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Bomberman Hero

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Reviewed by Raymond Almeda Bomberman Hero is worthwhile. It can be a blast to some Bomberman fans. Although I have never been a fan of the Bomberman series, Bomberman Hero inspired me to take a second look. The game represents a significant departure from past Bomberman efforts. While some of the latest changes will be anathema to longtime Bomberman aficionados, newcomers to the quirky little pyromaniac may like what they see. This time around, Hudson's spunky bomb-chucking character has gone solo. In a radical shift from Bombermen past, Bomberman Hero omits the multi-player mode. ("Gasp! Horror! What were they thinking?!" shout the longtime Bomberman loyalists.) That's right; the series that launched what many call the best multiplayer games ever made has evolved into a pure 3D platformer. While not a first-tier N64 platform epic like Rare's Banjo-Kazooie, Bomberman Hero mostly succeeds in its metamorphosis. To its credit, Bomberman Hero offers cool creative context that one might deem "Japaneesy." That's the technical term for Japanese Cheesy, and Bomberman Hero is blessed (or arguably cursed) with this polarizing quality. The artistic style, MIDI music, and characterization have obviously sprang from fertile Japanese imaginations. If you enjoyed the highly-Japaneesy Mystical Ninja, you'll enjoy this aspect of Bomberman Hero. On the other hand, if you found Ninja's Japaneesiness to be as attractive as day old sushi, you'll be similarly baffled by Bomberman Hero. Gameplay is similar to past Bomberman titles, at least in that the lead character retains most of his bomb handling moves. Bomberman can produce, throw, and kick bombs to the budding militia member's delight. Apparently, Hudson sent Bomberman to some sort of Platform Game Survival Boot Camp, as he now sports a few crucial new moves. A key new addition to Bomberman's repertoire is the jump. At long last, Bomberman can jump in addition to his classic bomb-blasting. He can also hang on ledges, and pull himself up onto platforms. Anyone who's ever played a platform game knows that these skills are fundamental. Indeed, Bomberman's talents come in very handy, as Bomberman gameplay is fairly standard N64 3D fare. Bomberman must maneuver through a variety of 3D environments, solving (and demolishing) puzzles along the way. Again, Bomberman lacks the polish of such N64 titles as Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64; sometimes the 3D depth perception is lacking, and that makes certain tasks unnecessarily difficult to solve. But Bomberman Hero is head and shoulders above such lackluster titles as Gex: Enter the Gecko and Chameleon's Twist. There's plenty of gameplay to be had here, since Bomberman Hero offers 5 worlds of 12 levels each (as you math wizards may have discovered, that's a total of 60 levels). Thankfully, Hudson includes an EEPROM so gamers can save progress directly onto the cartridge. There's no fumbling with controller paks. Bomberman Hero will not amaze you or your friends with 'wow factor." The game breaks no new ground, and features middle of the road N64 programming. However, gamers in search of an offbeat adventure could do worse than Bomberman Hero. Despite its flaws, the game has heart; and that's more than we can say for most corporate titles these days.

Overall 79 out of 100

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