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Bomberman Land - Wii Review

Game Info
Bomberman Land (Wii)

Wii | Hudson | 1-4 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer); Wii Remote (sideways); GameCube Controller
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23rd October 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

With the plethora of mini-game collections on the Wii, I do look forward to experiencing collections that really stand out from the pack. Is Bomberman Land Wii one such game? Not in a million years. Although it's developed by the proclaimed mini-game experts at Hudson Soft, I wouldn't suggest you purchase this game unless you're young in years.

    Bomberman Land's premise is pretty simple. People from all over are congregating to take part in a special tournament at an amusement park that's been overtaken by a pompous villain. You'll travel to different Zones, completing mini-games as you try to advance to later tournament rounds. Your performance is linked to your position on the overall leaderboards, and if you want to move onto a more difficult bracket, you'll have to stay at the top of the charts. 

    How well you do in a mini-game will play a big role in your overall progress. At the start of each round, you'll be given Coins that grant you access to attractions in the different themed areas. Once you run out of coins, the tournament will be over, the standings will be presented and if you're successful, you'll move onto the Battle Arena to prove your skills one last time. In each mini-game, your score will determine how many Pieces you obtain. So depending on the type of game it is, you'll aim for the highest score by surviving as long as possible, or completing a task as quickly as you can. As your points tally increases, the Rank on the top left changes to serve as an indication of how well you're doing.

The types of mini-games you'll encounter are pretty varied. There are some that involve holding the Wii Remote on its side and using the D-Pad, making use of the pointer to make quick selections, or shaking the Wii Remote in one way or another. One attraction, for example, involves jumping to and from a series of lily pads that are travelling towards a waterfall. I thought this one was pretty addicting because of the increasing rate of acceleration. There are some that are dreadfully boring and dull, though. Collecting flying fruit to make a kabob is just about as fun as it sounds. It wasn't fun in Sonic and the Secret Rings, and it's not fun here. Needless to say, it's games like these that bring down the strength of the package significantly.

    The problem is that some of the best mini-games are exclusively for one player, which becomes an issue since the game is supposed to be party-focused. I did appreciate the effort they put into tying everything together with the solo experience, so it wasn't just a shallow cycle of mini-games. Plus, having a high score to work towards in some of the mini-games did add some motivation. At the same time, though, because of the choices they made in this game, multiplayer is limited to only a few good ones, while the rest are (ironically) uneventful. A few attractions reflect well on Hudson's creativity, but a large chunk feel like they were quickly thought up. Had more time been put into these concepts, they would've been a lot more enjoyable for older and younger gamers alike.

I really liked the customization aspect present in this game. Rather than just having your typical Bomberman model, you can spruce it up by purchasing accessories from the Zone Shops. Helmets, costumes, footwear, and a whole slew of other stuff can be unlocked as you progress through the game. Even better is the fact that some outfits will have a bearing on your character's attributes, so they may even give you a slight advantage in some attractions. 

    You'll come across a variety of people who have enrolled in the tournament, and players have the ability to converse with and even befriend individuals if they please. I thought having this interaction with the filler characters was a nice touch. 

    Thankfully, Bomberman Land Wii isn't just about mini-games. The classic Battle Mode you all know and love is available as well. There are some fun variations and the ability to customize your game through a variety of rule sets is nice for long-time fans. Characters from the Story Mode will even appear as selectable characters in this mode, adding to the game's variety. Although there are multiple arenas and the action is still enjoyable, when Bomberman Blast is already available on WiiWare, offering much of what this presents, but with online play and more. 

The visuals in the game aren't really worth talking about. They look good at some parts, but as the whole, they're pretty average stuff. The music is very childish, and anyone over the age of about 14 will likely find themselves annoyed with it. The storyline is decent for what it is, but the dialogue is really, really lame. Worse yet, the cutscenes can't be skipped so having to hear Mr. Champion ramble with a backdrop of annoying music is very irritating. 

    What entry in this series would be complete without the classic Bomberman gameplay we all know and love. Thankfully, the developers didn't push this off to the side. As a matter of fact, the amount of options that you can control are surprisingly robust. There are even some aspects to it that you probably haven't seen in older titles, but if you own Bomberman Blast already, then there won't be any surprises here. I thought having this mode in place was a nice way to break up the mini-games which can grow tiresome after multiple sessions, even if there's nothing really special about it.

    Bomberman Land Wii is a very mediocre game. I did enjoy it when I first got it, and I found the Story Mode to be rather entertaining. The customization aspect was great, as was the variety in the characters present in the game. But the attractions themselves were a mixed bag, with some the best ones restricted to only solo play. If you're genuinely interested in the Battle Mode and consider everything else to be an extra, it's still hard to recommend. After all, Bomberman Blast already offers much of what it already presents plus online incorporation. I'd say that for kids in particular, it's a pretty fun game, but paying even $20 might be stretching it. So it would be advisable to try it out first.

18/30 - Okay/Average

Gameplay 6/10 - Tournament setup is decent, mini-games use the Wii Remote in different ways, can interact with characters in the theme park
Presentation 6/10 - Annoying/childish music, good customization aspect that can also increase attributes, pretty average visuals, lame story and dialogue
Enjoyment 2/5 - More fun for a younger audience, a large chunk of the mini-games aren't that much fun, most of the enjoyable ones are solo-only
Extra Content 4/5 - Good number of mini-games, unlockable outfits, accessories and characters for multiplayer, high scores, Battle Mode

Equivalent to a score of 60% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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Bomberman Land (Wii)
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