Friday, March 19, 2010

Video game number seventy five: Bomberman: Act Zero

Video game review number seventy five in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Bomberman Act Zero".

I'm going to assume this game is some sort of "prequel" to Bomberman, and if the movies have taught us's that prequels aren't a good idea.

Like any famous prequel you might be thinking of, this game is all flash and no substance. Bomberman was awesome because of it's simplicity. You were on a little grid, you had bombs and other power ups...and you had to kill your opponents before they killed you. It was sort of like Pac-Man, but with bombs.

Bomberman Act Zero takes the classic formula, and then fucks with it until you hardly recognize it anymore. It's not just "New Coke", it's "diet New Coke with lime, blueberry and Zima flavors added". For some reason, the developers thought Bomberman needed 3D graphics, a screwed up camera (that makes the top down view almost impossible to achieve, even if you want to), and they topped all that off with a cheesy robotic announcer guy. I think they might as well have hired Jar-Jar Binks for that role. The announcer has awesome lines like "You are Dead" and "You are Alive" after you finish each level. Surely Jar-Jar could have spiced this dialog up a bit with some "meesas" and "yousas".

Anyway...there are some elements of Bomberman here, but nothing that should make a fan of the series play it. They have torqued this game to the point where it's...almost unrecognizable. As for people who have never played the series and are looking to dive in to the Bomberman world with this's what I suggest: Don't.

If you want to play a Bomberman game on your Xbox 360, go play Bomberman Live! instead. It's a much better game than this sad sequel, it captures the classic elements of the series while still adding a few new things (like unlockable, customizeable, cool little outfits for your little bomber guy, as well as Live Multiplayer). If I were rating that today, I'd give it a solid 8.

My overall score for Act Zero is a 4/10. They snuck just enough Bomberman magic in here to keep it from totally blowing, but not enough to make it worth more than a 1 day rental. If you're going to rent this game, hopefully it's at a discount. If you're going to buy it,'s in the bargain bin.

Here are the achievements I got. I'll never be getting another one, I can promise you that.

No comments: