Since the dawn of the gaming age there has been Hudson and their wonderful Bomberman franchise. Hudson has also developed a variety of different Bomberman games including 3D Bomberman for N64, Bomberman for Dreamcast and now, we have Bomberman for the Nintendo DS. After all these remakes, how does the franchise stand up?
The game play in Bomberman DS is still the classic top down 2D game with grids to move on. The rest of the game play is about moving between blocks and dropping bombs in hopes that your enemies will step on them or be too close to one as it explodes. Not too much has changed, although there are few more power-ups in this version. In Bomberman for DS, you get to choose between 2 different modes of play– Story or Battle. Story takes you through a lame mini story that will last you around 2-3 hours tops. All you have to do is battle against AI monsters with different skill through 10 levels broken into 10 stages. Halfway through the level, you get to save, and on the 10th stage you get to battle a boss that is semi-challenging. There is no satisfaction for completing Story mode besides a big pat on the back, and some credits.
Battle mode is where Bomberman shines. You can connect up to eight players and play with friends, or just play by yourself with some AI-controlled enemies. Bomberman also supports single-cart / multi-play so only one person has to buy the game, while everyone can just download off the person who owns the game. Each AI has different settings, the typical easy, normal, and hard. Each AI setting makes a big difference when playing against them, since it’s easy to get beat by a pack of AI-controlled hard enemies. In Battle mode there is a wide variety of game levels including three types of Voice Recognition tiles. In the Voice Recognition tiles, you can use a microphone to set a bomb, detonate a bomb, or use a shield to protect from a blast.
Bomberman takes good advantage of the touch screen allowing you to cycle through and use power-ups, tell you how much time is left on your power-ups, and in multiplayer both screens double up as one big map that connects through tunnels. Although, the touch screen is used a lot in single player, it’s barely used in multiplayer. Once you die in a multiplayer map, you become a turret and get to use the touch screen to fling bombs at the opposing players. If you kill one by chance, you get to come back in the game in replace of them.
The graphics of Bomberman are the same as they have been in 2D world of tiles. Then again, there’s really not much you can do in a 2D graphical environment anyhow. Maybe Hudson should attempt to make a 3D Bomberman?
Bomberman’s audio is pretty good. When you pick up a power-up a squeaky Bomberman voice tells you what you obtained, which a handy way to quickly figure out what power-up you grabbed. The game’s musical score is fun to listen to for a short time, but then grows very old. To bad there was no option to turn the music off and still keep the sounds of bombs going off.
The replay value for the game is pretty high if you have a few friends to play against. Otherwise, this game is going to get old fast. Eventually the AI becomes predictable and the game’s challenge just disappears.
Overall Bomberman is a good game if you’re able to enjoy its multiplayer aspects, as the single player wears thin quickly. I wish Hudson had taken full advantage of the DS’s WI-FI ability. This game would have been the perfect multiplayer game if you could battle people across the USA, or even across the world.
- Gameplay: 7
- Classic Bomberman game play that we’ve all grown to love
- Graphics: 5
- Same as the original games, bland as ever
- Sound: 7.5
- Cute voices but a repetitive soundtrack
- Replay: 8.5
- Great multiplayer
- Overall: 6.5
- Great multiplayer, boring single player. Needs wi-fi support to really fulfill its potential
— Joshua Branham