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Bomberman Tournament

Preview By: Chris Lee

Developer:   Hudson Soft
Publisher:   Activision
Genre:   Action
Est. Release:   June 26, 2001
Posted:   June 3, 2001

Bomberman, wow. Talk about nostalgia. Forget about Mario, Crash and Super Smash Bros., Bomberman was the original party game. I can think of very few games when the original was released that leant itself to getting friends together and killing each other like bomberman did. You took our little hero around a map consisting of blocks and bricks and placed bombs to blow stuff up. Yeah, that was about it really: run around, blow stuff up, blow other characters up. With such a simple formula you'd think the game would get old pretty fast, but (unless of course we were just simpletons) my friends and I played and enjoyed every game in the series for hours.

The only real problem with Bomberman and it's plethora of sequels is that playing by yourself got dull quickly. Even though all the games had their one player modes it was strictly a multi-player experience. The designers of the more recent titles on the N64 and Playstation tried to improve the one player game but the series is simply made for friends and parties. Certainly you weren't confined to just running around and planting bombs, I mean come on section 13 paragraph B of the gaming handbook states that there absolutely HAS to be power-ups and special moves in videogames. Through the course of blowing up some of the bricks on levels you could pick up items that allowed you to run faster, plant bombs with bigger and longer explosions, plant remote controlled bombs, multi-bombs and so on. So needless to say there was always a race to get the biggest and best item by frantically blowing up everything in sight while at the same time trying to protect yourself and destroy your opponents.

Anyways, that brings me to the latest news on the Bomberman front, Bomberman Tournament for the Game Boy Advance. Hudson Soft is bringing us a Bomberman game that seems worthy of the moniker (unlike the slightly disappointing N64 versions). In Bomberman Tournament you of course have the four player action that we're used to via the GBA's link capabilities but they've made the one player experience much richer in gameplay and options. The story goes something like this: The original Bomberman has become slightly obsolete and a new line of Bombermans has been created, one of them being Bomberman Max. Well on Planet Phantarion a mysterious distress signal is sent out and they send in Bomberman Max. He disappears shortly after landing and finding strange alien structures. Looks like newer isn't always better because they end up having to send in that spunky little monkey, the original Bomberman, to figure out what's going on and find Max.

Now the cool thing about this game is that it's an RPG/Adventure hybrid so gameplay won't be confined to just little sections of blocks and bricks, you've actually got to talk to people, solve puzzles, find clues and pick up more than 10 items in the course of your adventure to help you along. There are also little creatures called Karabons that you'll run into that will help you on your quest. There are somewhere around 25 of them and they'll not only help you complete your quest but you can use them to go on mini-quests and have them battle each other in Pokem....oops I mean Karabon Stadium. All this sounds like it adds a lot to the world of Bomberman and maybe just maybe the one player game won't be a one hit wonder this time around. As always though the four player game is where the main fun will be had. With tons and tons of levels to blast your way through and new types of levels where even more strategy will be employed you'll be dropping the bomb on your friends for a long time to come. And even a little secret for masters of the game to unlock. Hudson is still pretty tight lipped on all the details but rest assured, Bomberman never had it so good.

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