a crown, with the one holding it at the end being the winner) standing out as the strong points.

Ultimately though, it's got to be the double-whammy of an increased player limit (eight as opposed to five) and the addition of online play. That it follows the Mario Kart model of offering both friend-code play and ranked battles with strangers is a blessing because it makes getting into an online session that much easier. Granted, it's not entirely perfect and we've spotted a few instances of online lag where players mysteriously teleport out of danger spots when they should have been toast. But such unavoidable rarities don't dampen the fun too much, especially when you can have a combination of people in the room and people online all playing at once. With the focus purely on multiplayer battling, we can understand why some people might be put off by Bomberman Blast. However, when it's so much fun for such a low price, it's hard not to mark it as 'essential' - when one of the best party games ever made gets even better, you just have to sit up and take notice.

Comments

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  1. Fletche Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 14:36

    Going to be downloaded ASAP! Just what we need, good, cheap multiplayer games with online capability. Might be an old franchise but who cares, The Bomberman concept is as simple but great as you can get.

  2. Yinga Garten Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 14:44

    This is a great game and Martin you're spot on with your review and the lag is quite bad too.

  3. Bman7593 Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 15:21

    ZOMG!!! I'm getting this quick-smart, with great haste.

  4. DS2008 Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 15:31

    What about Smash Bros. you silly guys. That's good fun in multiplayer? Anyway, I'd say Bomberman is better in multi than Mario Kart.

  5. Anonymous Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 15:43

    What about Smash Bros. you silly guys. That's good fun in multiplayer?


    Yes... but it's also a) Ł35 and b) not a game anyone can just pick up in five minutes. Bomberman was, is, and always will be a classic. :D

  6. Ubahquiet Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 15:57

    What about Smash Bros. you silly guys. That's good fun in multiplayer?

    Erm, I can pwn most of my family members in SSB too easily 'cause they're not as good and aren't used to the control system.

    Bomberman on the other hand, is nice and simple, as it really only uses one button and the Control Stick/D-Pad when it comes right down to it. Of course, the other powerups come into play(The new Shaker items and good old Punching), but you never need them unless you don't have a kick/don't need super jump/shield/bomb disguise.

    And, of course, I, like everyone else, will eventually get killed by that one bomb I didn't notice amongst the slew of others, leveling the ield a bit.

    That and, as Martin said, 1000 Wii Points is hella cheaper than Ł35-Ł40.

    A fair and great review, I'd say. I've noticed the online glitches a bit too regularly(my opponent should've died in multiple cases, but didn't, and in some cases where we both should've died, one magically survived, even if they were hit first), but it never ruined the experience.

  7. insanity cheese Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 16:07

    Sometimes laggy in Online? DON'T LISTEN TO THEM PEOPLE! Online runs really smoothly for me!

  8. GamerKid Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 16:30

    I might get it i still need 800 more points

  9. Ubahquiet Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 17:07

    Sometimes laggy in Online? DON'T LISTEN TO THEM PEOPLE! Online runs really smoothly for me!

    Oh, it runs smoothly most of the time, sure enough.

    But when that git of a random opponent online is standing right next to a Skull Bomb as it detonates and magically survives despite having absolutely no Heart items or any sort of powerup that protects you and at the exact same time the game lags, methinks the online isn't perfectly smooth.

  10. LordYoshiman Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 17:51

    Ooo... I wasn't going to get this game, but you can play against strangers too? Cool.

    Probably get it whenever I scare together the money. :P

  11. catscan93 Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 19:56

    I had my doubts about this, but it looks really good!

    And the mixed local + online..thinking about it...makes it the best online experience on the wii lol...

    for only Ł7...this deserves to be bought NOW

  12. Mama Luigi Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 20:19

    Time to erase Bomberman 93 and get this instead.

  13. Anonymous Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 21:22

    CAN SOMEONE PLEASE REPLY TO THIS QUICKLY

    ok, i'm getting 8 people over my house on sunday to play on the wii, we are going to play SSBB for about 6 hours but we might get a little bored so... the eight player multiplayer, can you play with all eight on one wii? if so how, we easily have over 4 wiimotes, 4 nunchucks and 4 cube controllers, can someone please tell me whether we can do this and if so how.

    ps, why is there no super mario rpg review?

  14. ChrisONM Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 21:34

    CAN SOMEONE PLEASE REPLY TO THIS QUICKLY

    ok, i'm getting 8 people over my house on sunday to play on the wii, we are going to play SSBB for about 6 hours but we might get a little bored so... the eight player multiplayer, can you play with all eight on one wii? if so how, we easily have over 4 wiimotes, 4 nunchucks and 4 cube controllers, can someone please tell me whether we can do this and if so how.

    ps, why is there no super mario rpg review?


    Yes, you can do it. 4 Remotes, 4 Cube pads.

    And there'll be a hefty Mario RPG review in the next issue of ONM. In short: download it. :P

  15. OrangeRakoon Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 21:55

    As regards to the two games anyone can pick up straight away and play in multiplayer, and enjoy, replace Mario Kart with Worms and I will be happy.

    I may get this for the online.

    _________________

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  16. Adam2112 Wednesday 17th Sep 2008 at 22:01

    I think I'll have to pick this up double quick! I'm a huge Bomberman fan and the prospect of 8 player online multiplayer is too sweet to turn down!
    :D

  17. 13th Nightmare Thursday 18th Sep 2008 at 11:01

    I downloaded this the moment I saw it on WiiWare and I have yet to be disappointed with it. It's the Bomberman that I know and love, and the 8 player battles are mad, but they are great fun at the same time. Especially when there are 6 all wanting some revenge and the remaining two are fighting it out. But I dont care because it's Bomberman, it's meant to be like that
    I agree with the fact there is the odd case of lag, but when you consider just how much action is going on the screen at the time. It is understandable there will be some lag now and again.
    If you haven't got this yet, get it now.

  18. TheAPERSON Thursday 18th Sep 2008 at 13:00

    I wonder when a WiiWare game will ever get a Gold Award? I suppose in time it will happen, and this and Strong Bad 1 came close.

  19. Bleachyleachy Thursday 18th Sep 2008 at 16:28

    Argh....

    Im not sure what to get now, StrongBad or this :lol:

  20. wiikii007 Thursday 18th Sep 2008 at 19:54

    Yeah, spot on review, well done. :D

  21. Jman_Vere Tuesday 23rd Sep 2008 at 21:14

    Sometimes laggy in Online? DON'T LISTEN TO THEM PEOPLE! Online runs really smoothly for me!

    Well it depends what kind of connection you have. EG My Brawl connection is alright when I'm against one of my friends, but against another, I could go to the shops and back in the time it takes to do a smash attack with Sonic

  22. ultimate Sunday 28th Sep 2008 at 16:37

    Just bought this game, and its REALLY good, definately worth the points. Online does occasionally lag, but it doesnt really affect me that much :D
    Reccomended for those who love intense multiplayer battles :3

  23. GamerKid Wednesday 22nd Oct 2008 at 18:50

    Yeah, spot on review, well done. :D

  24. Super_Sonic96 Saturday 25th Oct 2008 at 16:06

    I love multiplayer mayhem. I love Bombs. I love blasts. But the only problem is i have never played a Bomberman game before (I'm sorry, please don't kill me) and i just want to ask is it good for newcomers to the series?

  25. Super_Sonic96 Monday 27th Oct 2008 at 09:03

    Don't worry then. It's been 3 days since my post and i getting a wii points card today anyway. I intend to get Bomberman Blast and Super Mario RPG. Exept i have to wait a while for RPG, all 3 f my GC controllers broke in 1 day!!!! That really take the portfolio of the most annoying incidents ever and chucks it in da bog. (That was quick! I almost sweared! Dun Dun DUUUN!!!)

  26. Super_Sonic96 Wednesday 29th Oct 2008 at 08:19

    Got it 2 days ago, is my fave Wiiware game!!
    It's just sooo much fun! The only problem is when i get disconnected from online battles i lose all my online points and for some reason go to an F-!!!! Yesterday i got a C-, got disconnected and lost my progress!

  27. Rynowarrior Saturday 1st Nov 2008 at 15:56

    Heh Heh Heh.

    Kaboom! :lol:

    KABOOM! :lol:

    Heh Heh Heh...

    I like the use of the word Kaboom. :lol:

  28. kkpblue Wednesday 27th May 2009 at 21:44

    I would recommend you get this game if you have played it before and not a newcomer, but is still fun if you are one. Online play is frantic and brilliant! :)

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