Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Underated Game Review - Bomberman Act Zero
Bomberman: Act Zero developed by Hudson Soft is an attempt to make a more mature Bomberman game. Gone from this title is the classic family friendly style known in the series. In this iteration of the series we are treated with cyborgs, screams, dark environments and just a very adult version of the game. Many said the game fell flat and was a complete failure and embarrassment to the series, I beg to differ.
First up, I’ll get the story out of the way. You are a Bomberman forced to compete for freedom in an underground lab. Survive 99 battles and freedom is yours. That’s the whole plot in a nutshell.
The game plays like any Bomberman in standard mode. A top down view of a stage. Place down bombs to break blocks, collect power-ups (Such as being able to place down multiple bombs at once, run faster, have control over when bombs blow up or even walk through bombs!) and eliminate enemies before it’s too late and the stage starts killing for you via blocks falling down from above. There is a brand new mode in addition to that made for Act:Zero. It is called “FPB” mode, or First-Person-Battle. I have no clue why it’s called First-Person when it’s a traditional Third-Person style camera but I really enjoy this mode. It’s standard mode rules except you are given life points. So a hit will NOT kill you, but it will certainly drain your health down. At the start surviving 2 bombs is all you will be able to do. However with life point power-ups and other things you could survive over 50 bombs. You will need that advantage too. There are 99 stages but only 1 life. No continues, you die once and it is back to the main menu. The games difficulty is absolutely brutal. I have yet to even pass stage 19 (which also takes quite a while to get too). Add onto the fact that the load times are absolutely terrible (sometimes up to 15 seconds to load each stage). You will experience a load time for everything! Seemingly 10% of this game is spent on the loading screen.
Graphically, the game is very bland and dated looking. It gets the job done but not much else. The textures are muddy, the environments are dark and lack any kind of detail. There is only 1 stage with a different color theme every now and then. Everything looks plain. Even the character designs. It’s just 2 types of Bombermen/women with 8 separate colors. Nothing too exciting. It’s not appalling but it will not win any awards. The sound is a low point as well. There are seemingly only 2 sounds for somebody dying. A scream from a male Bomberman and a screech from a Bomberwoman. The bombs all make the same sound. The footsteps never change and there is a very annoying announcer who only has 5 lines which boil down to “You’re alive. You Win. Get to the Next Stage. You are Dead. You Lose”. That’s it. For 99 stages you are guarenteed to hear at least 3 of those per stage. Graphically/Sound Wise this game is no good.
Multiplayer wise there is only Xbox live support. That’s right, no single-console multiplayer which I believe is a first for the series! This is inexcusable. However, the online play really isn’t half-bad when you can find a match. Up to 8 players too. There is seemingly no lag. It’s painless to make or join a game & it plays very well. No real complaints for the live play assuming you can find somebody to play with.
The game may not be perfect but it is one thing that all games should be. Fun. Am I going to go out and say this is a must buy? Not by any means. It can be found for under $5 USD today though, new. It’s worth a shot. It’s a great challenge and addictive. Even doing something simple like passing around 1 controller in a room full of people to see who can get the farthest is even quite entertaining. Overall, I enjoyed this game for what it is. Even though it is fun, it has some very big flaws and I have to give it a 5.5/10.
+Excellent online play
+Presents a challenge not often found in games anymore
+Can be found very cheap
-Terrible sound and graphics
-No single-console multiplayer!
-Load times are terrible.
-Finding more than 3 people to play the game with on live per day is a challenge in itself.