gaming since 1997

Bombastic

I had been looking forward to this game for a while and when I checked the mail-box this morning I immediately saw that there was a big red package. When I kneeled down so I could pick it up along with all the other mail, however, it read 3-suisses. Luckily I was home alone because my discontent had to be released from my raging mind which surprised me since I am normally a very calm person, but I am not going to give further details! I continued with my morning ritual when suddenly, just while I was brushing my teeth, combing my hair and watching the morning news, the bell rang. It was my neighbour with another red package and with the speed of light my mood changed drastically. I mean a depressed person who sniffed five kilograms of speed could not change his mood as drastically and as fast as I did. The ones who know me personally are probably thinking that my mood changes all the time and it is not necessary for something to happen, but anyway that is beside the point. It seemed that the mailman couldn’t get another package in our box, so he dropped it with the neighbours.

“So viele Möglichkeiten! So wenig Zeit! Das ist Bombastic!” What the cover announces aren’t lies. This game is fairly easy concerning the concept but it makes you breath faster and creates a tension which no other games has ever done before. The screenshots, also present at the backside of the box, are deceiving, because they make the game look like an old, converted ps1 game.

However, that is far behind the truth as the cell-shaded level-design is done beautifully which is especially noticeable in the “Quest mode”. In addition, these are the clearest menu’s I have ever seen and everything is easy and fluently readable. There is little that I can add to the graphical aspect, because the levels and worlds are small and the camera view always remains the same, but that is not to be considered a bad thing. The graphical engine is not high-end at all but it is hard to find negative issues because everything stands up to my expectation and the whole thing just fits.

The same theory applies for the sound effects and the music. The effects are simple, but not enervating at all and they don’t get boring after a while either. It remains funny every time you run into dynamite. The music is actually nothing more than a bunch of techno tunes but once again in this game it is integrated in such a way that it fulfils its function but doesn’t want to play a major part, which is not very likely because I think if you would take this music and add it to another ‘low-budget’ game, there is a high risk of failure. So nothing innovating, but more than sufficient.

Also gameplay is kept quite simple. You usually don’t need any button to play except for the directional ones. To navigate through the menu’s you’ll need the x-button and by pressing the start-button the pause-menu is shown. Logical, since this game has an age rating of 3+, but don’t start thinking that you can finish overnight. Even though the controls are easy yet fun, there are some other elements to satisfy older gamers, the different modes will certainly do this part here.

The first mode is “Trial”. This contains a number of “sub-modes” and on the cover they are all referred to as different modes but this is perhaps too much credit as the ones I’ve mentioned are way too alike to be stated as separate. They are all in a way about beating the high score or getting in a higher level in a time as short as possible. Playing this mode allows you to unlock the “Classic mode” in which you can play the original version again.
Apart from the “Trial mode” there is the “Quest mode” which commences with a short story and is definitely appealing for the younger ones amongst us. I have to admit that if you want to be carried away, you will be. This mode comes close to a platform game, especially considering the means with which it is made the developers have done a terrific job. The first world is actually a tutorial and a small boss-level, so there are only four worlds left, each containing four levels and I must say: “It is a bit short”. The advantage is that everything is explained as clear as pump water and the younger kids shouldn’t have to bother mammy, daddy or bigger brother/sister and even that was put to the test by me as I invited my six year old niece to come and play. The only problem I encountered was the absence of a Dutch spoken or written translation, the original soundtrack is still spoken in an Eastern language and the subtitles are available only in English but since there is a character showing everything you need to do, even this major problem was solved pretty fast. You cannot skip these tutorial-levels, but as they show two or three interesting and applicable tips and you can play through it in let’s say half an hour, that should not be a problem.
There is another mode called “War” where you can compete against four other players which can be replaced by computer opponents. This is funny, but it is too much of the good stuff because five players at once in that small playfield is a bit hectic. When people start to explode it gets better but then the ‘dead’ players have to wait too long for the others to finish the game.

Also interesting to know is that these guys think about what they are doing, since they paid attention to small details. Suppose you need to take a break (and for heaven’s sake I don’t want to know why) while playing against a friend. Well, the moment you’ll hit pause the dices will disappear so the one that stays seated can not figure out some kind of strategy.

The greater goals of the game are already explained while booting the game and that is way less frustrating than to hit the start-button with a hammer to make all the different names of the publishers go away.

So, Bombastic is definitely a buyer because it is fun, alone or with friends. The graphics, the sound and the gameplay are good. The “Quest mode” makes it last even longer and the other modes are very addictive. If I have to say something negative, well there are no online possibilities and the “Quest mode” is too short.

Our Score:
9.0
related game: Bombastic
posted in: Capcom, PS2, Reviews
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