Review by Angelo Heartilly
"Appealling to old Bomberman fans and anyone looking for a cheap party game"
Bomberman has become one of the bigger icons of videogaming with his long line of titles that provide one of the greatest multiplayer experiences around. The basic premise is that as Bomberman players traverse around a small maze-like arena with an overhead perspective similar to a typical screen from the old Legend of Zelda games. The player has an infinite supply of timed bombs that can be used to kill other players or break blocks, letting them access more of the arena and maybe uncover power-ups to increase the area of effect for their bombs, allow them to drop more bombs at once, or earn a number of other power-ups. Bombs also instantly set off other bombs caught in their explosion, which brings another strategic/chaotic angle to battles as huge chain explosions can cover half the arena.
It's one of the simplest yet most addicting formulas for a game that has ever come out of the industry and aside from some attempts at making the battles fully 3D the formula hasn't changed a whole lot over the years. Bomberman '93 offers this same formula at a cheap price, easy access from the Wii menu, and with a bit of a twist that most Bomberman titles don't have.
The versus mode in Bomberman '93 is lacking a number of features from more recent Bomberman titles have, like an utter lack of match options. The number of players, the stage and the number of wins are selectable but otherwise it is a set game. This isn't such a big deal, however, and the fact that Bomberman '93 allows up to five players is a fair trade off. Other complaints are few and far between with the gameplay. Some of the hazards in the different stages just aren't really fun, like warp holes. The enemy AI can be clunky too, but it has always been that way for Bomberman and the series is seriously aimed at a multiplayer party atmosphere. Besides the versus mode there is also a single player mode, which has the player going solo through a bunch of stages bombing monsters and finding the door to the next stage by blowing away blocks. For it's time this was good enough fun, but by today's standards it is just too slow-paced and dull to hold anyone's attention for long. Luckily this mode can just be forgotten and ignored for the very fun Battle Mode.
The game excels in all other areas for it's time. The visuals are a pleasure to look at, being cartooney without also being overly kiddy. The music is low-tech but still carries a nice beat. Controls are very simple and work well with even the simplest control option, the sideways Wiimote. The game probably won't keep you playing for long periods of time, but it is easily accessed and allows for some fun warm-up matches with friends before moving on to bigger games.
Overall, one can't really go wrong with Bomberman '93 if they have a couple friends to play it with. It's a good, cheap way to get some multiplayer Bomberman fun. Anybody put off by newer Bomberman titles will appreciate the older design, and it offers one of the few single TV five player modes around. Not bad for $5, just don't expect it to blow you away.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Bomberman '93 (US, 11/21/06)
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