Genre: Puzzle Developer: Hudson Soft Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1-4 Released: 1994
Video game mascots are usually all the same it seems. You know, the “Lets save the day” and “I’m a rebel without a cause” types. That’s why Hudson Soft decided to do something different by making a Pyromaniac robot thingy that’s just so darn cute (aka: Bomberman). While the character was born and raised on Nintendo systems, Hudson Soft did release some on the TurboGraphix-16, PC-Engine, and eventually Sega’s Genesis.
The first thing you see after you pop in Mega Bomberman is a cut scene of the story, and just how unoriginal, and hokey it is. Apparently, a meteor hit the planet, breaking five coins and separating the planet into five different worlds: Jungle World, Water World, Snow World, Fire World, and (get ready for this), Haunted House World! Bomberman being the only one on the planet that can save the day for some reason, must find these coin chips and battle the bosses of each world to piece them back together again, so the world will be normal again.
On your quest you blow up many little bunnies, seahorses, and monkeys to clear the way for blowing up other things! The way that Bomberman games play is that you place bombs and get out of the way, simple but harder than it may seem at first. You see, enemies and other things littering the levels just move around at random, leaving you running from them, as well as your own bombs! In the normal game, you collect coin chips by destroying pedestals which shatter a glass orb holding the coin chip, then turning the blocks you didn’t destroy into coins, which you collect for bonus points. After a few levels are cleared you battle the world’s boss, the first of which is an evil Franken-Banana controlled by a monkey professor. These boss battle range in difficulty from child’s play to frustratingly hard. I forgot to mention the one hit kills (there is a power up that will give you a little protection), but It’s just WAAAY to easy to die.
The graphics in Mega Bomberman are dated, but do get the job done of going for that happy-go-lucky feel. Animation is smooth and clear for just about every little thing, except Bomberman himself. Bomberman moves in such a way that he has just about 20 animations all together, which is pretty sad seeing as almost everything else in the game has that same amount. The controls are very responsive though. The C button lays a bomb, and B launches your special when you’re on a Kangaroo (I will explain later).
The stages themselves are just forgettable, but the music is a different story. It’s so catchy, I doubt you will ever get some of the songs out of your head, EVER. The score is of somewhat low quality, but the outcome (stated before) is truly amazing.
By now you may be thinking “This game seems highly mediocre.” On the contrary, I haven’t even gotten to the meat and potatoes of Mega Bomberman, the Battle Mode! If you have been thinking about getting a Team-Player adapter for your Genesis, this is the reason you should get it! The multi-player mode in this game is so easy and fun to get into, that heavy doses may cause you to need intense medical attention; It’s that good! Anybody, even non-gamers will enjoy it, which is hard to say with many older games. All the goodness found in story mode is in the battle mode, plus there are different characters to choose from and new power ups!
Now for some reason I haven’t mentioned, with every sequel comes new mechanics. Mega Bomberman is no different. Hudson Soft decided things seemed a little dry, so they threw in rideable Kangaroo-type things, which is pretty much the only addition to this installment of the Bomberman series. The Kangaroos are in eggs, in which open up when you touch them and seem almost too Yoshi-like. These little guys also come in colors, and each one has a different move with which they can help (like jumping over enemies), and some are pointless (such as dancing), and yes the Kangaroos are in Battle Mode too.
Nomad owners will be pleased to know that the game doesn’t scroll very much, so you don’t need to worry at all. However, just like the Nomad itself, this game is kind of rare and does go for a high price on eBay, so watch out. Mega Bomberman is in my opinion, very much worth the price and will keep you in its grips for quite a while. A worthy investment would be to get a Team-Player adapter as well, for your friends and family will enjoy this game as much as you will.