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VIDEO GAME REVIEW

Multi-player Madness

Bomberman Tournament Explodes on Game Boy Advance

By Chad Serrant

Staff Writer

Bomberman Tournament

Made for Game Boy Advance

Published by Activision

$39.99

Rated E for Everyone

The latest addition to the Bomberman series is Bomberman Tournament for Game Boy Advance. It has a single-player Quest mode and a multi-player tournament mode. The single-player game tries to deviate from the basic blow-up-everything formula, but it falls short of exciting. The multi-player mode is the same as it has been. Good thing, too, because the multi-player tournament is the selling point.

The game is far from complicated -- bombs explode in cross-shaped patterns, and anything caught in its path (including you) goes kablooey. These simple rules create a very addictive game, and in a fight with four players, you can have a lot of fun. Since this game supports the single-cart link, four people can play a game if there is one cartridge present. Although the game takes a while to transfer data, it is a small price to pay for the madness.

If you’re alone, don’t worry. You can still play against the computer. It is not as fun as human opponents, but it is still challenging and it gives ample practice for the real thing. All of the basic elements of Bomberman are present in the single-player mode: extra blast radius, extra bombs, bomb kicking, and bomb throwing. There are the environments, too -- some use conveyor belts, some are on ice, and others have high-powered explosives.

Unfortunately, the single-player Quest mode isn’t that fun. Bomberman goes to planet Phantarion to look for his friend Max, who went there to investigate a comet landing. The gameplay revolves around getting Karabons (PokÉmon -- no really, PokÉmon). They give you abilities to go through the mazes in the game, and you can also enter Karabon battles. Unlike PokÉmon, however, these matches require very little strategy and are very hands-off. The Quest mode’s purpose is to slap you in the face and ask, “Why aren’t you in multi-player mode?”

The game’s graphics are rich and colorful. The introduction sequence is very well animated. Though the in-game graphics are smaller, there is still a lot of animation packed into it. Every character has gallons of life gushing out. Bomberman Tournament takes advantage of the Game Boy Advance. The victory screen shows Bomberman scaled and rotated as his fans throw him in the air. Furthermore, the sound is quite attractive. It is in style with the other Bomberman games -- light and fluffy enough so you won’t care if you blow yourself up.

Overall, Bomberman Tournament is a great source of multi-player madness. If you’re looking for a great game to play against other Game Boy Advance owners, this is it. Just make sure you ignore the Quest mode.