Bomberman Jetters Review

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Publisher: Majesco Games
Developer: Hudson Soft


Platform: GameCube
Reviewed on GameCube

The Hige Hige (pronounced "hig-ee hig-ee") Bandits have a new plan to destroy Planet Bomber. They plan on crashing the Dark Star, an artificial comet powered by massive engines, into Planet Bomber, eradicating Bomberman, his friends and myriad mysterious creatures called Charabom. Once again exhibiting their trademark cleverness, the Hige Hige Bandits had dubbed this plan "Obliterate Planet Bomber." Bomberman, with the aid of his friends, the Jetters, must sneak onto the Dark Star and shut down the four engines that are powering its collision course to save Planet Bomber.

Rating:
Kyle Ackerman


Unless you are a long-time fan of the Bomberman franchise, following the plots, merchandise and animation, you'll probably find the story and game fundamentals of Bomberman Jetters just short of incomprehensible. The good news is, with or without real comprehension, the game is surprisingly fun. Let go of your preconceptions, and in no time at all, your cel-shaded hero will be hurling bombs at technicolor stars or winged vases to feed fruit to your Charabom. It won't be long before you stop wondering why Hige Hige farmers hurl sickles at your pink-pom-pom clad White Bomber while shouting "Hige! Hige!" Children and adults alike can sit back and just enjoy play that is as entertaining as the setting is incomprehensible. Most importantly, you get an assortment of party games along with a full single-player story mode, all for just under $20. That makes Bomberman Jetters a great value.

Collect Charabom To Eliminate Wind-Up Mice


If you are familiar with the Bomberman franchise, you'll enjoy the animated cut-scenes and appreciate the ability to switch freely to playing as Max (a darker character who finds the Hige Hige Bandits' plot so abominable even he must aid in their defeat). You'll also enjoy the selection of Charabom (Pokemon-like monsters) that can enhance White Bomber's abilities, and grow in power as they are fed. As a game, Bomberman Jetters is very much a sequel to Bomberman Generation. You run around a series of worlds, collecting objects and wiping out dim but charming enemies with your bombs. The enemies aren't bright – they wander aimlessly, sometimes charging you if you approach too closely. But the enemies don't seem intended to be the challenge.

The single-player campaign is rarely, if ever, difficult. Progressing is more a matter of solving the puzzles that are part of the level design, such as finding a switch, bombing a fan, or tossing a bomb onto a distant button. The often bizarre enemies (like cybernetic potted plants or crystal cacti that angrily chase you) only exist to make completing a level slightly more satisfying. Collectibles that unlock additional game features are harder to find, and add challenges for those inclined to revisit levels and search for secrets. By finding new Charabom and creating new types of bombs, White Bomber's repertoire grows throughout the course of the game, and you'll have to identify the right tools for each job. The only real test of your game skills will come from the game's many bosses, each of which pursues a clear pattern that can be observed and exploited. Ultimately, after facing elemental bombers and ascending the Hige central control tower, Planet Bomber will once again orbit in peace.

Not Too Difficult, But You Sure Can Party!


If you look to be challenged by video games, Bomberman Jetters will not meet your standards. If you are looking to enjoy some interactive play that isn't particularly taxing, or want to pass this on to a younger gamer, Bomberman Jetters serves as a pleasant respite from the excessive repetition of certain sequences that really difficult titles demand. A dozen hours should be more than enough to get through the story and collect all the Charaboms. You could play longer if you searched for the collectibles, and there are shortcuts to help you go faster (if you identify them and use the right Charabom). The only truly difficult moments are the final boss (until you figure out how to damage it) and working out how to use remote-controlled bombs (the game and manual never adequately explain what to do).

 

Bomberman Jetters also has a variety of multiplayer, party-style games, similar to those available in Bomberman Generation. The party games are high-energy fun, and while simple in concept, aren't something a novice can immediately pick up and play. If you would like to introduce a youngster or friend who isn't a regular gamer to the multiplayer contests, it will require some explanation. Of course, if you can get four players together, you can have some frenetic matches collecting objects or just hurling bombs at each other. Extra modes can be unlocked, including a sort-of training mini-game that is unlocked just by quitting out of the story mode after dying.

In a pleasant change, White Bomber has a lot more character than he exhibited in Bomberman Generation. The title is still a reliable, brightly cel-shaded platformer and nifty party game. It also distinguishes itself among platformers by letting the player control the camera at all times. Bomberman Jetters is hardly a perfect game, and it won't challenge seasoned gamers, but it offers a good single player experience, along with a collection of party games, for very little money.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on April 4, 2004 11:30 AM.

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