Bomberman E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

Hudson unleashes the explosive one on the Nintendo DS. Find out what to expect.

Hudson's Bomberman is making an appearance on Nintendo's DS system in the simply titled Bomberman, a new variation on the old-school classic. The game will feature 2D and 3D graphics as well as support for the DS' stylus and touch screen. The limited demo we got a chance to try out gave us a good feel for what to expect from the upcoming game.

When you start the game you'll use the stylus on the touch screen to manipulate the handle of an onscreen air pump that connects to a balloon on the top screen. An onscreen timer tracks your progress at filling the balloon. You'll earn power-ups depending on how quickly you fill the balloon, which will come in handy at the start of the proper game. Once you've received whatever power-ups your pumping talents have earned you, the game proper will start. The upper screen will display a 3D representation of the gamefield, while the lower screen will display an old-school 2D field. You'll control your bomberman with the D pad and drop bombs with the A button.

The gameplay is fundamentally the same as in the previous entries in the long-running series. You must go around a block-filled maze laying bombs to clear your way and take out your opponents. The new twist to the proceedings is that if you happen to get cursed during a match, you'll have to rub the stylus over the touch screen to return to normal. The 2D and 3D visuals on display look sharp, although the 3D playfield looks a bit chunky. Thankfully this doesn't affect gameplay, which seems to be as fast, fun, and addictive as previous entries in the series.

Look for more on Bomberman from the E3 show floor and in the coming months.

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