We may think of games where more than 2 play against each other in an arena as a modern concept but it has been around for a long time. So today we look back to a game I got as a birthday present oh so many years ago ( I remember pestering my parents about it and my habit of not being able to sleep on birthdays and Christmas back then).
So it’s time to start committing random acts of destruction and trap your friends between a wall and an explosive while they break down before their imminent death. Time for Super Bomberman 2.
Super Bomberman 2 was released in 1994/5 (Europe got it in 1995) published by Hudson Soft for the Super Nintendo (told you that since getting mine back working the majority of classic reviews would be focused on that). It can be divided into 2 areas, the single player and the multiplayer, and as mentioned that is for many people the main focus of the franchise (which I’m glad to say got a recent game on the Switch, so many good franchises from my past died).
In multiplayer up to 4 people are thrown into an arena, you have explodable and non explodable walls. Looking down from up high you see the whole arena. You can drop a bomb that can destroy walls and players (so make sure you’re out of the line of fire cause you can kill yourself… and probably will), destroying walls may reveal power ups, such as being able to drop more bombs at any one time, increasing the range of the bombs, increasing your speed and more.
So far so dull right, but soon you will be faced with your opponents, the fight getting more hectic, needing to try to trap your foes while not getting caught in their or your own explosives. Think that’s all, nope, you also get skulls which give a random negative effect to who picks them up, like constantly dropping all your bombs and the only way to get rid of this, is to pass through your foes and give it to them instead.
What’s more you can’t destroy the skull. Blow it up and it just moves to a different place. And finally time begins to run out and you will find blocks falling from the sky until your arena is tiny (oh and get caught by the rocks and you die). This is the appeal of the multiplayer, a hectic rush while trying to remain calm and thanks to a peripheral made by Hudson Soft they made it that though there are only 2 controller slots on the machine normally, you can get 4 controllers in for the full 4 player madness.
But that’s just multiplayer, there is still single player. Playing as the White Bomberman you have to explode your way though 5 worlds, each with 8 levels the final 2 facing off against an Evil Bomberman and then their giant robot.
The game still uses the same control method as the multiplayer, upgrading abilities while killing enemies with bombs. Fortunately these are no where near as cunning or complicated as the enemy bombers and you keep power ups through the levels until you die or complete the world. Well most power ups. The stat increasing ones stay but things like picking up bombs or kicking them go.
Each world is themed, starting out with a castle theme with magnets, a fiery inferno, a cute theme park, a technological lair, and then an advanced base. Like the multiplayer the main danger is being caught out by your own actions until you come to one of the 5 dastardly bombers. These guys play much more like the multiplayer but their bombs have different effects such as being drawn to you (first boss is a magnet theme). Their big robots on the other hand are much easier. The bosses you just need to avoid their attacks and hit them multiple times, rather than catch the bomber 3 times.
Super Bomberman 2 has no save feature but has a password system to get you to where you were, or you can look up the cheat passwords to get all the power ups you want and where you want, and it is VITAL you have the bomb throw against the final boss as you can’t beat him otherwise.
A good game and a fun experience. Play this to see why people loved this franchise and why I was happy to see a new one released on the Switch after all these years ( there were plenty of games between this and that one, some good some ok, and one notoriously bad reboot on the Xbox).
Rating: if you can’t get multiplayer
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