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 The Final Word game review

Bomberman Tournament -- Hudson/Activision

Take everything I liked about Dark Arms on the NeoGeo Pocket Color, make it even better, and then you've got Bomberman for the GBA. Wow, this is a dream for RPG players who don't have the time to sit at a TV for hours on end playing through endless fields of pre-rendered backgrounds. In many ways this game is very reminiscent of the old LucasArts "Pocket Adventures" from a few years ago. You have a basic storyline to follow, with the standard "go everywhere, talk to everyone" RPG elements. But, when you need to quit the game, you just save and shutdown, resuming at the exact spot you left off at when you shut down the game. Graphics and sound are good, but nothing spectacular and pretty standard for this kind of game... very SNESish.

The only thing that doesn't save state is the general monsters. But then again, they re-spawn every time you leave the screen they're on. As an added note though, this doesn't happen when you're in a boss dungeon. In boss dungeons, when you save, the entire state of the dungeon gets saved (including monsters gone from rooms you've cleared, and many switch doors are as you left them), except you restart from inside the front door. This isn't really that big of a deal since all you need to do is wander back through the empty rooms to where you left off.

Getting around in the game is pretty simple as well. You can either travel on foot (which can take quite a bit of time as you open up the very large world), or you can use what amounts to a teleport feature, to take you directly to the start points of each of the main towns you've been to.

As far as the weapon system goes... well, you have bombs. As you progress through the game though, you get collect all of the standard Bomberman power-ups, such as the abilities to throw bombs, slide bombs, drop mines, etc... As well as added firepower levels which increases your blast range. Another additive to your bomb effects are these mini-monsters called "Karabon". Each Karabon has an attribute, or special effect associated with it that will be enabled by making that creature active on your B-button, or by simply having it (such as the ability to throw or slide bombs). The first Karabon you get gives you the ability to teleport. Also, other than the bonus effects these creatures give you during play. You can also take them into an arena where you battle them against other NPC Karabon's to get prizes.

As far as length of game, I'd say that solve-time could run in the 30-40 hour range. Although, I didn't work on it in one big session, so it's hard to say how long I took to complete the game. I play the game in little sessions, like at lunch, or when I'm sitting around waiting for my kids at soccer practice, or even in bed at night before I go to sleep.

All of that aside, let's not forget the awesome multi-player battle mode! You can link up to four players together using one cartridge to play traditional tournament style Bomberman with your friends. You have eight battle maps to play on, each with different layouts and hazards. Even if you don't get into the RPG part of this game, the multi-player is great fun for sitting around with your friends. Me though, I'm enjoying both parts of the game alot.

>>>>> 23.0/25 <<<<< R.I.P.
Graphics 4.0
Sound 4.0
Gameplay/Control 5.0
Longevity/Playability 5.0
Overall 5.0
Total 23.0