How many of you still own a Playstation? You know, the first kind? Not many, I imagine. How many of you own a Ps3? That’s better. If you’ve got a Ps3, you can play Ps1 games, so I’ll introduce you to an old favorite. Bomberman Party Edition! You know Bomberman, right? The little guy with the TV head who wandered through blocky worlds, exploding enemies and collecting items? This has got to be his masterpiece.
This is a game meant for shared-screen multiplayer explosive action. Instead of blowing up minions to reach a goal, you blow the crap out of your friends and computer controlled bombers! Though the object of this game is straightforward, the stages and characters you play can actually demand a little strategy from you.
First of all, there is a single-player mode based off the retro-Bomberman games, rendered in lovely pixellated 2.5D. It follows the same basic principles as the prior games: Blow through levels of increasingly difficult enemies while gathering upgrades to strengthen your bombs and make easier the destruction of your foes. It’s a little repetitive, but it’s homage to the older days of gaming, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Now, multiplayer… This is where the good stuff comes in. Play on teams or free for all, then choose from one of three difficulty levels: Easy is for people who just want raw Bomberman action. All characters are just color edits of the TV-head, and all stages have very simple gimmicks, such as speed panels or a cart that provides temporary invulnerability.
Normal kicks things up a bit by allowing different types of Bombers (no special abilities), from Cossack Bomber to Punk Bomber to Pretty Bomber. In this mode, there are eggs that will spawn randomly from broken blocks that give players animal mounts. These rabbit-kangaroos can jump, kick blocks, kick bombs, dash, or use the line bomb ability, and also serve as a single-blast buffer zone between the rider and explosive death.
Hard mode isn’t really hard, just extremely gimmicky. Each character has an annoying and spammy ability that can be activated by holding the X button and pressing the D-pad in any direction. A few examples: Jet Bomber rockets off, leaving a trail of fire. Bazooka Bomber just blasts your shit. Great Bomber gets three seconds of invincibility. Hammer Bomber stands still and swings his mace around like an idiot, usually stun-locking everyone and causing mass murder. Also, the mounts in this mode are even more complex. Coney is immune to blasts from behind, Monkey can pick up blocks, Bird-face can eat bombs and spit them back out, Dragon can hop and stun people he lands on, and Mouse can run like a demon.
A little sub-section for Hard Mode stages now. They usually have a lot going on in them. Giant robots, explosion-redirecting flowers, giant item-stomping robots, portal carts, stages where all explosions start off maxed… It’s a little hard to pat attention to all of it at once, so more likely than not you’ll die because of some random explosion just barely grazing your big toe. That’s okay though, because if you turn on Super Revenge Carts, you can toss weaker bombs to kill living players and reclaim your place on stage. Here’s a tip: Toss your bomb into explosions to auto-detonate it and guarantee a quick resurrection. Don’t be afraid to be a complete ass!
I’m not sure you’ll be able to find any copies of this anywhere. It’s old, unpopular (despite being fricken amazing), and above all else, for Playstation One. If you can find a copy and you do have a Ps3, you can actually pop it in and enjoy a great game with horrible 1990’s graphics. Makes it all the more nostalgic, though! It’s an explosion of pixels with love.