Platform reviewed: PSP
Bomberman, how we love thee, even though you’ve suffered through a most shameful incarnation of late – the best forgotten Bomberman: Act Zero for Xbox 360. Konami’s trying to make up for the horror of Act Zero with Bomberman PSP, and for the most part, they’ve done an excellent job of atoning themselves. Offering players a new twist on an old favorite, wireless multiplayer and a version of the original game, Bomberman for PSP. While it might not be worth the $40 suggested retail, it’s certainly worth checking out at $25 or less if you can find it used.
In this, the PSP incarnation of Bomberman, there are two versions of the game. The new “Normal” mode, and the original Bomberman, dubbed “Classic.” There’s only one really bit of heartburn gamers might have with the two included modes…you have to play all the way through Normal mode to unlock Classic. Frankly, that stinks, as right off that bat, I wanted to jump into some old-school Bomberman. Although that’s not possible, you’ll probably not mind, since the new Normal mode is actually fun to play.
The Normal mode is pretty much just a 3D-ified Bomberman that plays a little slower. The game seems to be slowed down so that you can access the inventory management system without dying every time. That’s right, Hudson (the developers) added an inventory system – sort of a Bomberman backpack if you will, that’s always accessible through a flick of the analog stick. Now, instead of automatically using every power-up you pick up, they get stored in your inventory for you to use when you need them. It may be a bit more gameplay than most B-man fans may want or appreciate, or maybe they will, it’s certainly not a game-killer.
Level design is the typical semi-randomized combo of “soft” blocks and regular ones. Soft blocks can be broken open to provide paths through the level, release power-ups and, in a supremely annoying twist, unveil the level’s exit. Why the developers felt a need to hide the exit in a box is beyond me, as it provides no tactical advantages besides forcing you to run around the map bombing everything in sight while pulling your hair out.
The new version of Bomberman (Normal mode) sports a cutesy 3D’ish design based on the original Bomberman games. None of that Spawn Ultra Extreme nonsense we saw in the Xbox 360 game. It’s cutesy, cartoony, and friendly, as Bomberman should be. The audio is likewise, with happy little tracks playing in the background that help you get in a bombing groove.
With all the good going for Bomberman for PSP, it’s tough to not recommend it to everyone, but that $40 price tag seems a tad excessive. After all, you’ve basically got what could be a $10 download game on the Web combined with an emulated version of a 10+ year old arcade title with a little WiFi (local play only, no Internet) on top. Make it $25 and you’ve got a can’t miss game. If, however, you’re a Bomberman fanatic and you have been looking for a good portable version, go for it at $40.
- Overall: 8
- Pardon the awful pun, but this game’s a blast