Monday, June 15, 2009

Bomberman Live (XBLA) Review

Bomberman Ultra blasted its way onto the Playstation Network this past week, so let's take a look at the similar Xbox 360 downloadable title, Bomberman Live.

A better title than Bomberman Dead.

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The tagline would have been an apropos title for the 360's first Bomberman outing in Bomberman: Act Zero. And unlike the expensive console game, this arcade title is a mere ten bucks. Thankfully in Bomberman Live, Bomberman is back to the cute model we've all grown to know and love, and yes, he's still a little pyromaniac.

This edition of Bomberman brings with it eight maps, numerous modes and power-ups, and best of all eight-player multiplayer over Xbox Live. For those who have never picked up a traditional Bomberman title over the past decade and some change, the aim of Bomberman is to blow up the opposition until they are the last Bomber standing. How does one blow away the competition? Simple- bombs, and lots of them. Each arena is one screen big and is littered with boxes that can be destroyed with bombs. Each player is positioned on one isolated corner of the map, and they'll need to blow up boxes to reach other players. Inside boxes are power-ups such as fire up which expands the blast radius of your bombs (normal bombs blow up in a cross pattern). Bomb-ups give your an extra bomb you can drop instead of just one. All power-ups are cumulative, so picking up a fire-up won't cancel out the bomb-up a player picks up. Collecting power-ups is key to scoring large explosive combos. Just don't get caught in the crossfire!

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Welcome to the jungle.

There's eight arenas to play in. Each has its own theme and gimmick to them. Classic is as ordinary a stage as any you'll see. Others include arrows which will send your bombs soaring in the direction the arrows face and transporters that will move the player to another point in the arena.

As aforementioned up to eight players can play over Xbox Live. The host chooses the rules whether the game will be player or ranked, and then the fun ensues. There's really nothing like ragging on a bud for blowing himself up for the fifth time that evening. One might notice that each player has a differently dressed Bomberman as well. Unlockable costume balls will give a player access to different hats, helmets, faces, and costumes for both online and offline play. There's a plethora of combinations to choose from allowing a player to create their own custom Bomber to blow the CPU and human opponents to smithereens.

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A pyromaniac's wet dream.

Overall, Bomberman Live is a fantastic party game that anyone can get into. Unlocking costumes and completing achievements boosts replay value, and playing online with up to seven other friends adds more fun to an already explosive package. For only ten bucks it's really hard to say why anyone shouldn't pick up this title.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.0/10]

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