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   PlanetDreamcast | Features | Previews | Bomberman Online

Bomberman Online
Droppin' Da Bomb with Bomberman Online. - by Retrovertigo

Bomberman Online Logo

A lot of gamers argue over who is the most endearing video game character. The most popular icons are probably Nintendo's Italian plumber Mario, and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. What some of these gamers fail to realize is that there is another individual who has been rooted in the world of video games as long, if not longer, than Mario, and existed more than a half-decade before Sonic appeared on the Genesis. This character is Bomberman, (whose face I think looks like an electrical wall outlet) and though he is not as recognizable as Nintendo's and Sega's most popular characters, his video game career has spanned three decades. Bomberman has starred in more than 40 games for almost every existing console, with plans to debut on consoles yet to come. That's an impressive resume that makes even Mario seem under qualified!

This past summer, while many of you were enjoying your time off from school, maybe swimming at the beach, or sleeping-in until the early afternoon, Bomberman was working hard to make a his early debut on the brand new GameBoy Advance handheld system. This October, the prolific bomb-slinging hero will debut during the Dreamcast's last few months, and will help ensure that the console does not fade away with a whisper, but instead goes out with a bang!

Introducing Bomberman Online, a new take on the Bomberman series that not only includes the same fast and furious multiplayer mayhem that you've enjoyed in the past, but it also embraces one of the Dreamcast's most impressive yet under appreciated features: online multiplayer battles! Now you can drop da bomb on your friends down the street and across the world, from the comfort of your home, while sitting in your underwear -- the second best thing about online multiplayer -- hah hah... eeh... hmm.

As Beavis would say, "Fire, fire, fire!".

The levels are looking great.

Not only does Bomberman Online take advantage of the Dreamcast's online feature, it also borrows graphically from the Dreamcast game, Jet Grind Radio. As our explosive, electrical outlet-faced hero, steps aboard the Dreamcast catwalk with his new handsomely, cel-shaded style graphics, he will no doubly leave a lasting fashionable impression that would make the freaky fashion police, Joan and Melissa Rivers from the E! Channel, gape in deliciously, delightful disbelief. Wow!

For those who are not familiar with the Bomberman series, I'll briefly explain the gameplay to you, which is actually quite simple: blow stuff up with bombs! Of course, there's more strategy involved than merely lighting fuses and placing bombs. The Bomberman series is a hybrid puzzle-action game. Bombs can be used as both weapons and tools. Not only can you use bombs to blast through walls and blow away opponents, but you can use them to destroy power-ups that your rivals may be going for. Bombs do not detonate in a radial blast, instead they follow a blast pattern that travels north, south, east, and west from the bomb's epicenter. The point of the game is to blast your opponent while he's out in the open, or trap him in a position where he has no choice but to eat fire. There are also power-ups like the power glove and the kick option, that allow you kick bombs down an open path. If your blast isn't long enough, get a flame power-up to increase its length. Other power-ups include a power bomb, which licks flames down open paths until they hit an object or an enemy. There are also special creatures that you can ride, which not only give you a second chance, by sacrificing themselves for you if you should get hit by a bomb, but they also have unique special abilities, like bounding over objects in your way and speeding out of harm's way faster that your little Bomberman can run. Some levels are interactive, and have teleporters or conveyer belts that add another element of strategy to the game.

The Dreamcast version still offers the popular, classic overhead perspective so you can expect it to play just like the other Bomberman games, but look forward to the new and improved slick and sexy 3D engine, and the cel-shaded characters.

All of the classic power-ups are present in Bomberman Online, the Power Glove, Kick Option, and Flame. In addition to the classic power-ups, there is a new power-up called the Jelly Bomb. There are also power-downs that will negatively impact opponents, like the Skull, which slows enemy movement while you barrage them with psychotic glee, screaming, "You CAN'T run, and you CAN'T hide! MUUUHAHAHA!"

The cel-shaded graphics are looking very nice.

A closer look at Bomberman.

Bomberman Online also offers unique level scenarios like aquatic stages, Egyptian style arenas, and industrial-like construction battlezones. There are also a variety of different enemies ranging from terrifying beasts to cute-and-cuddly characters that almost make you feel bad - but not that bad - about blasting them into a week from next Thursday.

The Dreamcast title offers new gameplay modes like Hyper Bomber and Submarine Attack. Hyper Bomber puts you in a race against your rival to see who can destroy a certain number panels first, which will then unleash hell on the poor loser. Submarine Attack is a really cool new mode that pits you against a friend, separated by a wall. The object is to submerge bombs on your side of the stage, which will resurface in your opponent's area. Blast your opponent more time than he blasts you, and you win! There are other modes like Survival, where, just about any Survival mode, you deviously detonate as many enemies as you can within a specific amount of time.

Bomberman VS...?

Bomberman Online is looking great.

Of course, the newest mode that no other Bomberman game has been able to offer is the Network mode, which allows you to hurl bombs at your enemies through the phone lines. Your online presence is reflected with a custom-made Bomberman. Strike fear in your online opponents and make sure that they never forget who smoked them, by giving your Bomberman a witty name, and edit and modify its appearance, from its eyes, head, body, and legs. Another online feature is the ability to obtain collectibles in the online areas, that you can keep or trade with friends. There is no word, however, whether or not the Dreamcast broadband adapter will be supported.

What can I say? I've always thought that the multiplayer battles in the Bomberman series were where the games really shined. If Bomberman Online can live up to all of its multiplayer goodness, this is definitely going to be a great game to enjoy with friends and online buddies! The 3D engine of Bomberman Online looks great, and what makes it even better are the beautiful cel-shaded graphics. With new gameplay options, unique-themed levels, and online play, this game looks to leave a positive crater-sized impression on the gaming community, and will no doubt be a must-have for your Dreamcast library. I know I can't wait to get my hands on the final product, which will blast its way onto store shelves in mid-October.

Essential Links:

  • Sega.com - The official website for Sega, with a brand new design!
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