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Bomberman Review

Developer: Hudson Soft Publisher: Konami
Release Date: September 12, 2006 Also On: None

Bomberman’s been around for a few decades now. He’s graced platforms dating back to the NES. I remember enjoying Bomberman 64 with friends and crying from playing the N-Gage version. He’s even been on the Nintendo DS (with another coming this fall). It seems appropriate that Hudson is now bringing the bombing hero to PlayStation Portable. Unfortunately, the biggest draw to a potential Bomberman on PSP is lacking online multi-player.

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If you aren’t familiar with Bomberman, shame on you, but I’ll explain anyway. In traditional fashion, the PSP version of the game has you decimating enemies with bomb blasts, blowing up boxes to find the exits and beating the clock. Think of Bomberman as a maze set out on a square grid with obstacles, enemies, items and walls. The items that you collect can help you along the way. While Bomberman can only use one bomb at a time, a power-up item can fix that. You can also walk through walls, enlarge the area of your explosion and do other things with the items that you collect. Items can be applied through an item system, which proves to be quite inefficient during battle.

The new story mode takes place across ten different worlds for you to explore. You will also encounter a number of different boss battles and bonus areas. During boss battles, you are prohibited from using the power-ups that you collect throughout the game. Also, when Bomberman dies, you lose all of the power-ups that you applied to him up until that point in time. That also means that power-ups (unless they specify a time limit) will roll over from each level to the next until you die. Dying, however, doesn’t not mean game over, as you have an infinite number of lives.

Bomberman for PSP has a new 3D look for the franchise. The levels are designed nicely and will randomize each time you play them. This also means that there is the potential for bad, sometimes impossible placement of enemies. There are so many variables involved in a Bomberman game that randomization can throw you off a bit. The good thing is that everything else looks great on the PlayStation Portable’s wide screen.

The multi-player is nothing too special. I’m sure everyone was hoping for online multi-player, and it would fit the PSP well, but it is not included in this game. Instead you have the option of wireless local area Ad Hoc play with up to four people using one UMD or you can battle the computer. There are a number of different mazes to choose from, game modes and customizable options such as player difficulty. I had a decent time playing the computer, but humans over WiFi is what I wanted.

Overall, Bomberman for PlayStation Portable is a run-of-the-mill Bomberman game. Without a friend with a PSP to play multi-player with, it seems to me that there is little value in even buying this. The whole Bomberman experience has always been about playing with friends. If you are a die hard fan of the franchise, you should get some quality play time out of this. For the casual gamer, there’s probably no reason to buy this without the online multi-player.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 6.8
Written by Kyle Review Guide