|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Hudson Soft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus Software||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov.7, 2006||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: E||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Simply put, if you're a Bomberman fan, then this is a "must-have" title. Not only is it great, but it can be made greater if you can find a group of equally interested gamers, as it supports up to eight players with a single copy.
Bomberman Land Touch is basically two games in one. There is the single-player mini-game mode and the classic Bomberman multi-player mode that shows a return to the game's original roots. Bomberman has been involved in so many genres over the past 20 years that this return to the past makes this seem like a totally new gameplay concept. What better company to design the mini-game portion of the gameplay than the folks at Hudson who are responsible for the wildly successful Mario Party?
Bomberman's party mode is not just a cheap imitation of Mario Party. It has its own design elements and incorporates the signature bombing strategies in virtually every game. There are almost 40 different mini-games that require nothing but the use of the stylus, except for one game in which you have to use the microphone to blow out a fuse. Playing as the White Bomber, you're let loose in a pirate-themed park for your birthday. Here you are challenged by a variety of characters to perform tasks such as collecting, puzzle solving, and playing various sport-themed mini-games such as Bomberman-style bowling. This unique bowling game requires that you roll bombs down the lane and attempt to blast the pins out of the way instead of merely hitting them.
There are five main areas in the theme park with four of them corresponding to the four suits of cards and one being the boss castle that you have to clear to complete the game. You'll be given cards for completing your mini-game tasks which will allow you to access the next area. You'll also find treasures which you can use to purchase items that you will need to complete some of your challenges, such as a light source to enter a darkened cave. Acquiring items can lead to some annoying backtracking but there is a sense of accomplishment once you find what you need and eventually complete the task. The mini-games are fun but they aren't very deep and you won't get a lot of replay value out of them, although you can earn medals if you go back and try to better your original score. These mini-games can all be unlocked to play in the Attraction mode which will accommodate up to four players.
Not only can you play all of the mini-games with other players but the Bomberman Battle Pack mode is like a totally different game that can accommodate up to eight players via the ad hoc wireless system and up to four players online. The beauty of the ad hoc mode is that only one copy of the game is required. If you can't find seven other players, you can just add bots to fill the spots. This mode is fully customizable. You can make the bots as intelligent and challenging as you like. Sudden death can also be chosen to keep players on their toes as they will be instantly eliminated should they get too close to a bomb. Ousted players can also have the option of throwing bombs into the arena while they are waiting. A successful hit will allow them back into the game. You will notice that the AI does seem to have some "inside" knowledge of just how big an explosion will occur and stands at the appropriate distance. It's a much more realistic and satisfying experience to play against other human opponents. The wireless modes work great. They are responsive and I didn't experience any latency. The same can't be said of the online modes. Some connections were fine and others caused delays to my commands that made the game virtually unplayable. I suppose it's all in the connection.
All of the moves are accessed with the stylus which closely replicates the controlled precision of a mouse. You don't have to move a cursor around. This control system is instantaneous and simplifies everything. More than just a novelty it's easily the best control system for the series on any handheld or console. The multiplayer modes make use of the dual screen. The graphics are clean, colorful, and have a very solid 3D look to them. The playfield is presented in a slightly altered isometric position that is somewhere between eye level and overhead. It gives the impression of 3D but without any awkward camera angles. The game uses those old-school sound effects and music that are sure to give SNES fans a bit of déjà vu. Overall, the presentation is virtually flawless. It's everything you would expect a Bomberman game to be.
Bomberman Land Touch makes great use of the Bomberman franchise by combining classic style gameplay with current gameplay elements such as the mini-game party mode. With both off and online modes, combined with the classic Bomberman gameplay, this is one game that can most certainly referred to as da' bomb.
CCC Site Director