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Bomberman: Race For The Championship vs. Komera
Bomberman: Race For The Championship
Download: 382 KB
Play Time: 1 hours and 30 minutes
Review # 1 for Komera
Them's Fightin' Words
    Below being a Zelda fan, below being a Final Fantasy fan, below a couple of other classics... I derive great enjoyment from the Bomberman games. Few things feel as good as planting a well placed bomb and watching enemies fry. Especially when bomb variations are being used. Watching enemy bombers panic when trapped by remote bombs is priceless. But maybe I was expecting too much when I expected a Bomberman-like experience when I downloaded this.
    Somewhere floating just above the abysmal low of the original Magnus rests the graphics of Bomberman. They left me wondering if the author had ripped the original Bomberman for the graphics... that was until I stumbled into Retroland. Why, yes he did, but not where I thought he did. Good Gaudpi, was the original Bomberman THAT ugly? I really hope the current graphics are place holders. This is one instance that I kept wishing ripped graphics WERE used. How 'bout Super Bomberman 5? The graphics would have fit perfectly with the character drawings and the picture of the Bomberman UFO Catchers. I'm adamant about this, because the graphics are very misleading and I'll tell you why below.  
    When I saw the characters of the title screen, I assumed I was getting a good game. Reading Bomberman's sleeping monologue I felt my opinion justified. THEN I saw the near-Magnus graphics and my opinion drastically changed. I assumed dispite the monologue that it would also have near-Magnus story and near-Magnus plotscripting. So I found myself revising my opinion once again upon discovering there really was a coherent story, and plotscripting that moved the characters around rather inteligently. But as coherent as the story is, it still amounts to not much more than a classic Bomberman game story with dialogue. The only significant difference is that in the classic games Bomberman goes from area to area with full knowledge that he's chasing someone down while in this game the guy hasn't formally introduced himself yet (read: threatened Bomberworld with annilation/slavery/whatever) so Bomberman is only aware of his goal of becoming the Gold Bomberman. But I have to wonder... shouldn't Bomberman be disqualified from the championship since he's getting help and the others aren't?  
    Plotscripting here is used mostly for cinematic purposes. There are a couple of places where plotscripting should have been used and could have very easily been used but wasn't. One spot in area one tells you via text box to make sure Bomberman is the leader of the party before entering the water because Pommy is not the one meant to enter the area. It wouldn't have taken much to use 'find hero (hero:Bomberman)', or better yet 'swap out hero (hero:Pommy)' or 'delete hero'... and just bypass the need to makesure Bomberman is the leader of the party to begin with.  
    There is nothing special here. All of Bomberman's attacks are bombs, which is naturally expected of him. I haven't yet got to try Ninja Bomberman because George offers to take me to the otherside of whatever waterway he keeps crossing... but never actually DOES it... so I have yet to get into a fight with the Ninja and don't know what's special about him. Pommy doesn't have a single special attack- and just as a side note; I think Pommy should have been swapped out and back in, instead of being deleted and readded because it just seems so odd that Pommy gained the same number of levels Bomberman did while Bomberman was in the water when the game says Pommy was on the bridge watching Bomberman.  
  Map Design
    Dull, drab, monotonous... and the fact that Bomberman enters each area at the top left of the map doesn't really help. I wandered over the large emptyness that makes up most of the water part of area one looking for items/weapons/whatever that in fact were not there. The occational obstacle was all that prevented it from feeling completely thoughtless. The retro area two has that grid feel present in every Bomberman game, but none of the bombable walls. I wouldn't expect they'd be bombable in this game, but it definitely would have broken up the monotony and maybe even provided a small amount of challenge navigating the area. I spent so much time looking for items that didn't exist that by the time I finally bothered to fight the retro Bomberman, I defeated him with one hit.  
    Battles are hard only if you're under three levels. There was a significant jump in enemy difficulty between the open areas of area one and the water portion. Significant enough that I kicked the bucket twice before I found the level at which Bomberman quit dying. I would have expected area two to have more difficult enemies. But because area two has the same enemies as area one... Bomberman beats them with laughable ease. And beating retro Bomberman in ONE HIT... just makes his followup monologue that much more idiotic.  
    I'd really like to say something about the music, except that ever since obtaining a new computer, I have been among the ranks of "I wish I could hear it."  
    Outside of falling asleep while navigating area two, I (strangely) actually enjoyed this game. Everytime I fell back to thinking I was dealing with a Magnus level game, that's when it would remind me that there was a bit of thought behind the game. In a strange way I can't really identify, the game has charm.  
Final Blows
    The game needs work. The game needs a lot of work. That's true of most OHR games. But this, being a fan game, conjures up expectations in other fans. Those expectations just aren't being met. It doesn't mean the game has to be a Bomberman clone... but I expect a Bomberman feel from a Bomberman game.

Final Scores
Graphics: 5.5/10.0
Flat fields of color covered by monocromatic airbrush in MSPaint does not make good backgrounds. PSP and Photoshop have free downloads (but with Photoshop you can't save unless you buy it... you CAN print screen, and paste in MSPaint). Flat character colors outlined by slightly darker colors only look good if you work for Disney.
Storyline: 7/10.0
That there is story is pleasent. More than I expect from a Bomberman game, not as much as there could be.
Gameplay: 6.5/10.0
Nothing really stands out here. It's all run of the mill stuff in the guise of bombs. It really needs something here for it to stand out.
Music: 1/10.0
I'll revise this score when I DO hear music. But until then I'll just go listen to some OverClocked Remixes of Bomberman music.
Enjoyment: 6.5/10.0
I want that Bomberman feel. I NEED that Bomberman feel. It's not there. I'm so disapointed.
Overall Grade: C+
Final Thoughts
    This is a game who's progression should be watched. I wouldn't bother playing now, but with improvement this could be a very enjoyable game. If that near-Magnus look and feel could be gotten rid of, I would gladly play again.  

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