Recently we’ve seen a lot of new and interesting releases on WiiWare, Nintendo’s online store for original or independent games. While it hasn’t had the same amount of releases that you see on the XBLM or PSN, it certainly is catching up while offering gamers a few different choices, such as Orbient, which is a remake of the bit Generations game Orbital for the GBA. What does all this mean? Well, it means now we can all play Bomberman for the Wii, with full online capabilities at a fair price of 1000 Wii Points. Why has it taken so long for the king of party games to show up on the Wii, anyways?
If you’ve never played a Bomberman game before, the controls are simple to learn. For this title in particular, you just hold the Wiimote sideways as you control your character with the dpad, and the 2 button to drop a bomb. When you pick up the power glove, you hit 1 to punch any of the bombs in play; when you pick up other types of items, you need to shake the Wiimote to activate it. Most of the powerups in the other Bomberman games are all here, including the flame that makes your explosions longer, more bombs, and running shoes that make you faster. One little thing that was also in Super Smash Bros Brawl is the ability to share custom text messages in-game, as well as use an emote by hitting the A button. An example would be the “rage” emote, which makes your character start kicking the ground angrily. I’m glad the controls weren’t changed too much, and the shaking mechanism doesn’t necessarily feel out of place here, either.
Bomberman Blast is actually a downgraded version of a retail release called Bomberman Wii that is a Japan-only title. So, what’s missing from the WiiWare version? Really just the story mode, though there are a few other things, like a tutorial for new players, but overall it has what most gamers want the game for anyways: multiplayer. Touting both the traditional offline mode and a new online mode, Bomberman is by all means meant to be played with other people. On a single Wii you can host up to 4 controllers, but online you can take on a maximum of 7 other players via a ranked automatching system that works either continentally or worldwide; you can play in a party of up to 4 players on a single Wii online. You can still use your Friend Codes to play in private games, though, if you don’t want to play with strangers. While you wait online, you get to play a little mini-game where you dodge bombs and you try to survive as long as possible, which is a nice addition.
Setting up a match is really easy, and thankfully Bomberman Blast comes with quite a few gametypes. You can obviously still play the standard way, but there’s also Air Raid, Countdown, and King. Air Raid is similar to the waiting mini-game, where you just dodge an endless amount of bombs and try not to die. With Countdown, if you get hit by a bomb, you have only a certain amount of time left before you’re taken out, and you need to bomb someone else to stay in the game. Lastly, King is based around having the sole crown item by the end of the match. You can tweak everything with a myriad of options as well, allowing each game to be fairly different if you so choose. Also, once you’ve played on every stage of the game, you unlock the ability to use your Mii instead of the standard Bomberman, something I wish more games would do.
While a bit basic, Bomberman Blast is all you really need at the end of the day to enjoy the series’ signature gameplay. It’s great to be able to choose to buy just the multiplayer and leave the rest for those that want to pay more for a retail disc release that includes a full singleplayer mode. While it doesn’t break any new ground, it’s still Bomberman at its core, with the same classic gameplay that fans still enjoy to this day.