Bomberman Live (XBLA) Review

Before you begin this review, I want you to do something for me. I want you to remember that little game called Bomberman: Act Zero. Remember it? Ok, now somehow forget that it ever existed. Seriously, erase it from your memory with some Men in Black type doohickey because after playing Bomberman Live, you’ll probably want to administer a quick boot to the face (or more if you’re so inclined) to the team behind Act Zero. I’m begging you, for the sake of the developers and their families, forget it, because if you play this game and don’t follow these instructions, you will feel as though your hand is forced to take swift, destructive action. Yes, this game is that damn good.

Bomberman Live is really a longtime coming. For me, it was one of those titles that deep down I really, really wanted, but didn’t realize it since I was caught up in the hype surrounding symphony of the night and some of the other more publicized XBLA titles such as Street Fighter. I was caught up in all that, and I feel ashamed. Ashamed for not anticipating such an accessible and charming title with gameplay that still feels great after being almost untouched after all these years (14 since it’s debut on the MSX).

I’m not going to get into the differences between this version and all the other ones out there, because if it’s a great title that’s worth your money, I don’t think it really matters.

Anyway, in this version of the game there are 3 modes of play that you and up to 7 other players can wreck havoc. Those modes are Normal, Paint Bomb, and Zombie. Normal is…well…normal. Paint Bomb has you using your bombs to paint more tiles than the other lads. If you die, your paint remains and it’s time to cross those fingers in hopes that no one beats you. Zombie is similar to Paint in that you are painting the tiles, but different in that when you die your paint washes away and you respawn. Normal is as good as you would expect, but Zombie is quickly becoming my preferred gametype as it adds an extra, highly enjoyable, dynamic to the traditional gameplay.

The game has 8 levels of play which vary in layout and interaction. Some levels have quicksand, trap doors, and teleporters for you to force someone into or mistakenly falling into yourself, making you "that guy/gal."

Many have complained of the lack of single player on this game (it’s multiplayer but with bots) but since when have people hailed that part of Bomberman games? The only reason to play it, if you don’t have friends or an internet connection/xbox live, is to unlock different pieces to customize your Bomberman. What does mine currently look like? Tiara, ballerina costume, and a cigar help create the Princess Vespa stunt double from Spaceballs that I have always wanted.

Bomberman Live is accurately priced at 800 Microsoft Points and is really a must-have for anyone’s 360, whether they primarily play online or off.


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Author: Kyle Stallock View all posts by

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