Note: This game was reviewed running on actual Turbografx 16 hardware with no emulation.
Above: Mega Man 1 box artist had a career making Turbografx 16 box art
This is Bomberman for the Turbografx 16. Will this game obtain the blessed Malstrom Award?
I am assuming the reader knows what Bomberman is and how it plays. The question is more about this version in particular. This is the beginning of the Bomberman craze. There are three Bomberman games on the PC-Engine: Bomberman, Bomberman ’93, and Bomberman ’94. During this generation (4th generation), there would be Mega Bomberman on the Genesis (similar to Bomberman ’94), and there would be FIVE Bomberman games alone on the Super Famicom.
The question is not whether Bomberman is fun. The question is whether THIS version of Bomberman is fun.
The answer is no. The game has a single player mode and a multiplayer mode. The single player mode is solid but tedious. Improvements to the single player mode are made in the sequels such as not having to bomb all the blocks to find the exit. If you are a Bomberman junkie, you will be playing this because you will simply want more Bomberman. But the single player doesn’t compare to the others. It’s just dull. And here, at the Malstrom Institute for Interesting Gaming, we like interesting, not dull.
The multiplayer is five players, of course, but it is also lacking in stages compared to the sequels (no surprise).
Bomberman is what I call a ‘Perfect Game’. Perfect Game means it has excellent single player and excellent multiplayer. Some games are lucky to do one or the either, but few can do both.
The question is, “What does this game have that the other Bomberman games do not?” Aside from its own unique single player campaign, nothing. There is absolutely no reason to play this game. Hudson didn’t even bother to put this Bomberman on the Wii Virtual Console and opted to put up Bomberman ’93 and ’94 instead.
Pass over this Bomberman. Spend your time on the higher quality Bomberman titles. No Malstrom Award for you!
Disclaimer: The ‘quality’ is gauged only by how often I return to the game. TG16 games are not isolated; they are compared to every other game out there. A game can be ‘bad’ and keep me coming back. A game can be ‘good’ that I never want to touch again. Irrational addictive-ness, which defies quantification, is the only element examined here.
-TG 16 Games Reviewed So Far-
Malstrom Awards: (Addictive and Awesome even today, they refuse to age. Score of 10)
Devil’s Crush (Imaginative sound and gothic theme. You’ll keep coming back to this one.)
Galaga ’90 (Purest shmup I have ever seen. This will still be played 50 years from now.)
Gradius (Four options can cause slowdown, but this arcade port remains difficult and legendary.)
R-type (Never gets old because it can never be beaten. Fun to try here and there.)
Honorable Mentions: (Good games that are flawed or gameplay has suffered aging. Score of 6-9)
(7) Alien Crush (Interesting, addictive, but flawed. Good to play as a break to Devil’s Crush)
(6) Bonk’s Adventure (Meh platformer oozes incredible charm)
Don’t bother: (Not fun to play today. Score of 5 and below.)
(5) Neutopia (boring, bad game design, can’t hold a candle to Zelda, fire wand is only thing going for this game)
(4) Bomberman (dull and boring, totally surpassed by its sequels on this system)
(4) Ninja Gaiden (Compared to NES: worse sound and controls, terrible parallax scrolling. Nothing to see here.)
(3) Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition (2 button controller is terrible for 6 button game. Good luck getting a 6 button controller.)