Saturday, August 4, 2007

Super Bomberman

Recently I've been reminded of my love for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System due to my daughter's somewhat disturbing obsession with video games. While most of my favorite games for the system are mostly solo experiences, what is probably my #1 game of all time, Super Bomberman, is delirious fun with four players. All the bomberman games are fun, but out of those I've played the first Super Bomberman for SNES is the best. The best part of this game is its intensity. Power ups are littered throughout the levels, quarters are tight, and explosions are everywhere.

What makes this game GREAT:

  • Power-ups are cool and powerful. Kick is great, but the flexibility of punch to both get you out of scrapes and wreck havoc upon everyone else is a beautiful thing. Detonating bombs are some of the most fun you can have on a console.

  • Completely accessable to new players. The controls are a cinch to learn, and getting comfortable with the game takes a couple of minutes for most. Nothing is hidden, players can see everything going on, it takes almost no experience with the game to understand what's happening on screen. Each game is extemely short at two minutes, so even if you make a stupid mistake or even have an entire terrible match, it is a short wait until everyone starts from scratch and players have a fresh start. There is basically nothing here to prevent anyone from playing right away and having fun.

  • The intensity is unparalleled. Very close quarters, crazy music, sometimes 6+ bombs per player, bombs being kicked and punched to all corners of the screen, full screen explosions, 'explosive diarrhea' poison, four bombermen launching into a blood frenzy simultaneously: if most levels didn't start off slow and only accelerate after a few seconds, it would almost be too much! Later chapters lacked the same intensity: Bomberman 2 replaced punch with throw and it tones the game down immensely. Bomberman 64 opens up the play area and allows easy 3d movement--meaning it is far easier to avoid explosions and the high pressure environment is gone.

  • Four player simultaneous action is awesome. Sure, the five players of Bomberman '93 is cool, and I've yet to play that version so I suppose it could be superior. Let's face it, though, blowing your friends to smithereens is pretty much as fun as it gets, especially when you can multitask and obliterate three at once.

  • The battle mode levels are a lot of fun. Lots of cool levels exhibiting special characteristics to spice up the basic game. One small weakness the game does have is that the adventure mode is very easy and dull. To me this does not reduce the game's stature in any way because battle mode is a completely different game and does not rely on the other in any way for its greatness.

At this point, being for such an old system, Super Bomberman probably is loved by many but may never be played by many others. This is a game that is very different from the majority of video games out there, especially since it is heavy on player interaction. It is very competitive and will cause lots of trash talking, but this is all in good fun! I have the suspicion that many people who don't generally enjoy video games would love this one. I personally have always had great success when introducing Super Bomberman to those not well versed in the world of video games. The first level played is usually enough to hook about anyone--it is simply a ton of fun. If you own a SNES and don't have this one you should definitely track it down--just remember you'll need a super multitap in order to play those 3rd and 4th players, and Super Bomberman with two players isn't half the game it is with four. Happy bombing!


Anonymous said...

Hey --

I want a posting about my prowess at Xplorer and CnK -- really stick it to Rex, will ya?

Nathaniel Todd said...

Hey, who won the last game? You? I don't remember...