Bomberman Story (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 02.12.2007 16

Hudson's mascot is back! Bomberman returns to the Nintendo DS after the successful mini-game fest that was Bomberman Land Touch, this time in a traditional RPG adventure. But is this latest offering a real blast or not? With online battles, wireless play and lots of adventuring to be had, perhaps Hudson has at last hit the nail on the head with this new game.

The premise to this 'explosive' adventure is simply that Dr. Ein's boss, Wolfemann, has informed him that the nefarious Professor Xeal has stolen some very important information and the Justice Department are on the case to retrieve the documentation, along with data on something called 'The Shining Bomb'. In order to aid the chase, Cheerful White's services are enlisted and that is where the player steps in. Several months later, on the outskirts of the galaxy, Cheerful White is being introduced to Heath, leader of the Justice Department team on the Fifth Moon spaceship and told his help is required to find kidnapped individuals. To help flesh out the story even more, other characters are brought into the fold, such as Janduke, Ashel LeBlanc, Kaluza and Fab the Robot, all of whom come into play at various stages of the game, before Dr. Ein takes over and kicks things off. And so the adventure begins...

Bomberman games have never been about the visuals, and this seems to be no more apparent than in Bomberman Story, as the whole game is simplified and certainly not what you would expect from the DS considering what has been achieved with the platform lately on the graphics front. Everything is bright, breezy and colourful, with some wacky character design, but nothing in particular stands out and slaps you in the face. However, the clean, crisp sprites and varied locations on offer have a striking sense of charm that you cannot help but like. Fans of SNES and GBA RPGs will probably find they are quite taken by the game's style. In addition, there is no slowdown during traditional Bomberman battles, which is obviously a vital point! As for the music, it definitely harks back to the chirpy MIDI days of the SNES in a charming way, with plenty of light-hearted tunes that prove to be extremely inoffensive, yet remarkably forgettable in some instances. However, the more you get into the game, it is pleasing to find the main adventuring sections have some excellent music that is both peaceful and melodic in nature and the soundtrack ends up developing into something truly spectacular the more you play.

Screenshot for Bomberman Story on Nintendo DS

Following the introductory story sequence, Dr. Ein lets players try out Cheerful White's moves in a quick training session that is a blessing for those not sure what to expect from a Bomberman RPG. The touch-screen is used for menus only, with the d-pad and face buttons being the main source of controls. Players can freely move Bomberman around using the d-pad and drop a bomb using A. It is imperative to remember to move away once a bomb has been placed, as the blast radiates from the explosive epicentre, rather than in a four-way direction like in the battle mode. Each time an enemy is despatched, experience is gained, going towards the running total that eventually leads to your character levelling-up and growing stronger over time. Pressing A twice in quick succession and holding it leads to a bomb being dropped and then held above head height until A is let go, at which point it is thrown, whilst X works as a by-pass for this, merely flinging bombs straight away to allow distance kills. This throwing ability works wonders as hitting an enemy from distance stuns them, normally until the bomb has detonated, thus avoiding the threat of losing precious hearts.

Screenshot for Bomberman Story on Nintendo DS

When it comes to combat, there is not just the one standard bomb either, thankfully, with six different coloured ones, each producing a varied effect (such as the yellows that lure enemies closer before exploding, reds that explode into fire balls that shoot out in four directions, or blue ones that can pile four bombs on top of each other for a massive explosion). Combination moves can be used as well. Using the yellow 'Bait Bomb' as an example (these are the weaker variety of bombs), a clever tactic is to use the weak Bait Bomb to lure several enemies to one point, and then blast them together with a regular bomb from distance to bump up the amount of experience gained. Obviously there are plenty of recovery items available as well, plus chests that hold special bombs, plus enemies drop stuff all the time, meaning there is never a major shortage of items in your inventory. As well as simply adventuring, there are smatterings of mini-games throughout, such as an early one whereby you use the touch-screen to throw bombs at logs floating down a river in order to spin them round and form a bridge for Bomberman to cross. These little changes of pace really help keep enjoyment levels high and provide a much-needed break from the main game. Others include simple tasks like throwing the coloured bombs onto corresponding coloured moving plates or attempting to throw bombs into a basket whilst being spun round on a rotating platform and avoiding falling off. Some of these mini-games come into play when working your way through dungeons as well, as in order to go from floor to floor, Cheerful White will have to complete special tasks such as despatching a large amount of enemies or balancing out a set of scales using different weighted bombs.

Screenshot for Bomberman Story on Nintendo DS

For those thinking that the bombing element is all that remains of the Bomberman world, fear not as all the icons from past games are back, meaning that you can increase the radius of bomb blasts, gain the kick ability, so bombs can be booted long distances, as well as pick up speed boosts or even the annoying icons that slow you down. Hudson has transplanted everything you know and love from the franchise into a highly enjoyable action RPG format. Whilst wandering round the outside world or within the various dungeons on offer, blowing up blocks along the way will help let you accrue a wide selection of useful goodies for the journey. And because of the plentiful supply of health and statistic boosting items on offer, no doubt veteran gamers will be able to breeze through to the end without too much hassle at all. In addition to the aid items dotted around, the fact that there are save points on basically every new screen to encourage gamers to record their progress as often as possible will mean that should you ever face the unlikely situation of death, the game does not particularly punish the gamer too badly. On the whole, though, Bomberman Story turns out to be a real shocker, proving to be a damn fine game and one that not only Bomberman aficionados try out, but casual RPG fans as well.

Screenshot for Bomberman Story on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Who would have thought it? After the disastrous efforts at changing the gameplay on the Nintendo 64 and only turning the franchise around again by bringing Bomberman back to his roots on the GameCube, all hope was lost for an RPG spin-off that actually worked. However, Hudson has pulled a rabbit out of the hat and produced a splendid little role-playing adventure that is full of charm, excitement and sheer fun that proves to be a game RPG fans should check out. Plus, it still has the traditional Bomberman battles to add to the experience...a must have!

Developer

Hudson

Publisher

Rising Star

Genre

Adventure

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date TBA   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date TBA   

Comments

I enjoyed the story mode in bomberman tournament so I was disappointed the first few bomberman games on the DS were just mini game compilations.
Great to see one with a proper story mode, even though there not the deepest RPGs there good fun.

I also like how you can play online with people who bought bomberman land touch.

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

Ah, now that point I didn't realise...I suppose it makes sense to tie in with BLT and hopefully the impending release of BLT2 will also allow gamers to hook up together.

This is definitely differet from a small story mode. It's a full RPG with the addition of a separate traditional Bomberman battle mode as well, so perhaps better value than the GBA's BT...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Kind of reminds me on what nintendo did with the mario advance games, adding in that Mario Bros multiplayer mode..except this isn't a bit shit and it's online!

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

You mean it's ACTUALLY OUT!!??!?! *fangirl scream!* I wasn't sure or not! It's Rising Star and they always get the release dates wrong! I've decided I will look for it!

As far as the story goes, the characters don't sound as good as Bomberman Tournament's did. Does it have any charabom?

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

The game came out on 23rd November and just hasn't made the charts. Doing a quick search now, I can only find about two or three small sites even bothering to review it, sadly! However, two gave it a 7 and one gave it a 9! It seems I wasn't too far off the mark then... Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Hmm... I hope it isn't going to be too hard to find. Rising Star are so unreliable, and half of the websites said it was coming out in March 2008 (I wouldn't have been surprised... *coughHarvestMoonMagicalMelodycough*)

But now I really want it... too bad I don't have the motivation to walk to GAME... :lol:

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Somehow... it reminds of the days when I Bomberman Pocket for some weird reason :

Opps.. XD forgot to type in "played" [stupid keyboard].

Shame that people weren't even aware of this game being released. That and the lack of current promotion will not help its sales at all...but C3's hopefully going to be helping very soon, featuring an advert banner on the front page for a while :Smilie Anything to help boost sales a bit!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Sounds good. From the sounds of things, not many shops are stocking it either. Rising Star have not been doing their jobs very well :-/

Hopefully I'll be getting it today, I check the local GAME and they didn't have it, so I've had to look elsewhere?

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

*Gets*

Fun so far, but I'm very pissed off about one thing that may put me off the whole game.

Having only 1 save file majorly sucks. >.<

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Why is that a problem? I didn't consider that as it's never been an issue for me in the past. Is it because you want to let other people play as well?

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

It's because me and my brother have unfathomably similar intrests in games :-/ and we both love Bomberman games to bits.

So we decided that I'd finish the story mode first... then I'd erase my file and let him play through it.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

*Makes a dedicated Bomberman thread*

This guy's unpopularity is so criminal. I think it should be in the national curriculum to appreciate Bomberman games. WHY so unpopular? Whyy!? :cry:

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Cheers for starting an official thread. You will probably find that if you're enjoying the game so much, you'll get through it pretty quickly, so your brother won't have to wait too long...

As for B-man's popularity, well, it doesn't help that the past two DS games have not been pushed enough (this and BL Touch). Hopefully that will change with the new few games, though.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Thread's brand new... and already dead, with only 3 posts... Not to mention C3's review is the only one on GameRankings.

I'm going to make a blog rant about Bomberman's underpopularity. :-(

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

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