Completion time: 4:02:14
While PSX Mania has be reintroducing me to some games from the console, and just plain introducing me to others, it has now reintroduced me to a franchise I hadn’t played since the SNES days – Bomberman: Party Edition. The last time I played a Bomberman game was maybe 25 years ago or so, with Super Bomberman 2 or 3. I remember really enjoying it years ago, and my first time back after a quarter of a century, and its formula has aged gracefully.
For some reason, I thought the gameplay would be closer to battling other Bomberman characters, much like the multiplayer. Instead, I had a cast of enemies that had their own quirks. Most of the time you need to bait them into your blasts, and with the diverse AI between each enemy, it keeps you on your toes. The gameplay is as simplistic enough as I remembered, though has its layers of complexity. You can’t just willy nilly drop bombs, lest you’re trying to blow yourself up as well. The power ups found are elementary enough, but have profound impacts in gameplay. Walking through bricks is a godsend, and remote triggered bombs helps to trivialize a lot of fights. Sadly though, one mistake and you lose the power up.
The audio is typical of what you’d expect for a Bomberman game – punchy blasts and peppy music that doesn’t overwhelm the situation. Sadly though I chose “retro” graphics for my playthrough, thinking that meant I was going to play as the 16 bit avatar against the 16 bit army of adversaries, but it ended up being the 8 bit incarnation. There’s nothing outright wrong with this, and perhaps it helped factor into my enjoyment with the game, but I really was wanting to play with the 16 bit visuals.
Nonetheless (and get ready for it), Bomberman: Party Edition is an absolute blast! (…) This is the kind of gameplay experience I wanted – something very diverse compared to what we’ve been playing for the last 35+ games, but also something familiar enough (even though I barely remember it). This is an absolute treat, and the game length is just right as well. If you want a blast from the past that doesn’t have you traveling much earlier than the 16 bit era, pick up Bomberman: Party Edition and blow yourself up for a couple of hours!