After attempting to write an introduction to this review about a dozen times, I finally figured out why I didn’t like all the others. Put simply: I was being too nice to a game that simply exists as a ripoff of a far more popular (and more fun) series. Before going into many more details, I’m just going to say that Bombing Busters is a copycat of Bomberman without adding nearly enough to warrant its creation. I’m not sure exactly how this game hasn’t gotten into more trouble for copying so much from the Bomberman series, but I will still try to review this game based on what I observed from my time with the game.
Believe it or not, I hoped Bombing Busters would take the tried and true Bomberman formula and add a new twist that would make it approachable by a new audience that could easily trace its influences back to Bomberman. my hopes were quickly dashed when I was met with randomly generated levels, uninspired enemies, and power ups that quickly became the main reason I would die. All of this was wrapped up with a star rating system that adds nothing to the game and is based on how much time is left when the level is completed.
Each level starts with a five-minute timer that starts ticking down right away. This timer is what derides what star ranking the player gets when the level is completed. To get a three star ranking, a level has to be finished with three minutes or more on the clock. This focus on speed seems out-of-place in a game where players are asked to use bombs to clear tiles all around them. If the timer doesn’t cause the player to kill themself by accident, one of the games various monsters will probably be the cause.
The game’s enemies range from simpletons that walk around in their available area to enemies that know exactly how to get out-of-the-way of every bomb you place to some more complex enemies that sport their own dangers such as trails that can kill you. At first, I was excited by the idea of smart enemies. This excitement quickly turned to disgust as I realized that I could only catch the smart enemies with an absolute perfect bomb placement. This means that if I destroyed too much terrain, these smart enemies would become a true hassle to catch. All of these enemy troubles were doubled by the fact that every level was randomly generated, which means learning any one level is purely impossible.
Despite all of this, I did manage to enjoy my first few attempts at the game’s boss set up. When I came across the boss at the end of the first world, I thought the idea of having to hit one boss over and over again kind of neat. It was only when I realized how often the boss would throw mushrooms on top of my bomb (blowing them and me up in the process) that I started to get annoyed. Basically, the one aspect of this game I did enjoy was promptly ruined when I had to replay the level time and time again, learning the exact pattern I had to perform so I wouldn’t accidentally kill myself.
You may think that there must be some redeeming quality to this game but i must argue the opposite. Not only does this game simply redo Bomberman, it does it in such a way that feels unfair and not fun. Since the game’s only rating system relies so heavily on speed, the character needs to move quickly to actually stand a chance. Because of this fast movement speed, I often walked past where I wanted to stop and walk right into my own explosion. Besides all the issues I’ve already stated here, the game’s style isn’t the best to look at and the soundtrack is beyond forgettable. After playing Bombing Busters, all I could think is, “Man, I wish I was playing Bomberman on my Playstation.”
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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