Bomberman: Act Zero Preview - The Next Level

Game Profile

Xbox 360
Release date:
Summer 2006
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Bomberman: Act Zero

Same classic gameplay with a hideous startling new look.

Preview by James Cunningham (Email)
May 13th 2006

While Bomberman has been around for years, he's always had the same ultra-cute look. Round head, round hands, cartoon eyes, and a candy-colored world to top it off. The multiplayer gaming is top-notch, but the visuals guarantee that the Madden crowd would never touch it. With Bomberman: Act Zero, Hudson is out to do an extreme (to the max, dude) visual overhaul of its ancient franchise.

If you've ever played a Bomberman, you know what to expect. Run around arenas laid out in a grid, drop bombs, and don't get caught up in the explosion. Destroying blocks not only opens up a path to get to the opponents, but just might reveal a few powerups as well. Take out all who stand in your path and it's on to the next level to do it again. While somewhat entertaining in single-player, Bomberman is primarily known as one of gaming's great multiplayer experiences.

The only real issue with the Xbox 360 version is its visuals. While it still plays exactly as it should, one has to wonder what cheap Todd McFarlane knock-off designed the new look. The characters are festooned with scars, spikes, and useless chains, all set in a dark world of fire and death. Pitted steel doors open at the start of a match, and a rail shoots out with a warrior on the end, dropping them to their starting point in the arena. It's all very extreme, but utterly unappealing.

Still, from a gameplay perspective all is well. Controls are spot on and the mechanics have been honed by years of development. Bomberman has always been one of gaming's great series, and a misguided redesign doesn't look like it's going to screw that up.

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