I’m Bringing Bombing Back
The Bomberman series has been around for quite some time now, and in the minds of many, this explosives tactician has officially jumped the shark. The debate really ends with the fact that the original concept of Bomberman is what has and always will work best. Next generation upgrades, like the ill fated Bomberman: Act Zero, almost always fall flat, thus leaving the series with a lack of productive growth. Bomberman Land Touch! 2, on the other hand, is able to deliver a relatively fresh experience; though the thrills may be short lived, there is fun to be had.
If you ever wondered what the Bombermen did in their spare time, wonder no more. Much like you or I, these explosives connoisseurs enjoy a good day roaming around a theme park. In this case, the park is the Bom-Bom Kingdom, a fantasy world headed by the one and only Star Bomber himself. Ever heard of him? Yeah, me either, but I digress. This is not my vacation, and besides I hate clowns. The Bom-Bom Kingdom plays host to a slew of mini-games and challenges for you to encounter. Through the completion of these Mario Party-esque tasks, Bomberman will be rewarded with either coins or one of a series of pieces (they come in the shape of hearts, stars, suns, the earth, and more). Once acquired, these pieces serve as keys to unlock more areas of the magical land. This is the main basis of Adventure Mode. Though fun, it does lack substance and players will quickly become familiar with the overall lack of depth. In addition to the Adventure Mode, there are also the Battle and Attraction Modes. Attraction just makes available all the mini-games the player has unlocked in the Adventure. They can be played solo or with a friend, as you can play on multiple DS systems with only one cartridge. Battle brings the B-Man back to his roots; it is a traditional Bomberman type game with roughly 20 maps to choose from, and can be played online or with additional DS systems. Battle mode is a welcome respite from the Adventure, which can become quite mundane after awhile. Those three options are the game in a nutshell; if you want to try something new, then Adventure is for you, and if classic is what you crave, then hit up the Battle Mode. As for the intangibles…
Graphically, the look serves the style of game well. The cartoony graphics and vibrant colors appeal to the eyes, and will certainly entertain the younger audience to which this game is directed. The various worlds of the Bom-Bom Kingdom all have their own unique feel, as does each mini-game. Although there is nothing here that is too complicated, the game looks nice. It has a throw back graphical approach that transcends into the sound department.
With background music harkening back to the glory days of the 16-bit era, I would be lying if I told you that I did not enjoy it. It is a diverse soundtrack, and it mixes things up for each mini-game. The sound effects coincide with the type of game you are playing, leaving little or nothing to be desired. The simple approach to the look and sound of the game had the desired effect, but with a game like this, the controls can be make or break.
Thankfully, they go off without a hitch. Similar to Phantom Hourglass, the Adventure mode is controlled completely with the stylus. Even the lion’s share of the mini-games will rely on the trusty touch screen, though there are a couple of oddballs that require you to yell “up” at the screen to fly a magic carpet or blow at the screen to move a sailboat. The Stylus makes it extremely easy to guide Bomberman around the Kingdom, as there is not much to do aside from maybe ride a boat or guide a mine cart to the next destination. The mini-games are where the overall functionality of the touch screen is key, and it performs flawlessly. I never had a problem getting the desired response in any game. Although they are simple contests, such as bending objects by moving the pen clockwise, counterclockwise, up and down or bowling down bombs by moving the pen from bottom to top. The fact remains it all works, and it does so fluidly. In Battle Mode, the stylus is not the main form of control; players go back to the old reliable d-pad and buttons. To sum things up: each control scheme fits the specific mode accordingly.
In the end, I did enjoy this game, but overall it was just a bit too shallow. It reminded me of playing any Mario Party title all by my lonesome. The mini-games get old after a while; sure, the inventiveness of them is enjoyable, but that effect wears off a little too quickly. The multiplayer options do lengthen the life span, but since there was no one online playing Battle Mode locally or World Wide, I found myself stuck rumbling with the bots. Plus, how many times have I already played old school Bomberman? Despite my gripes, it is definitely worth a look, especially for kids or big time bomb fanatics.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.7 Graphics
Nothing too spectacular, but the color scheme and character designs fit the game perfectly. 4.6 Control
Handles like a dream, can be annoying when your hand blocks your view. 3.9 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Keeps things fresh, most players will actually want to listen to it rather than hit up the iPod. 3.5
Adventure Mode is hardly epic, and Battle Mode has nothing we have not seen before.
3.6 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.