Title: Bombing Busters
Developer: Sanuk Games
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download: 243 MB
NA Availability: Digital
EU Availability: Digital
PSTV Support: No
Have any of you gamers just randomly thought to yourself, “What happened to Bomberman?” I certainly have, as that was a franchise that I really liked. Not an easy franchise to play, but it was fun to run around mazes and drop bombs to go off and clear away paths as well as enemy creatures. The franchise isn’t dead, though the last entry of it was a Mobile game.
In my constant search for PSTV Compatibility, I had a chance to play a game that reminds me heavily of Bomberman. Even so much that other sites have called it a straight-up Bomberman Clone. It’s similar, though I’m not sure I’d call it a clone. But, whatever you’d call it, let’s discuss it. Here’s my official review of Bombing Busters!
In Bombing Busters, you play as a bomb-dropping robot deployed by an evil scientist that wants to take over the world. To take over the world, you are sent out to do battle against various “critters” as the game likes to call them. Essentially, you play as a robot built to wipe out all life other than your creator.
I’ll say it. The story is really out there. I got a chuckle or two out of some of the dialogue from the scientist, but overall, it’s not something that’s going to draw you in. It will more likely get you to the “hurry up and let me play the game already” thought train.
Bombing Busters is a bomb arena game, like Bomberman before it. You go through grid-like mazes planting bombs and avoiding hazards with the goal of defeating enemies and not blowing yourself to bits. As far as an official genre, I suppose you could call it a puzzle game, as every stage is kind of a puzzle in and of itself.
There are two main game modes for Bombing Busters: Adventure Mode and Battle Mode. Adventure Mode has you going through the game’s campaign. You go through 5 different worlds, consisting of 5 stages and a boss stage. It is you against the CPU, basically. Battle Mode is the Online Multiplayer mode where you can fight against other players.
The only bad thing I’ll say about the multiplayer is how you find matches, which further encourages you to have a buddy. When you search a lobby, you have to type in a certain room name in order to find a match
Every stage has you pitted in a large maze filled with obstructions, enemies, and hazards. Your ultimate goal is to defeat all enemies in the stage to clear it. You also are encouraged to do so quickly, as there’s a 5-minute timer as soon as it begins. The main task for this is getting power-ups. When you use bombs to blow up obstructions, like blocks of snow or grass, you can get items. These can increase how many bombs you can place at once, increase how many blocks to either side a bomb will affect as well as extra effects, like being able to remote control bomb detonators or kick bombs down the row.
Power-Ups are the key to winning each battles as enemies make it pretty hard to hit them. There are some basic enemies, like the tree stumps that just have set movements. Most of the enemies, however, will actively avoid your bombs. You throw a bomb near an enemy and while you wait for it to explode, the enemy will actively move to a grid block where it cannot be hit and will not move until the bomb goes off. So, you have to trap enemies, whether that’s getting the throw skill and tossing bombs all around them or knocking the unconscious and using remote detonated bombs to quickly wipe them out.
The difficulty is painfully obvious from the first few stages of the game. If you think this game will be easy because it’s essentially an indie game, you’re wrong. Saying the game is hard would be an understatement. A single hit from one of your own bombs or even an enemy slightly bumping into you will automatically fail the mission. Also, if you die during the same blast as the final enemy of the stage, it also counts as a failure.
With length, you have 5 worlds, each with 6 stages. So, that makes about 30 stages total. With each stage without retries lasting about 3 minutes or so, that would put the game at 1.5 hours. Given the time you’ll take with retrying stages, I’d wager the game will last you 3 or 4 hours, depending on how quickly you catch on. Since the game only costs $6.99, it’s not a bad trade-off.
The game controls pretty well. The touch screen is used, but just for menus. Also, the game is not compatible with the PlayStation TV. I was told by the developers that they didn’t submit it for the PSTV because of touch controls being present. That being said, I am hopeful they will patch it later to be compatible, since you can play the game without using touch. And aside from the fact that the PSTV technically can emulate touch controls on its own.
Moving around a stage is done with the D-Pad and/or Left Analog Stick. Dropping a bomb is done with the X button and Circle is used for power-up interactions, like throwing or kicking bombs. All in all, the control scheme is rather simple and you won’t use all the buttons on the Vita as you play the game. You will use more buttons later in the game, but not all of them.
Visually, I have no real complaints. It doesn’t look amazing, but it doesn’t look terrible. There are a few jagged edges on your models, but I only say them when I looked for them. Overall, it’s got a nice, colorful look to it. The music is also in with the themes of the world. Each world has its own remix of classical music. From Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies to Night on Bald Mountain, classical fans will be happy with the soundtrack.
Performance is also one of the higher points of the game. Load times are pretty short, overall, and the game’s frame-rate is really nice and smooth.
Bombing Busters is basically an indie version of Bomberman. While this game does have a few downer points, like its story and match-making process, it’s fun for anyone looking for a new Bomberman-like experience on the go.