Bombs Away

User Rating: 8.5 | Bomberman WII
The Bomberman franchise has gone through some serious ups and downs throughout its history, since the first game released in 1983 for the MSX the nice white robot has tried to achieve success in various genres including platformer titles that were miles away from reaching the same level of quality of the original games of the series, after long years of failed attempts to bring the character to a bigger and more complex game Hudson Soft finally realized that the true potential of the series was only fully achieved when the simplest of the formulas were used and Bomberman Blast does exactly that.

For those who have been living inside a cave for the past years Bomberman is a game where you take control of a robot with the incredible power of laying bombs, by using this power you can battle other fellow bombers on a square arena with destroyable blocks that will eventually drop items to either help the players by increasing the number of bombs that can be laid, or their fire power, or annoy you by messing with the controls or reducing your speed.

Blast takes this simple premise, adds colorful and 3-D graphics and a solid online mode, the result is probably one of the best entries that the series has already received. In the past the Bomberman games may have been a bit of letdown to some because it could only be truly enjoyed with a bunch of friends around you and truth is no one has the opportunity to play multiplayer matches 100% of the time, taking the game online is the most obvious yet best solution.

The game presents 10 different arenas, each one of them with 2 different sizes, and four different game modes. Normal allows players to take part on old-school battles where the goal is to blast your enemy, after the player is blasted he will be sent out of the arena to a hovering vehicle that will let you throw bombs at the remaining warriors, if one of them is blasted by the explosion of your bomb you will replace them and continue in the battle for the top spot.

On King Mode bombers will battle to acquire a crown that is in the middle of the stage, Countdown is pretty frantic as players who are hit by bombs will activate a 20-second times, bomb your enemies and your timer will increase, touch them to switch timers, in the end the mode becomes a crazy tagging and bombing game. Finally there is Air Raid where bombs will fall on the stage and all you need to do is avoid the explosions. The battles happen between up to eight people both locally and via the Wi-Fi connection and 2 friends can go online to battle people from all around the world.

All of these options are present on the online mode, including the items that are triggered by shaking the Wiimote. Wi-Fi battles are the core of the game and they are extremely fun and addicting you will be constantly saying to yourself that "This will be the last battle of the day" but you will soon discover that such statements usually turn out to be false. Some eventual lag and random disconnections will happen which is a disappointment, it will also take some unusual amount of time to find a group to battle but if you are patient you will end up having lost of fun.

If the group you manage to find is already on a match the game will send you to a arena where you play a dodge bomb mini-game while the battle doesn't end, it is a very nice addition and a proof that the developers handled the game with care. After you join the battle you will pick a mode and an arena, sadly instead of counting the votes the game will randomly choose one of the picks by the players something that is a very strange choice by the producers. The single-player mode is not compelling as it is pretty much the same as the multiplayer mode only without human players to blast, so keep in mind that this is practically a multiplayer-only game.

The graphics and sound are simple yet engaging and the creativity used on the creation of the ten different arenas is pretty blatant as each one of them have their unique characteristics and it is impossible to list one that doesn't offer different opportunities when it comes to strategy and gameplay.

Overall Bomberman Blast is one of the best WiiWare games out there and anyone who missed Bomberman and his old simple games must purchase it as quickly as possible. Despite some minor flaws concerning the online mode the game is a lot of fun and the fact that 8 people can play it simultaneously on a local match is simply outstanding. Hudson clearly put a lot of effort in this game and it is worth 1000 points due to the endless replay value.

Actual Score: 8.6