Monday, 12 March 2018

SNES game Review 147: Super Bomberman 2

Well my 65th Review was for Super Bomberman, which I just kept calling Bomberman totally forgetting the super part for some reason. When I reviewed the original I said that it was part of a long running franchise and since that review a Switch version was released which I grabbed, I also managed to get a copy of the original English Spectrum Bomberman game Eric and the Floaters. I dont want to get into how long this franchise has been going on again but I think the above does that. My purchase story behind Super Bomberman 2 is not a particularly exciting one, I grabbed it years later in a charity shop for a few quid. I should mention now that if you have read my review for the first Bomberman then it might sound like I am repeating myself but that's because this sequel is very much more of the same.

The normal 1 player mode of the game is just like any other Bomberman game. You control Bomberman, and you have to use your bombs to destroy various obstacles and opponents, ultimately using your bombs to turn on light switches that allow you to exit the level and progress on to the next. After completing a set number of levels, there is a boss battle, and how do you think you defeat the bosses that's right you do it by using bombs. You start the game only being able to lay one bomb at a time, this bomb will have a very small explosion, basically it will only harm things one square away in any direction. By destroying various obstacles some of which are bricks and others are mushrooms or treasure boxes it depends on the level you can find hidden powerups, what power ups can yoh get? Well you can pick up a flame this will increase the area your bomb damages, then you can pick up extra bombs so you can lay more than one at a time, you can also pick up shoes which make you move faster and more. Everything you can get in single player you can also get in the Multiplayer battle mode.

It is very easy to play Super Bomberman 2 there are very few buttons to get to grips with and very simple but tight controls. In order to become an absolute master at the game though you need to get smart. You will find yourself starting to understand how everything works, you will learn how large your explosion will be if you pick up a flame icon or 3 flame icons, all of this information will start to lodge in your brain, you will start having a greater awareness of how everything works and how you can use this to your advantage. If a bomb explodes and the flame hits another bomb it will cause this second bomb to detonate early. This is where the game starts to be far from simple as with multiple bombs and power ups you can either intentionally or accidentally cause large chain reactions in an attempts to get your opponents. If you panic and drop bombs all over the place causing huge chains of explosions then you will most likely kill yourself and this is where the game gets good. You need to learn how everything works and then learn how to keep a cool head and how to put your new found skills to work in even the most stressful of situations.

The single player story mode is basically partly there to entertain you when you are on your own but in honesty it also sort of serves as a training mode getting you ready for the real portion of the game the Multiplayer Battle mode. Super Bomberman 2 is one of the few games to use the SNES Multi-tap adaptor and with this you can have up to four players battling to blow each other to kingdom come.

If you don't have a multi-tap, your stuck to playing it in one or two player mode but luckily the computer will join in controlling AI characters to reach the full number. One of the interesting things is that there are multiple difficulty levels you can pick for the AI controlled Bombermen which is helpful as it means no matter what your skill level is you should be able to find an AI level that will allow you to have a good competitive game, its also cool from a training perspective as if your trying to improve you can keep upping the difficulty as you get better. If I have any issues with the AI it is that they all basically play in a highly defensive manner, it would be a nice touch if you could set some parameters that would make one be a little kill crazy willing to die if he took you down with him, then a defensive one, and a risk taker but I guess that's just expecting a lot given the hardware and when this game came out.

There are about ten maps you can choose from in multiplayer mode, and each one is different. The first map is sort of your bog standard no thrills one but each one from then on is  unique having its own quirk which makes it stand out and makes playing on it just a little bit different. For example one map has that sort of Pacman style thing where if you exit from the top of the map you reappear at the bottom. Sounds simple but it means that you can basically go from one side of the screen to the other in seconds and get the drop on your opponent or that they might do that to you.

Graphically the game is kind of basic but bright and fun and full of character, it might not be anything that flashy but it has aged well and it offers a pretty wide amount of variety which helps to keep things fresh.The sound in my opinion is good it manages to be cutesy catchy and it also manages to work with the on-screen action to make the game feel tense in the best possible way.

Super Bomberman 2 is definitely a very good game, especially if you have a multi-tap and a bunch of friends to play with. If you aren’t interested in a party game and prefer being a solo player then the single player game is not too bad but your really missing the part that makes this game the stand out classic that it is. Of course being a sequel there is the inevitable question is this one better than its predecessor? I find this a really tough question to answer as I am kind of biased to the first Super Bomberman because all of the levels and tunes from the game are burned into my brain, its the one I played as a young lad and its the one I have the really fond memories of. I gave Bomberman a 9 but I find myself having to give the second one an 8. Its still a brilliant game and I know some people prefer it but for me its just not quiet as good. If you want to try Bomberman 2 then the cheapest Pal carts I could find of it were about £25 with boxed copies being around double this. I would argue that the game is worth it but I would say don't worry about getting more than one of the SNES Bombermen games because there all just sort of variations of the same thing and hey it might also be worth looking at different versions on other formats, I am particularly fond of Bomberman Battlefest which was a download game for the Xbox 360 which has recently been added to the Xbox one via there ever growing backwards compatibility service, as this is only £6.75 to download I personally think its a complete steal and if you have been living under a rock for the last 30 years and don't know what  Bomberman is it would be a great cheap place to start.

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