PAX Impressions: Bomberman Battlefest
Bomberman. You’ve very likely played it before. You and a few friends walk up and down grid-based stages, dropping bombs in hopes of blasting your buddies to smithereens. Pick up powerups that alter your bombs’ behavior, paint tiles different colors, and collect costume pieces (in Bomberman Ultra’s case). The formula is tried and true, for sure, but when Bomberman Ultra came out over a year ago, I was sure to pick it up. One reason I purchased Bomberman was the PSN’s lack of local multiplayer titles at the time. The other reason was because it’s Bomberman. I knew exactly what I was getting and was 100% willing to cough up $10 for it. So, what can we expect of Hudson’s newest iteration of the game?
Bomberman Battlefest will release for the XBLA first, followed by a PSN release a month or so later. The game also touts some console-specific content. The XBLA version will allow players to use their Live avatars instead of a bomberman, a “feature” that seems to go against the costume piece collecting aspect of the game. PSN users, however, will have the ability to form clans. Bomberman may not be the best game to add clan support to, but I’ll take it over avatar support any day.
Here’s a video of me playing as a chick in black clothing. Not even winning made me feel like less of a tool:
We didn’t get any footage of the new match types, but that’s where the game really started sounding appealing to me. I played a few rounds of capture the flag, and I’ve got to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was. Somehow an old game type mixed with an old game equaled a fresh experience. There are a handful of new match types, bomb pickups/powerups, and, of course, interactive, newish levels. When Ultra hit the PSN Store a year ago, the addition of 4 player local and 8 player online multiplayer to an old game was enough to warrant a dip into my wallet. It looks as if Battlefest will cause me to double dip, or something clever like that.