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Bomberman Land Wii Review (Japanese Version) - Bill

I found this game really hard to review due to the schizophrenic nature of the whole thing.  Actually let me just say, it was really hard to review, because it was hard to bring myself to play the game at all.  If it wasn’t for the classic Battle Mode option in the game, there would be little more to see than an ugly excuse for a Gamecube port.

I suppose to be fair; I am not the likely intended target audience for the game.  But I believe there is a line that can be crossed where even a younger audience will feel it’s all a bit silly.  First of all, you've got a 10 minute cut scene at the start of the game that you can't skip and it's an utterly ridiculous rambling dialogue.  Followed by yet another 10 minutes of "story" that you actually can spend skipping over the dialogue, but you have to watch the characters do their thing.  Now imagine going through all that, and forget to save, and assume the game would have auto-saved when you began since you made a profile. Hope you enjoyed that 20 minute intro! All of this just to set the stage as to why you are competing in the various mini-games.

Once you’re finally on your way and free to start playing, the game pits you against the other characters of the Bomberman Land to compete against in the mini-games.  A large screen keeps track of the leader boards, and your goal is to work your way up to the top.   You compete for Quest Points, to unlock new areas and games, and also earn different items to outfit your character.  So while you start out looking like that classic Bomberman character you can dress him up with items bought or won.  This is merely cosmetic, and none of the items change any stats, as there are none.  This setup has potential in that your friends can play and save their progress and you can work to move up the leader board faster than them.  So the character outfits can help you make your Bomberman unique.  The problem is that you will be unlikely to find any friends willing to play the game.

The potential for this ranked competition is wasted simply because the mini-games are terrible.  The games that actually make use of the Wii controls (and many don’t) make Wii-Play look like a complicated game.  And for mini-games as simple as this, there just aren’t enough of them.  The game seems to have gone to great lengths to put in as much filler as it can to disguise just how little game play there actually is.   If you’re coming to this game just to enjoy the mini-games alone, you’re out of luck unless you unlock them in the single player story mode first.

The saving grace for this title is the classic Battle Mode option.  Old school fans of Bomberman will be right at home immediately here.  There is a very large selection of maps, as well as six different game play modes, including a Wii specific one.  The maps have been rendered in 3D, and look great on a widescreen.  The game even supports a unique feature if you’re short on Wii-motes but want to play along with a friend.  One player can play holding the controller in the classic sideways position, while a second player can control his character independently with the nun chuck.   So if you have two controllers and two nun chucks, you can still enjoy a 4 player game of Bomberman in Battle Mode.  But if this style of Bomberman is all you’re after, your money might make more sense going towards Bomberman ’94 for the Virtual Console.

As of writing there is still no North American release date set for Bomberman Land Wii, and I suppose there is a chance that it won’t be released at all.  If not you won’t be missing out much, unless you’re a diehard mini-game fan and just can get enough of them.  Dismal graphics, an inane story, shallow game play, and an added on game mode we’ve seen  many times over the years make it impossible for me to recommend this game.