Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
23 November 2006
Bomberman '93 is Excellent
When I drove a hundred miles to be home with Dad for Thanksgiving, I dragged my Wii along for the ride.

Unfortunately, due to an oversight, I neglected to drag its power supply along for that ride.

A scan through local retail outlets made it clear that replacement AC adaptors were not yet available in stores, and Gamecube adaptors don't fit. In the end, I ended up driving BACK to Statesboro, just to get the power supply. But it was all worth it, and for one reason above all else:


Back in the days before its battle game became progressively polluted with 3D, overly-gimmicky level layouts and dino buddies (JVM's coinage here, meaning Pokemon-like helper characters who follow you around wanting to be pals), the Bomberman series produced what could be the finest multiplayer games ever made. I and my friends got hooked playing Super Bomberman with a multitap on my SNES back in the day, and while that game is not yet available on Virtual Console, the similar Bomberman '93 was released last night, becoming the first must-own VC release. Many people missed this game on its original release since it was made for the Turbografx-16, the Gamecube of its time. It is only six bucks to boot.

Not only is the play the cleanest it has ever been, but it even supports five player games! The instructions explicitly state that, although the Wii only accepts up to four wireless controllers and four Gamecube controllers, by using a combination of the two types players can map controllers to each of a Turbo Tap's five virtual controller ports.

Bomberman-maker Hudson has announced that they plan to provide extensive support to Virtual Console, with dozens of games planned for eventual release. The company has some neglected gems in its history (the excellent Bonk's Adventure was also released last night), and they could well be Nintendo's best ally in the fight to unseat X-box Live Arcade from its comfortable spon on the console download gaming throne.

EDIT: Fixed the game's name, thanks to mgroves for pointing it out. Damn numbers.

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--John Harris at 04:07
Comment [ 10 ]

Comments on this post:

The "Gamecube of its time" as in it had a poor library of games, or that it sold poorly? Because, the TurboGrafx-16 had a much better library of games than the GameCube did.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 November, 2006 05:10  

But, Bomberman '93 is on the Wii Virtual Console, not Bomberman '94...

And I would certainly disagree that TG-16 had a better library of games. Sure, there were hidden gems, but Gamecube has those too. For the most part, I think that metaphor is correct.

By Anonymous mgroves, at 23 November, 2006 10:50  

The Gamecube, in fact, has quite a few nice games. Once the great, public Nelson laugh over the Gamecube's fortunes has died down and people are able to examine the system for its games more than its success in the market, people will think better of it, I think.

By Blogger JohnH, at 23 November, 2006 12:03  

It still says bomberman 93 and 94 at different points..

By Blogger Zachary, at 23 November, 2006 15:03  

Saturn Bomberman is the finest Bomberman Hudson ever made - right down to an insane 10 player mode which led me to hunt down two Saturn multitaps and haunt car boot sales for years until I accumulated ten Saturn controllers.

If in theory the Wii can handle 8 controllers (four Wiimotes and four GC controllers), then a VC Saturn Bomberman would be a beautiful thing.

I wonder whether the Wii has the oomph to emulate a Saturn, or whether a full port would be required.

By Blogger John Hartnup, at 23 November, 2006 15:50  

I've heard great things about Saturn Bomberman, but ten players may be overkill. The game uses a high-resolution mode to fit more maze on the screen at once, correct?

The thing that makes or breaks Bomberman multiplayer, that I've seen, is the responsiveness of the controls (3D Bomberman games usually fail here), whether or not they muck about too much with the rules (Bomberman 64 additionally fails because of this with its round explosions), and the types of powerups available. (Super Bomberman is still the best I know of on this, allowing the Detonator to be used in certain levels, and with its Duel Zone and Power Zone levels.)

What powerups does Saturn Bomberman's battle mode have?

By Blogger JohnH, at 23 November, 2006 15:56  

I like the N64 Bomberman because it actually is different.

Bomberman has been done so many times. So many gimmicked levels. So many gimmicked power-ups. Weapons. Everything.

The N64 Bomberman was a different game, not just new levels and more powers.

Which is enough reason alone for it to receive a lot of heat from Bomberman fans that just want more and more of the same.

Too bad Hudson realizes that they have no reason to try to make an ultimate "classic" Bomberman collection, heavily customizable for most or all of the past options, streamlining power-ups, and a large selection of levels. Not when they can keep selling the equivalent of expansions as full games, after tacking on questionable and/or weak story mode adventures.

By Anonymous Baines, at 23 November, 2006 20:34  

I can kind of see what you mean about N64 Bomberman. However, the fact that it is a different game means it basically abandoned all the (often fairly subtle) advantages of the old grid-based system.

My favorite Bomberman is still the first SNES one, it had some excellent innovations that were largely ignored in later installments. The Duel Zone alone is worth the entire purchase price of the cartridge AND used multitap.

By Blogger JohnH, at 24 November, 2006 04:21  

Yes, the 10 player Saturn mode uses high resolution that makes your TV go funny. Quite a lot of gimmicks and powerups are It's worth it for the novelty, but practically speaking, it's very hard to get 10 people together who all want to play. I've managed it a couple of times, and there's always people who don't really understand the game, die early every round, and have a horrible time.

But, the normal Saturn battle mode hits the sweet spot in my opinion. It's traditional 2D Bomberman, to Saturn standards. I don't think they've invented a significant map gimmick or powerup since.

You have the dragons, which are great.

By Blogger John Hartnup, at 24 November, 2006 06:11  

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