“Fans of the original Bomberman game will be unable to find any true reason to dislike Bomberman II, while those who never “got” or liked the first outing will not have much incentive to like the second.”
– excerpt from the full review, which can be read here.
If you did not already know, I am a big fan of the Bomberman series. Whether it was Super Bomberman (SNES), Mega Bomberman (Sega Genesis), Atomic Bomberman (PC, though this was not as good), the N64 games, the original NES classic, etc., it is definitely among my favorite franchises, and a bittersweet source of sadness when reflecting upon the fall of Hudson Soft. Like Pat The NES Punk says, “You can’t go wrong with the Hudson bee.” My love of the canon as a whole should probably be a separate feature someday; but, suffice to say, I am a Bomberman fan.
Even on a more basic level, I really do like action-puzzle hybrid games in general (see: Adventures of Lolo, Arkanoid, etc.). There is something to be said about combining fast-paced adrenaline-pumping action with an intentional emphasis on cerebral tactics and real-time strategy. Some side-scrolling “action” games can be a bit mindless, and some “puzzle” games can be a bit too brain-numbing.
In my humble opinion, the Bomberman games strike a nice balance and, while not flawless, Bomberman II is a fine example that I would recommend, along with the original, to retro gamers. There are good times to be had here.
Oh, and for the record, I do not mention this in the full review, but I firmly believe that Bomberman II gives the player the Detonator item way too early in the game (level 1-4, not even 10% into the solo quest). I think this video game would present more of a robust challenge if the Detonator came much later. Maybe that is just me, but there you have it, my II cents.
Read The Full Review For: I would urge you to read this particular full review, as the 1,700 words represents a much meatier piece than I usually put out there, and goes into detail about why the presentation & sound are so good, along with putting a fine-toothed examination on a couple of the game’s flaws.
NES Gameplay Tips For Bomberman II: There is so much to say about the potential strategies involved with Bomberman II! Knowing the explosion timings to a micro-second for “shielding” purposes to duck behind a permanent block is great, but largely unnecessary once items like the Detonator and Wallpass are picked up. I will just offer two tips: 1) Know how to “toe” your bomb placement. Bomberman has a very specific point between two grid spaces where press A will place the bomb into the “square” he is facing, rather than the one behind. Once you have a feel for this pixel-perfect placement, you are able to more nimbly, more precisely, and more dangerously place your warfare. 2) Once you get Wallpass, it can be a bit disorienting at first to just suddenly be able to walk all over the level, freely, and be unsure how and where to place bombs in this new paradigm. One thing to keep in mind: Every single soft block in the board can now be thought of as a safe placement for a quick detonation. As you walk toward a soft place, place a bomb right next to it (Bomberman now between the bomb and the block, walking blockward), and detonate it when you pass halfway through the block. In this split-second, you have blown the block off (and possibly trailing enemies) without ever being in harm’s way. Mastering this little maneuver is a good move to have in your repertoire.