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Classic Review Edition
Page 7

Of all the game series that has survived the cursed popularity contest of the ages, the Bomberman series is one of the few that has still stood since its introduction in 1986. This series has spanned every major system released, and even a few of the less-popular consoles. One of the best titles, in my own humble opinion, in the ongoing Bomberman series is the top-notch Bomberman-ticity that is Super Bomberman 2.

Bomberman is a continuous effort from game developer Hudson Soft, who also produced the Adventure Island series and are the masterminds behind the Mario Party series. In this episode of the life of the king of bombs, a group of robotic vandals have come to take over the universe. Just for your personal advantage, here is the story excerpt from the manual: "Danger has again come to the once peaceful Earth... Suddenly the figures of Magnet Bomber, Golem Bomber, Pretty Bomber, Brain Bomber, and Plasma Bomber appear before our hero, BomberMan. These five cyborgs, called the "Five Bad Bombers", say they have been built by aliens who plan to take over the universe, and that they have come to capture the original BomberMan. Though BomberMan valiantly attempts to fight off the Five Bad Bombers, he is taken captive. Later, BomberMan awakens in an underground prison cell in the base of the Five Bad Bombers. And once again he rises to protect world peace.

Our future is in his hands. He must fight hordes of enemies scattered throughout the huge alien base. Avoid countless traps which have been set for him. Only then can he face the Five Bad Bombers who await him..."

There are two modes available for play in this game -- SINGLE PLAYER and BATTLE MODE. In SINGLE PLAYER mode, you play through various levels destroying enemies with your bomb power and setting off switches. Once you defeat all the enemies and set off all the switches in a stage, you move on. After six stages in one area, you'll meet up with a mini-boss (one of the aforementioned Bombers), and then you'll move on to a large mechanical boss. After several areas of this, you can complete the game. The opposite of this type of linear gaming is the BATTLE MODE option. Here, you and three other players (they can all be selected as human players, computer players, or not available -- to play as the third and fourth player, you need a MultiTap add-on for your SNES...made by Hudson Soft) can battle it out in an arena in a bomb against bomb mutiny war! However, unless you have the MultiTap add-on, you will only be allowed to make the third and fourth competitors computer-directed.

If you look at the graphics, they are adequate for the Super Nintendo. While there is nothing special going on graphically, the sprites and backgrounds do just as they are supposed to. A select few of the bosses at the end of each area in SINGLE PLAYER mode do look nifty though. On the other hand, music and sound is just as well done. There are plenty of tunes to tap your foot to. Whether or not you like them is your business. The sound effects also do their job. There are plenty of explosions happening all the time, and most likely, the best explosion sound was chosen for the job, and it hasn't changed in even the newer Bomberman titles.

Super Bomberman 2 is a fun adventure, and you will not be disappointed when you travel through the various themed areas or when you duke it out explosively with your friends. This is definitely a decent addition to anyone's game library. It is very action-packed, and is in fact very similar to caffeine in two ways -- (1) it's very addictive, and (2) it will keep you up all night! So overall, and no pun was intended here, but you should really pick up with game and I guarantee you will have a blast!

FINAL SCORE: 8.8/10

UPDATED COMMENTARY:
There are actually five Super Bomberman games, but only two of them were released outside of Japan. So, in essence, this one is the best Bomberman game for the SNES that I knew about at the time. After checking out the later ones, however, I have come to determine that this is still a high-quality game, even though there are little improvements here and there in later iterations. Super Bomberman 2 is still chock full of all the excitement of the series, so it's worth checking out.

Many people enjoy playing the most modern PC first-person shooters like Quake III Arena, Half-Life, and Unreal Tournament. Yet some people often forget about the roots of these graphically-enhanced blastomatic games. They forget about the pixelated games that poured these types of games into public popularity, such as Doom and Blake Stone. Yet we should not forget about what might be the best ancient shooter of them all (which still stands, in my opinion, as an excellent shooter which, in the sense of fun, rivals any recent PC first-person shooter). We should NOT forget about Wolfenstein 3-D.

Though it may be pixelated, it's still a blast to play through. You are B.J. Blazkowicz, a fugitive who, through the power of some really cool guns (and a lousy knife) must shoot your way through close to sixty levels of crazy Nazi guards, countless annoying doorways, and little plates of meat and bowls of dog product, just lying around for you to regain health with.

If anybody were to play, for example, Quake III Arena for about an hour, then immediately switch over to Wolfenstein 3-D, they would become ecstatic. What terrible graphics! How pixelly can you get? However, if you refer back to the year 1992 (when it was first released), all the PC magazines rejoiced and gave the graphics high marks (and it was even donned the title "GAME OF THE YEAR"). In terms of graphics, it WAS top of the line during its time period of prime popularity. It used texture mapping, something not used too often for a game of such high expectations. Id Software, developer (and publisher) of the game was given praise for its use of this texture mapping in such a complex type of game. And since it WAS high caliber stuff back then, we can't blame them for working with it.

"Mein laden" is one of the coolest phrases uttered in this game. Yes, there IS some speech in this game, which does also shove it ahead of many other PC games that were released during this time (such as a certain Commander who was Keen on saving the planet). "Mein laden" was the voice you heard when you killed one of the blue-suited Nazis. Other voices you heard included the "Yeah!" you yelled when you completed an episode (six in all), and the various goony not-so-understandable German phrases uttered when you kill the boss of each episode (found in Floor 9). Also there were door noises, gun shot noises, yadda yadda yadda. Every shooter has that, so no big deal.

This is just a fun shooter, if you look past its ancient game engine, and search for a true sign of fun gaming. You might just find it in Wolfenstein 3-D. And if you don't like the game, you should not complain about the old technology -- just let other fun-loving nutbars like me enjoy destroying an German empire.

Oh, and just to let everybody know, this game was never available to be sold in Germany.

FINAL SCORE: 8.3/10

UPDATED COMMENTARY:
I have enjoyed Wolfenstein 3D countless times over the course of my lifetime, and even though other consoles have tried to emulate the thrill of the original -- I'm talking about the SNES and the Game Boy Advance versions -- there is nothing more fun than playing the PC version from 1992. There is just something about the original game that delivers non-stop thrills as you go through and take down the German army by yourself. Plus seeing Hitler in a giant robot is a fun way to warp history. The only thing I don't quite like about this review is the fact that I said that every shooter has gun shot noises and such, so it's not a big deal. Well, it is if the game is pretty much the pioneer of the first-person shooter genre! Get a brain, you!

Check out our more recent and thorough review of Wolfenstein 3D!

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