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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Puzzle/Action

 

Publisher

Majesco

 

Developer

Hudson

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

June 2002

 

 

- Battle modes are as good as ever

- Great party game for you and a few friends

- Single-player adventure is a nice bonus

 

 

- Some puzzles in the single-player adventure can be difficult

- Graphics hounds will find little to cheer about here

- CPU can be quite challenging in multiplayer modes

 

 

Review: Bomberman 2 Max: Red Advance (Gameboy Advance)

 

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Bomberman Generation

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

Bomberman has certainly been on plenty of adventures, spanning many different consoles. The premise of each game is pretty simple: wipe out your opponents with bombs while avoiding their bombs — and your own. Bomberman games are most notably great when two or more people play. The action certainly gets fast and furious, and there’s a fair amount of trash-talking to be had. Unfortunately, Bomberman Generation (BG) came very close to not seeing a release outside of Japan. Thankfully for Gamecube owners, however, Majesco picked up the publishing rights and has delivered as good a version of Bomberman as there ever has been, complete with a fairly interesting single-player adventure and plenty of variations for the multiplayer side of things.

 

bomberman-generation-1.jpg (69011 bytes)          bomberman-generation-2.jpg (52159 bytes)

 

The visuals in Bomberman Generations are cel-shaded, which isn’t all that surprising, considering that this is the current graphics trend. The game is very colorful and bright, and there aren’t any technical problems with the visuals to point out. Action flows at a consistent 60 frames per second, and the animation is very smooth. For the single-player adventure, Hudson has developed some nice locales for Bomberman to roam around in, as well. There’s nothing earth-shattering to look at here, but this doesn’t detract from the overall experience. After all, Bomberman is “old-school”, right? Overall, the looks serve BG well, and that’s certainly a good thing.

 

The sound in the Bomberman series has generally been pretty good, with lots of bouncy tunes and sound effects. The same can be said for BG. Although the voice acting is a bit suspect, the music is pretty good. In a way, the music seems to solidify the game’s “old-school” status. While the sound quality is obviously cleaner on an optical disc as compared to a cartridge, the music quality hearkens back to Bomberman’s early days on the NES and the TurboGrafx-16. As with the graphics, there’s nothing overly exciting here, either — the sound is good, but not stellar.

 

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So… if the graphics and music are basically average, why has the game received a fairly high grade? That’s the easy part. The gameplay is classic Bomberman, and for those players who have played a Bomberman game in the past, you know what this means. For starters, the multiplayer game never gets old. Collecting power-ups, demolishing blocks, and blasting opponents into oblivion is as fun here as it’s ever been. There are several different arena types for players to do battle in, including an ice stage and a basketball court. 

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Hudson has added several different variations to the standard “blast or be blasted” battles. “Coin Battles” are just that — players must collect as many coins as possible within the time limit by blasting blocks and leveling opponents. “Reversi Battles” challenge players to mark as much territory as they can within each arena by detonating bombs. “Dodge Battles” are kind of what you’d think they are — dodge as many bombs as you can. Each battle mode has a laundry list of adjustable options for players to adjust as they will, and the CPU is happy to step in if there aren’t four players readily accessible. There’s simply no doubt that the multiplayer battle modes are the biggest draw for this game.

 

bomberman-generation-3.jpg (66582 bytes)          bomberman-generation-4.jpg (51084 bytes)

 

Hudson has also added a fairly decent single-player adventure to BG, which is certainly worth a look. In this adventure, Bomberman must use puzzle-solving skills, new bomb techniques, and Pokemon-like creatures called Charabombs in order to find the “ultimate bomb elements” and restore peace to each of three different worlds. Many of the gameplay elements from the battle modes are the same here. Players must blast enemies with bombs, and assorted power-ups (such as extra bombs, bigger blasts, and speed enhancements) are essential for success. The puzzle-solving element in this adventure has a relatively uneven difficulty curve. Some situations are obvious, such as detonating a bomb near a tree so that it falls as a makeshift bridge across a river. Other situations are not so easy to figure out, such as seeing a power-up and not quite knowing how to get to it. The Charabombs add to Bomberman’s abilities once he catches them; however, that’s not always an easy task. In order to obtain a Charabomb, players must participate in a turn-based battle with it. The battle lasts only three rounds, and some of the early Charabombs are tough to defeat. The effort is certainly worth it, however, as the abilities that they add (such as added bomb-throwing range) are needed as players progress. There are also several boss battles during the course of the adventure, as well. Each boss, much like many old-school games, has its own patterns and weaknesses to exploit. The weaknesses aren’t always obvious, but this adds a bit of challenge to these encounters. All in all, the single-player adventure is a nice diversion from the multiplayer modes and will likely get a fair share of playing time in its own right.

 

The bottom line here is that Bomberman Generation successfully brings the addictive multiplayer game that Bomberman veterans have loved for years to another great console. The single-player adventure certainly doesn’t detract from the overall value of the game, and it’s actually like a bonus for players who want more Bomberman action. Sure, the graphics and sound aren’t state-of-the-art, but graphics and sound were never what made Bomberman so popular. Give the game a try, and see what I mean.

 

- Peter J. Skerritt, Jr.

(August 1, 2002)

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