Who knew propelling bombs at inanimate objects and deranged robotic creatures could be so much fun? Mega Bomberman, released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis, portrays the explosive Bomberman character scurrying through various mazes. Planet Bomber was split into five pieces; therefore Bomberman must reconstruct the Spirit Pictures to repair his planet. Applying strategic measures to Bomberman’s adventure is crucial and makes the game a hugely enjoyable puzzle-solving experience.
With its retro sounds and cartoon designs, Mega Bomberman is a delightfully fun escapade. Tactically placing bombs is only one of many hindrances Bomberman must overcome. A combination of slow and viciously swift enemies can complicate his progression. If he happens to be clever enough though, he can trap enemies in a corner with a bomb and deviously watch as they meet their demise. Though I must admit, it is embarrassingly easy for Bomberman to trap himself into humiliating defeat. Embrace the rage and try again.
As barriers are destroyed, various power-ups are occasionally revealed. One might cause the range of the bomb’s explosion to amplify while another increases the amount of bombs that can be dropped at a time. A handful of pros and cons come with these bad boys. If precautions aren’t taken, Bomberman can end up going bomb crazy and, well, land himself in quite the pickle. Sometimes Bomberman can even acquire a friend to ride through the mazes with. This adorable furry guy increases his speed and makes roaming a little less hectic.
Hurrying through these puzzling stages isn’t recommended. However, they are timed. Fortunately, the time given to triumph through a level is thankfully generous. Points are rewarded to Bomberman if he is victorious and the timer hasn’t clocked to zero. Of course, I learned the hard way that taking my precious time blasting every destroyable obstacle can result in the stage timing out and ultimately, a loss of one of Bomberman’s lives. He only has four lives starting out, so his every move is critical.
Mega Bomberman tosses an array of robotic terrors into the already challenging environments. They add an extra flair to the mix, rather than Bomberman simply abolishing walls and carrying on with his day. His foes aren’t the brightest buds on the tree, but a handful of them are quick enough to throw our bomber into a frenzy, costing him a life or four. Sure, the adorable rabbit appears to be innocent, but its range of motion as it throws vigorous punches tells a whole different story. Attempting to anticipate the enemy’s next move can occasionally give Bomberman the upper-hand, but they’re not the only meddlers to worry about.
As Bomberman strives onward, he encounters intriguing boss battles. Totaling up to six zones that need redemption, a powerful (and less dumb) fiend awaits at the finish line of each area. Thankfully power-ups carry onto the boss fight. Well, until he’s used up all of his lives, anyway. Nonetheless, confronting a giant robotic banana that seethes with rage isn’t a walk in the park. To keep track of where bombs have been placed while simultaneously steering clear of the parading banana isn’t an easy task. If Bomberman isn’t careful, he’ll end up in his own line of explosions and my controller will be thrown into oblivion.
Mega Bomberman also offers players the opportunity to compete against their freinds. Multiplayer mode throws up to four players into an arena, forcing them to blow each other up with acquired power-ups and strategized movements. Players can choose their combatant type, including a very obese version of Bomberman and another so ancient he saunters around with a cane. Who doesn’t enjoy a little variety in their lives? Battle mode is a nice change of pace. If you don’t have any friends, going head-to-head with a computer generated foe is still a blast. Except when they’re better than you, then that’s just annoying.
Mega Bomberman is that maddening puzzle game I grew up with and still enjoy twenty years later. Though the gameplay can seem slow paced when all you want to do is prosper, reaching the final stretch is incredibly gratifying. Patience is a virtue, folks. Bombing any obstacle that could alter triumph isn’t a rushed art, but rather one to take your time with. Otherwise, Bomberman is likely to trap himself with his own bombs and disintegrate instantaneously. With a little trial and error though, crossing that finish line isn’t far from your grasp.