Review by mkbk
"A perfect throwback to the good old Bomberman multiplayer days"
I'm sure many of you interested in Bomberman Blitz were there for the little demolitionist's glory days. Although he debuted on the NES, Bomberman reached his prime with the amazing multiplayer fun his games provided on the SNES and slowly transitioned to more adventure-type gameplay on the N64 and GBA. Bomberman Blitz is a low-price thrust back into his SNES multiplayer days, packaged with all of the classic features (although I wish the animal mounts had been in too).
The game is simple. While it offers singleplayer and multiplayer options, the gameplay is a multiplayer game at heart. The single player option allows you to play against up to 7 CPU bots for 8 player frenzy. The bots can be set to various difficulties and thankfully, because the gameplay's rather simple, the bots' AI match their supposed difficulties. In addition, many options for the ensuing battle can be tweaked. The ultimate objective can be set to Trophies (a player must get a set amount of game wins to win overall) or Score (After a set amount of matches, the player with the most score wins) and details such as starting position, individual power ups and mechanics like Revenge (where a dead player is allowed a chance to kill a player that's alive and take their place) can be set up. Then, the battle will take place on one of 10 wildly varied stages (that you size either Large or Small). Featuring only one straightforward stage, the other 9 contain gimmicks and terrain that mix up the battle.
For those of you that don't know Bomberman gameplay, the premise is simple. You're an adorablelittle demolitionist that has a love for explosives. You press A to place a bomb and the D-Pad to move around. The bombs explode in a cross pattern and your goal is to blow up your multi-colored competition. The play field plays on a grid filled with breakable blocks and checkered with unbreakable blocks, creating a simple but hectic terrain when bombs are blowing up all around you. The most simple variations of gameplay will end up with you trying to trap you opponent in split-second decisions with bomb placement. Powerups do various things. Some do things you'd expect; boosting the strength of your bombs, allowing more simultaneous bomb placement or giving an extra life. Some will allow you to kick bombs across the map and stop them (telepathically?) or turn your bomb into a powerbomb, allowing its explosion to penetrate the breakable blocks (whereas the explosion would normally stop at the first block it destroys). Also, when a player dies, his powerups are strewn across the field for living players to gather.
A full use of all options will result in a more hectic game where power ups are plenty, bombs are being kicked around and thrown at you from nowhere and an overall blast. Typically these games start with players collecting powerups as fast as they can and get pretty hectic with bombs that reach across the whole field. Both strategy and reaction become essential in this game. No matter how you play Bomberman, its simple presentation easily leads to a quick but fulfilling experience.
The graphics of course are better than the SNES games. Taking full advantage of the DS' capability of expressing 2D sprites, the game looks crisp and clear but appropriately retains the look and feel of Bomberman. Sound is much the same. It's higher quality but retains the hectic and fun presentation of the SNES games.
For reference, this game does include online multiplayer via Wi-Fi. One can either battle with friends via FC or play ranked randoms domestically or globally. The friend matches can be customized appropriately but the ranked matches are on a random small stage with default settings plus Revenge enabled. 2-4 players are pit against each other and scored accordingly after, and the score (either negative or positive) is applied to your online ranking which starts at 10,000. Then the player is given the option of Retrying or Quitting (the players who Retry will be pit against each other in a random stage). Disconnecting twice in a row will result in a penalty to your rank, which is nice to know.
I myself purchased this game on the day the 3DS eShop came out. That being said, there is still an online life. I can usually find a game after a minute or two of searching in the evening and night EST and have never had a problem with players disconnecting and whatnot. To add to that, I always play with global players and the netcode is perfect. I've never had a problem with lag. I'd recommend anyone to buy this game because it's not too late. Whether you want something quick to play on the go or want a classic multiplayer fix, Bomberman Blitz is more than worth the $5.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/10/11
Game Release: Bomberman Blitz (US, 11/09/09)
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