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VGTalk's Bomberman Act Zero Preview

Old 08-08-06, 09:38 PM
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VGTalk's Bomberman Act Zero Preview

It seems like only recently we learned that Bomberman was making it's way to the Xbox 360, and there was much rejoicing. Then the screenshots started to flow and people were crying blasphemy at the updated and futuristic look that Hudson Soft added to the extremely well known and loved series. I've had the chance to sit down with Bomberman: Act Zero and will outline what I found in the title. Since this is in a forum, we'll leave it open for a while for Q&A and I'll do what I can to answer questions.



Let's leave the obvious discussion for last and talk about the core gameplay of Bomberman: Act Zero and try to find the whys behind the change. The story states that humans are imprisoned in an underground facility and they are tested on their desire for survival to make it out. Outfit with armor they must work their way through 99 levels to reach the surface. While this does somewhat fit in with the mythos of Bomberman being a robot wanting to become human, it takes the concept a little further by using humans rather than humanoids.



When I fired up Bomberman for the first time I was presented with two single player options as well as an online multiplayer mode. Unfortunately I was unable to play in any online multiplayer games, as I never ran into other players while online. The two single player modes were identical to one another with one major difference, a single hit kill versus a life bar mode. That difference aside, both played identical to one another and in a method that any Bomberman player (who skipped the 3D adventure titles) would be familiar with. The game is played from a isometric 3D view of the generally square shaped levels, just like Bomberman of old. Littered throughout the grid of indestructible objects are sections that can be cleared thanks to the bombs that you can lay down. Inside some of these destructible section are power ups which mirror what any player would be expecting; additional bombs (you start with one), a large fire zone, remote detonation, speed increase and decreases, and penetrating bombs which move through more than a single level of blocks that can be blown up. So at its core, it's Bomberman as you know and love; but I'm not sure that the graphics can be overcome by the gameplay.



Graphically, the game holds it's own. There are some nice reflections on the armor that your escapee is cloaked in, and the fire effects are decent; but when an entire franchise is based around a Weeble-looking character, why the change to make the lead character this radically escapes me. Opinions will be formed, die hard fans will scoff, and even players who give the game a chance will be put off. It's unfortunate because as gamers we cry for change on a daily basis, but when it comes we cry that it's too different. I empathize with developers who are trying new things to please us, then get blasted when their vision doesn't match what the gaming public wants.



Here's something that needs work desperately, but given the game isn't slated to ship for another few weeks and the build I played was a few weeks old already, I have confidence that should Hudson want to tackle it, they will. The camera desperately needs attention. With the start of each level the camera swoops into a default location that puts your character at an odd angle that doesn't lend well to the Bomberman style of play. Sure you can tweak it with the right analog stick, but having to do this on each level is frustrating. Some may like the new angle that is the default, but I didn't. And making me have to adjust it constantly was irritating beyond belief. My suggestions here are either to offer a top-down view similar to the classic game or to store the settings a player changes from level to level.


Bomberman: Act Zero is slated to be released at the end of August from publisher Konami and developer Hudson Soft.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:07 PM
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Any idea on what the price is going to be for this game? I hope less than the usual $59.99
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Old 08-11-06, 03:38 PM
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Amazon has it listed at 49.99...but I thought I read a LONG time ago it was coming in little lower than that.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:43 PM
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Any link to screenshots?
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Old 08-11-06, 03:48 PM
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I don't have anything right now (could later in the day) but how does this movie sound?

http://www.hudsonent.com/images/trai...manactzero.mov
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Old 08-11-06, 03:53 PM
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This was EGM's "Shame of the Month."

I don't have the mag handy as I'm at work, but the scores were someting like 3.0, 3.5, 3.0.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
This was EGM's "Shame of the Month."

I don't have the mag handy as I'm at work, but the scores were someting like 3.0, 3.5, 3.0.
Sounds reasonable.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Liver&Onions
I empathize with developers who are trying new things to please us, then get blasted when their vision doesn't match what the gaming public wants.
Er, I'd like the meet the long-time Bomberman fan that wanted the I'm-so-mean-and-bad-ass, lack-of-color graphical update they went for.

They should just put Saturn Bomberman on XBLA, it's 10 players and probably the best iteration of the classic BM formula overall.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:22 PM
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Exactly, gamers want new gameplay. Not taking a beloved franchise and make it not resemble it at all.

This make over is akin to having Mario smoke, drink and swear in his next game.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
Er, I'd like the meet the long-time Bomberman fan that wanted the I'm-so-mean-and-bad-ass, lack-of-color graphical update they went for.

They should just put Saturn Bomberman on XBLA, it's 10 players and probably the best iteration of the classic BM formula overall.
I would like to meet them too.

I wasn't referring to Bomberman specifically. I was more talking about generalities when we are all crying for innovation and no sequels.

I LOVE Bomberman, but I want the cuddly little Weeble. But I also want things to be updated. I don't want to be playing a new version of Time Pilot that puts the game in a free roaming three dimensional map. I want slight upgrades to the graphics and tweaks to make the game play better on today's systems.

As gamers we are a finicky bunch.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:37 PM
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I think the thing with Bomberman is that they hit kind of a peak of perfection in the game's simplistic mechanics a long time ago.. and each time they try to add something significantly new to the formula it throws off that previous perfection. The same thing happened to Puyo Puyo, they hit that peak at Part 2 and 3, and then Part 4 and Puyo Fever tried to go somewhere really new with it and really jacked the game up.

So it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
I think the thing with Bomberman is that they hit kind of a peak of perfection in the game's simplistic mechanics a long time ago.. and each time they try to add something significantly new to the formula it throws off that previous perfection. The same thing happened to Puyo Puyo, they hit that peak at Part 2 and 3, and then Part 4 and Puyo Fever tried to go somewhere really new with it and really jacked the game up.

So it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.
Yeah, that's what I was trying to get across. We bitch that they need to change things around, then they do and really screw it up in our eyes.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Liver&Onions
I don't have anything right now (could later in the day) but how does this movie sound?

http://www.hudsonent.com/images/trai...manactzero.mov
Sounds good.

It looks fun and good time-killer game.
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Old 08-11-06, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
This was EGM's "Shame of the Month."

I don't have the mag handy as I'm at work, but the scores were someting like 3.0, 3.5, 3.0.

I gave it too much credit, it got a 3.0, 3.0 and 2.0 in EGM (and those are out of 10 for people that don't read the mag). They complain about the graphic/style makeover, the repetitive single player levles, only having 2 online multiplayer modes, and no off line multiplayer and selling that crap for $50.

Last edited by Josh Hinkle; 08-11-06 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 08-11-06, 05:57 PM
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In other news, Atlus will be bringing Bomberman Land Touch to the US in November.

Bomberman Land Touch! is a family-friendly action-adventure packed with explosive excitement! In the Story Mode, explore Bomber Island while solving unique puzzles, chatting with rival characters, and engaging in 36 different one- to-four-player “attractions” with action, racing, sports, and other themes. In Attraction Mode, enjoy any of the attractions you’ve unlocked in the Story Mode.

In the Battle Mode, play classic multiplayer Bomberman with two to eight players via Wireless Single-Card or Multi-Card Play, or two to four players via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
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