Bomberman Generation joins
recent titles like Jet Set Radio and Cel Damage in the increasingly popular aesthetic of
cel-shaded games, where the overall effect gives the player a sense of cartoon
interactivity. For some reason, I dig this graphic style, and, with Bomberman, Majesco and
Hudson succeed with a strong release on the Gamecube. Granted, the graphics could have
been a little prettier, and a higher polygon count would have been nice, but, hey,
whos complaining: the game remains one of the best titles, thus far, on the GC. The
colors are rich, vibrant, and the enemies are playful in design, my favorites being the
desert worms on the third level.
One drawback to Bomberman
Generation is that its storyline is rather loose, not really involving too much dialogue,
just the constant nudging and reminding that youre after a set of Bomb Elements and
that you must acquire them before the Hige Hige Bandits do. Not only does each level have
its end boss, but you also have a major battle midway through, which will require, as you
progress further, more tactical skill than just randomly dropping bombs and letting them
explode where they may.
first complaint I have is that Generations remains somewhat short, with only five levels
and around six stages on each, but where it lacks in length itll make up in replay
value as well as difficulty. After the first stage, serving as a good introduction, you
begin to feel the classic Bomberman in this latest titlethat sense of wanting to
rush, but knowing if you do youll end up only killing yourself. And, as always,
Charaboms and mini-games are a part of your life. Charaboms are Pokemon-like creatures
youll find scattered throughout the game, and, depending on which one you have
equipped, youll be able to perform a variety of skills, from performing bomb jumps
to detonating your bombs on command (one of the more useful traits, in my opinion). To get
more Charaboms, youll need to pit the one you start off with against others you
encounter on your quest. If you win, you get the opposing Charabom. After awhile,
youll be able to merge your Charaboms together to create new ones, which will grant
you combined and enhanced powers.
integral part to getting ahead in Bomberman Generation is to perform bomb merges, which
occur almost one per level. This isnt something to be taken lightly, as I found.
Once youve made your way onto the fourth and fifth levels, youll quickly
realize that all bombs, wind, ice, water, light, etc., are needed to get you through the
labyrinthine bases of your enemies, who have taken control of the last few Bomb Elements.
To acquire the proper portions of the bombs, youll need to complete the mini-games
and then find the merge rooms.
I admit that I didnt really try out the Battle Mode until I became
frustrated midway through the game, but it was a welcome relief to my puzzle-riddled mind;
Battle Mode allows you to play a heated Bomberman game against either the computer or a
group of friends. Not only that, but there are a variety of sub-modes, so to speak, from
which you can choose, including games of revenge, dodge, or your straight forward standard
battle, each having its own, central theme.
those wondering, a Standard battle starts you out in one corner of a puzzle. Once the
timer starts, you must begin blowing your way out of the corner without taking yourself
out. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. At the same time there are three opponents doing exactly
what youre doing, collecting power-ups, all the while looking to find a way to take
you out of the game. In Coin battle you blast away and collect as many coins as possible
before the time is up. To say the least, Bomberman Generations Battle Mode takes
some practice, but once youve gotten the hang of it the game becomes increasingly
addictive. This portion of the game remains the most re-playable.
the question left on your mind would be, "Since theres a multiplayer game, can
I go online?" Unfortunately, theres no broadband or modem adapter for the
Gamecube just yet, so the answer is no; however, its an obvious route Hudson could
take with this classic. I cant wait until I see Bomberman OnlineI hope
its in the works.
the success of the game, and the series as a whole, is due in part to its almost classic
feel. There is a definite sense of an underlying template at work; Bomberman Generation is
by no means a genre buster. It stays within its boundaries and continues a strong
tradition, one which began back on the NES. Now, the game has progressed into, what I
would call, more adventure-puzzle oriented than straight forward "figure out how to
blast your way from one side of the room to the other". Hudson has taken it to a 3D
level, but at times it feels like some of the old challenge is missing. And I know, in a
previous paragraph I said it was challenging, but does anyone out there remember the old
Bomberman games, the ones that drove you crazy? Luckily, the Battle Mode brings back this
challenge, but it would have been nice to have seen it in the story-mode, which in itself
could have been longer.
isnt much to be said for the musical score, other than at times it sounds like, just
a little, that the song is about to break into a cool Gorillaz tuneif only it would.
Most of the time, I found myself turning down the music and turning up my own, so as to
avoid the, at times, grating melodies.
the end of the day, Bomberman Generation remains one of my favorite games thus far on the
Gamecube. If youre familiar with the series, then this would be another nice
addition to the library, but if youre brand new, then Id suggest renting the
game first just to make sure youre into the whole puzzle-bomb bit. I see a lot of
potential for this series to revitalize itself by going online in the future (although
thats purely speculation on my part), and I plan to be all practiced up if it ever
does. Imagine, multi-level puzzles where you could either play against others or in a team
mode to solve even more complex challenges. That would be cool, but for now Bomberman
Generation and its co-releases on the GBA will have to sate my eager tastes.