Bomberman Land Review
Wii | PSP
Bomberman Land box art
System: Wii, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Hudson Soft 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Hudson Soft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan.29, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Every time I think of Bomberman my head travels back in time and to the sweet, classic Bomberman titles for the NES and SNES; there's nothing like the great bomb-dropping gameplay, full of power-ups and all sorts of enemies with wall-crossing and stone-turning abilities, amongst others. That's what Bomberman is all about! The expression "if ain't broken don't fix it" fits perfectly here, although there's nothing we can do against today's ultra-exploited, cash-cow franchises. Bomberman is definitely one of them, even though I haven't seen a Bomberman game, since the times of the GBA, which was somewhat worth my time.

Bomberman Land screenshot

Bomberman Land for the Wii starts by telling you a story; it's the story of a dark, Bomberman-looking intruder that yanks away the title of Champion, takes over Bomberman Land, and captures the leader and host of the show. Meanwhile, the good-spirited, white Bomberman is enjoying a nice vacation in the beach, drinking piña coladas, and sunbathing (despite wearing an outfit that's more proper for other activities). Due to the unfortunate events back in Bomberman Land, his peace goes away in a flash, as other Bomberman pals drop by with the Bomb Pad, a little gadget that allows him to see what's going on and communicate with the rest of the guys. Mr. White quickly goes back and jumps on a mission to recover the title of Champion. Of course, the story doesn't end here, as the game has a special and ultra-slow way of telling the story through numerous, overly-subtitled cutscenes where your only duty is to hit A and hope it all goes away.

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If you're hoping to jump right into the action, this won't be the game for you; in fact, it's probably far from suiting your taste. Luckily, after the first everlasting set of cutscenes, you'll finally become part of the show. Bomberman Land has been divided into multiple pieces, and you'll have to get them back together by beating the mini-games and obtaining multiple points in each of them. First, there's a training area where you can go and practice the available mini-games; you'll earn Training Points (TP) here, which you can later cash in for access to the actual tournaments. The tournament map looks like a theme park full of carnival games, and here's your chance for earning points, climbing up the ranks, and hopefully becoming the new champ. If you can get used to the guy walking in slow-motion half the time and the tedious controls to just make the character walk, you might still be able to enjoy this game. For some strange reason, you have to hold the Wii remote standing up like a joystick if you wish to use the Nunchuk to move the character around. If you hold the Wii-mote flat, the character will only move by using the d-pad. Strange, isn't it?

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Bomberman Land screenshot

The mini-games have different control styles; sometimes you'll be able to use the Nunchuk, and sometimes you won't. Many of them are played holding the Wii remote like a classic controller, using the d-pad to move around and the 1 and 2 buttons for action. Starting with the Pang (Buster Bros.) knock-off, you'll come across many familiar games that have just been remade to fit the mini-game style of Bomberman Land. These remakes are certainly not upgrades of classic originals, but simplified versions of already existing mini-games you can find everywhere, from Mario Party games, to Fuzion Frenzy, to older arcade titles. Bomberman Land includes around fifty mini-games, and most of them are entertaining enough. However, you can't play them with your friends, and the slow-paced storytelling prevents you from diving right into the action. Moreover, if you haven't practiced enough, you'll be kicked out of the tournaments, being forced back into the training area until you earn more TPs to let you into the tournaments.

Screenshots / Images
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