Bomberman Land Touch! 2 (Nintendo DS) Review

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 21.04.2008

Since starting life as a bomb-making robot on a quest to become a 'real boy' because he was bored of the 9 to 5 drill (thanks, Wikipedia), Bomberman (a.k.a 'White Bomberman', a.k.a 'Cheerful White', etc.) has seen action in a variety of genres; from puzzle games to kart racers to sports games and beyond. While all of these titles differ dramatically in the single-player department, most of them share a common multiplayer component in the form of their Battle Mode. Bomberman Land Touch! 2 is no exception, but does that make it a worthwhile purchase, or not? The answer awaits you below.

As we join the White Bomber on his latest adventure he is joined by a group of companions with overly cutesy names like Giant Gold, Cute Pink and Kid Blue. The group are on a trip to Bom-Bom Kingdom, a super-duper amusement park run by Star Bomber, the “genius magician of everyone's dreams.” It is in Bom-Bom Kingdom that the bulk of the single-player adventure will take place. Players begin the game with access to only a handful of locations and attractions (mini-games), the latter of which must be completed in order to earn various goodies ('pieces' and tokens) that can be used to open gates and access new areas, as well as the attractions contained therein. Special items such as bombs, tools and accessories are also scattered about the Bom-Bom Kingdom and can be used to interact with the environment to unlock further areas/goodies, but the basic premise never really changes: play mini-games, unlock more mini-games, play those mini-games, and so on.

The mini-games themselves, of which there are somewhere in the region of forty, are each controlled exclusively with the stylus and touch-screen. Unfortunately, after playing through so many mini-game collections since the launch of the Nintendo DS, very few of Bomberman's offerings feel particularly fresh or invigorating. Although the wacky circumstances surrounding each mini-game are unique enough, the actual gameplay feels all too familiar: rotate the stylus this way, scratch in this direction, tap the screen over there, etc. The problem is that none of these activities are ever really engaging enough to keep you hooked once you've attempted them more than once or twice. Wario Ware solves this problem by stringing together super-brief mini-games that never overstay their welcome, whilst 'arcade-y' games like Geometry Wars take the opposite approach and expand upon a simple concept it in order to create a fully-fledged title with tons of replay value.

Screenshot for Bomberman Land Touch! 2 on Nintendo DS

Bomberman Land Touch! 2, as well as a host of other mini-game collections, ultimately fall into the less-than-stellar no-man's land in between, and that's a shame. Combine all this with the fact that some mini-games have been directly ripped from the first Bomberman Land Touch! and you're likely to be left with a somewhat monotonous sense of deja vu. Having said that, though, it should be noted that none of the mini-games are downright awful (many are, in fact, quite enjoyable) and it is quite likely that you'll enjoy your sprint through the Story Mode (particularly if you're new to the whole mini-game collection genre). But, at the end of the day, without any real hooks to reel you in, you're probably going to find little incentive to return once you've seen what the game has to offer the first time around. At least not in a single player capacity, anyway. You see, where this game really excels is in the multiplayer department. The added competitive edge can make even the most dull mini-game seem more exciting, but that's not what we're referring too. We're talking about the Battle Mode!

When you think of Bomberman you probably don't think of mini-games, or theme parks, or characters distinguishable from one another by anything other than their colour – you think of classic top-down arcade action involving frantic bomb-laying action and power-up collecting goodness. Thankfully, you're not alone and Hudson knows it, which is why they've taking it upon themselves to include the much-loved Battle Mode, in some form or other, in almost every Bomberman title to date. This particular iteration is mostly the same as the ones before it – you lay bombs in order to destroy obstacles and opponents while collecting items to increase you're blast radius and character speed, etc. There are five separate battle-types (some involve collecting items in order to win, for example), but the basic premise never changes and that's fine by us. What's even more fine by us, though, are the extensive multiplayer options.

Up to eight players can battle it out locally even if only one of them has a copy of the game. Of course, download times will be lessened if more players have additional copies, but that fact that it isn't a requirement is great news. Although only four players can compete in online matches, we can forgive that because... well, it's online Bomberman! The usual assortment of anonymous and friend-code fuelled matching options are available (you can chose to be paired up against someone of a similar skill level/ranking to keep things fair) and if you don't fancy waiting around for four players you can fill the remaining places with computer-controlled characters. In fact, if you're not much for human interaction, you can create matches filled with nothing but bots (each of which can be set to a variety of difficulty levels). There are plenty of customisable options available if you're the host of a match, and there's also a great variety of map-types to play on. Oh, and did we mention that there's voice chat? There's voice chat. It's only available in post-match chat rooms with friends, but it's better than a poke in the eye, right?

Screenshot for Bomberman Land Touch! 2 on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Bomberman Land Touch! 2 is interesting because its biggest draw is not the main focus of the game. The core Story Mode and the various mini-games contained therein are mildly enjoyable diversions for a time, but what you're likely to really want to sink you're teeth into is the classic Battle Mode and its excellent online support. Of course, considering that the Story Mode is at least competent enough to provide some modicum of entertainment value, you're looking at a pretty solid package all in all. Even if it doesn't do a whole lot more than its predecessor did little more than a year ago.

Developer

Hudson

Publisher

Hudson

Genre

Party

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (2 Votes)

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

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