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Bomberman Act: Zero review

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AT A GLANCE
  • Online multiplayer
  • Classic gameplay style
  • Intimate FPB mode
  • Lame new concept
  • No off-line multiplayer
  • No continues

If you want to see the fun and charm brutally stripped from yet another of your favorite classic games, check out Bomberman Act: Zero. For some reason, Hudson Soft felt it necessary to take the cute, friendly style of Bomberman and turn it into a contrived cyberpunk bore-fest.

The Bomberman character has been completely re-conceptualized for the 360: you're a human guinea pig trapped in an underground test facility, and the only way to get out is to strap on a cool looking battle suit and outlive the other subjects in 99 deathmatch levels. Not exactly that loveable little guy with a round head and big eyes that SNES gamers remember, cheekily tossing cartoon bombs over candy-colored walls. And hey, we're not opposed to progress, but this... this looks wrong, feels wrong and plays wrong.

If you're unfamiliar with Bomberman, the levels are grid-based arenas scattered with destructible and indestructible blocks. The game basically sticks to the original arcade-style gameplay - you run around dropping bombs and collecting (some of) the classic power ups, hoping to catch your opponents off guard, corner and incinerate them. Some familiar power ups and abilities, such as kicking and throwing bombs, apparently weren't hardcore or futuristic enough to be included. There are no continues - die and you're treated to a cheesy robot voice that says "You are dead," followed by a prompt return to the start screen.

Are you ready for the exciting part? While you can play through all 99 levels with the traditional overhead view, you can now choose to play in "FPB" - "First Person Bomber" mode. Yes, really. To be even more ludicrous, the mode doesn't even give you a first-person view - it's still third-person, just at an angle and more zoomed in. To make up for a narrower view of the battlefield, FPB features a health bar, eliminating one-hit kills. While it does bring you closer to the action and make those explosions feel a little more intense, FPB is nothing worthy of its own acronym.

Bomberman has always been a multiplayer favorite, so of course you can play Act: Zero with up to eight players… online. There's no party-mode, so don't expect to fire it up and kick back on the couch with your friends, unless you're all on different couches in different houses.

Act: Zero is considered a budget game for the 360 at $50, but the only thing "budget" about the game is the game itself. Remove the generic Matrix-inspired graphics and story, and it's online Bomberman with a new camera angle and less depth. We'd rather play ports of the original on TI-89 calculators.

More Info

Release date: Aug 29 2006 - Xbox 360 (US)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Konami
Developed by: Hudson Entertainment, Hudson Soft
Franchise: Bomberman
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes

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