Written: 12.12.12 Acquired: 2.23.06 Status: Cart with manual Price: $6.90
Pub: Hudson Soft
Dev: Hudson Soft
Super Bomberman was a trend setting title. When it hit the scene back in 1993, nearly 20 years ago, it was the first four player SNES game. It was also arguably the first real home console "party game." Four friends could battle it out at the same time. Every man for himself. An intense battle royal. It changed the way multi-player gaming was viewed, and nobody I knew could resist falling in love with its cutthroat four player FREE-4-ALL bombathons Mucho blast (no pun intended) from the past ramblings ahead...
A BLAST FROM THE PAST
Growing up I was lucky enough to have a local best friend (see Nelly for more) as well as a tight-knit band of brothers and sisters who lived 'bout two hours away. The birth of the connection all started during the Vietnam War... where the dads met on the battlefield... were blessed enough to survive and then continued their bond post-war. They each went on to marry, have a family and they all stayed in touch. Our countless family-friend sleepovers during the late 1980's to mid 1990's were legendary. Staying up til 2 AM, the adults would be downstairs laughing up a storm, dancing the night away, singing bad karaoke songs and reminiscing about the good old days. Not to mention the occasional war story retold for the 90th time. Meanwhile, upstairs, a group of young boys and girls were busy hanging out, chilling, playing Nerf wars and of course, playing NES, Genesis and later Super Nintendo video games galore. It was probably the greatest times of my childhood. So many epic sleepovers and events that took place whenever my "Gaming Crew" got together. Hell, they were some of the best times of my life, period. A write-up devoted to such is definitely in the future. I loved those guys. I can't talk about my childhood without thinking about 'em. Good times
If I could somehow travel back in time and pick any random Saturday night in '93 or '94, chances are, I'd find myself playing Super Bomberman with my ol' gaming crew. We spent much of those two years bombing Saturday night away. The winner would play on, while the three losers would switch off. It was hands down some of the most fun I have ever had with this hobby. Even to this day I still reminisce back to those days with a real deep fondness. Times were simpler back then... Saturday nights in '93 and '94 meant good friends and good times
There was no feeling sweeter than decimating your friends... unless you happen to kill two at the same time, as seen here. This leads to major trash talk, as well as those couple victims ganging up on you for the next round. But is it worth it? You damn bet your bloody ass it is!
Nothing like killing two birds with one bomb...
When this game came out, it was packaged with a new multi-tap players' device. This allowed for more than two players to join in on the fun at any given time. It paved the way for how home console multi-player gaming would become. It's just you, three friends, four tangled controllers and some soon-to-be-severely brusied egos. Whether you teamed up 3 against 1, or you play every man for himself, this game is golden, and it gave SNES owners reason to smile :) This game is simply DYNAMITE [Pack your bags, sir -Ed.]
By the way, here's an alternative American box cover. Quite a shame we didn't get this one, as I think it is superior to the US cover in every which way. But hey, who's busy looking at the cover when yer having so much fun?
I much prefer this more stylish anime-esque look
The first of SEVEN (yes, seven) Bomberman games on the SNES
It's the game that redefined multi-player greatness
ICONS OF DESTRUCTION
Below are just some of the icons you can pick up. My favorites were the boxing glove and the kicking one. Punching a bomb from one side to the next was simply brilliant. And not all icons were good... see the poison skull f'rinstance! My friend used to call it AIDS, since you could pass it on by touching other bombers. One of my favorite memories: he'd get the poison skull icon on purpose and run around the field tagging everyone screaming, "AIDS!"
Such a classic character, and the biggest Bomberman fan I know
Different battle zones carry different icons. For example, in this stage, you can collect the icon that increases your blast the full length of the field
Whoever controls the most power-ups usually wins but not always
Nothing sucks more than having JUST your original wimpy blast!
Note: Some icons are only available in Normal mode, like this
Who didn't love this? It's deadly, especially with kick or punch
With this icon, you can set a bomb down, and press a button to detonate it at any time. Otherwise, without this item, you have to wait the usual two or so seconds it will take for a bomb to explode. You can leave a bomb lying there for 20 seconds even, and then BANG! at the right moment. Deliciously evil
Just make sure you get out of the way first!
Useful thing. But don't grab too many of them...
This one is only available in the normal 1-2 player story mode
I consider the normal mode a bonus. Battle's where it's at!
This boss is a terrific design. Its bark though is definitely more vicious than its bite
I've always had a thing for giant spider-esque bosses
This always takes me back to 1990 with NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (Rocksteady!)
It's always the little details that makes me happy
Check out the boss for the second world. He's an odd creepy ole thing. Although this normal mode isn't too intriguing, the boss fights are definitely good old fashion fun
I never did like clowns too much. Let's wipe that smirk off
There we go. Frown, you big ugly clown
Better have some skates on for the boss fights...
HINT: You will need some "punch" to beat these nefarious miscreants
[Hmmm... they look a little TOO happy being that close... -Ed.]
Adjust from four human players to four computer players. You can even void two of the players out and make it a strictly 1-on-1 affair. Very cool stuff. The difficulty level of the three computer opponents can be changed from 1 to 10. Even if you have no one around to play with you, the 1P vs. 3 CPU mode is more fun than most 2-player games played with a friend. It's THAT good
It was, bar none, the ultimate party game experience back in 1993
Classic set-up. Each player starts off on the side. You bomb away the blocks, hoping to find goodies to sway the tide of the war squarely in your favor. It's the ultimate single-screen kill-or-be-killed party game!
No lame "I lost because of X gimmick" excuses can be made here
It never gets old. Ever. In the final minute of each round blocks fall from the sky until it encloses the remaining players in this very tight space. Nothing matches the thrill of being the last (bomber)man standing, and the taunting that ensues for those following 10 seconds or so
I love how the game slows down here, allowing you to still collect
This isn't called the Western Battle Zone for no damn good reason! Things start out hot and wild as all four players are dumped right smack in the middle of the stage as the opening bell rings. But be careful or you just might embarrass yourself right off the bat like the black bomberman does. You'll never live it down, at least, for that entire match...
Oh, it's the worst feeling in the world. Death not three seconds in
What makes this stage so intriguing is how intense it is. I mean... four player Bomberman is intense enough, but usually, you start out the first 20 or so seconds fairly safe on your own "island." Here, you're dumped right in the middle of a battle zone where quick thinking and deft movement makes the difference between being triumphant, or trash(ed)
It's the Wild, Wild West out there...
Whenever a bomber bites the dust, whatever icons he secured during his time of play will be randomly strewned across the map. Grabbing as many as you can can very well decide the final outcome of that round. Be alert, playa!
Those golden flame icons increase your blastage to full power!
Nothing says "F U" better than trapping an opponent in-between his bomb and yours!
You gotta be very cautious here not to stand near one of the dead ends, as it just may well become one
Not only do ya hafta deal with their bombs, but random ones too
No doubt. All's fair in love and Bomberman. It's a blast, pardon the pun, to lie in the wings and then go pick someone off who fell asleep at the wheel, if you will [O I C WAT U DID DERE... -Ed.]
The blue bomber is about to hate my guts in 3, 2, 1...
Drop and dodge! Lotta bruised egos and friendships tested way back in the day...
The Jump Zone has trampolines that send you skyward landing only God knows where. Honestly, I think the trampolines were useless because they put you in harm's way much more than they benefit ya. Don't get too cute or it will come back to haunt you
Talk about getting high [How much am I paying you again? -Ed.]
The Belt Zone is one of my personal faves. The conveyor belt will slow you down if you walk the "wrong way" on them. They will also carry a bomb down their length until it detonates. Strategy here is varied and you can do lots of different things, which makes it one of the better battle zones around
Always bitchin' when you look up to see all three have perished!
The epic, classic Tunnel Zone. Nearly 20 years ago this was the stage we most often waged war on. Not only did it have the "best look" of all the 12 stages, but it consistently produced the most intense Bomberman battles
Classic map with a super classy look. It stands the test of time!
Man, we sure did. Such good memories of this stage. We picked it probably 20-25% of the time, compared to the other 11 stages. The various pipes just made the bombing that much more crazy... lots of devious and cunning shenanigans at play
It's like the tried-and-true favorite you go to on the menu
Bomberman is a great test of your hand-eye coordination, multi-tasking and scanning the entire playing field at all times. Put in pipes which can not only hide bombers but their bombs... and suddenly you have Bomberman on steroids
This stage really had you on your toes with no rest time
Another ruthless start 'em out in the middle stage. Here, only the swift survive
Like driving, I find it helps some times to take a defensive stance
Computer opponents are easily predictable. They always drop a bomb in the far corner. However, with real people most of the fun comes in not knowing for sure what someone's next move (or mistake) will be. There's always one son of a gun who places a bomb in a tricky spot...
Overly greedy and hasty bombers tend to perish here fast
See what I mean? Red rushed in with no regard. Now he has to bear the blunt of the taunts and insults until the next round. God I love this
OPEN LAND! Who will get to the icons first?
The Duel Zone is one of my favorites. Everyone starts out scrunched in the middle. You gotta avoid death early on, and then it's a mad rush to see who can grab the most icons first. The one who does usually wins. But the one who does also tends to get teamed up against, which kind of evens out the odds. It's all part of the Bomberman intensity / fun
The most fun that four players could have on the Super Nintendo!
Coming off the excellent belt, tunnel and duel zone, I guess the next one gets a bit of a pass. The Flower Zone has always been a bit "eh" to me. It just didn't do much or enough for me
My game crew didn't play this map too much back in the day
No doubt the one stage that created the longest list of excuses was the Light Zone. Two spotlights illuminate the playing field. There are lots of places to hide, but also a much increased chance of dying as it's very difficult to keep track of where all the bombs are laid. Definitely brings out the sore loser in all of us...
Honestly, I never liked this stage. Too gimmicky for my tastes...
Check out red hanging out there. He thinks all is calm, all is bright. Silent... er, sorry. Almost Christmas time y'see. Speaking of seeing, that's where things are about to go really wrong for red...
Red thinks he's all good but wait...
The spotlight moves to the other side while a loud boom occurs on the other end. Wait, am I still alive?? What's going on here...
Woulda been cool if explosions also created a quick light spot
The spotlight comes back over and OH! Red is down and out. Shucks. Better luck next time, playa! Although I wasn't a big fan of this map back in the day, I'll admit it's kinda fun in a "let's switch it up a little bit" fashion. Not a map I care to play a whole lot of... but once in a while it's alright, and a real test of my skill and patience...
BOMBERMAN DOWN BOMBERMAN DOWN!
It sure is. Here there are no stinkin' blocks to blow up... no icons to collect. Because everyone starts out maxed. Instant chaos!
This map is nuts. No rest for the weary whatsoever
I prefer the other stages where you had to build your powers up, but the Power Zone is the perfect way to settle a score* immediately
*Yes... albeit with an asterik, mind you...
You know, I actually do not know how beneficial entering a warp hole really is. Since they transport you randomly from one hole to the next, you never know exactly where your end destination may be, and whether you'll pop up in the middle of a blast. It's best to avoid using them unless you have to
The turtle shell blocks there almost look like the state of Texas!
Nothing stung more than warping right into a death trap, and nothing was sweeter than being the one who set it up
Best not to get too flashy. Stick to the basics and don't get fancy
Remember how back in the day fighting games used to have codes for increased game speed? You don't need no stinkin' codes here, as the Speed Zone puts everyone on max speed. The poison skull is an appropriate block for this map since sometimes the poison skull makes you travel at top speed. Playing any of the 11 other maps after this always makes the game feel like it's running in super slow motion
Another stage where ample opportunity for excuses lie
While there is an option to play against 1, 2 or 3 CPU opponents, you really got to experience this with 3 friends. The human element (both in their unpredictability and the pure joy of sitting around a TV with your close mates) is simply unrivaled. And it just never got old beating your pals and rubbing it in their faces. They might gang up on you for the next match or so, but damn if it isn't worth it
My friend preferred 5 match sets but I always found 3 to be perfect
This code added even more wrinkles to the overall game. It was particularly ideal for maps like Tunnel and Light Zone
I love codes that add a new wrinkle or two to the gameplay
SEND IN THE CLONES!
Like with Street Fighter II, Doom and any other trend setting game, it was only natural for some Bomberman clones to come out. Interestingly enough, the four main SNES Bomberman clones came out only for the Super Famicom. Bakuto Dochers is the most disappointing of the lot, Spark World is the most blatant copycat of the four, Super Tekkyu Fight! is the most different and Otoboke Ninja Colosseum is the best. I recommend skipping Dochers and checking out the other three. Each of them are fairly solid in their own right and well worth owning, especially Otoboke. Quirky fun!
SEQUELS LIKE A HORROR FILM SERIES
There was a sequel, Super Bomberman 2, released in 1994. The series ended there in America. But did you know that there was plenty of life after part 2? Part 3 came out in Europe and Japan, and parts 4 and 5 came out exclusively in Japan, in 1996 and 1997 respectively. The biggest difference between 1-2 and 3-5? Starting with part 3, they added in a 5th player option, a mad bomber option, new roster (no longer were you relegated to just the same old Bomberman clones) and animal friends which gave you a certain power and two hits to take. Each year they just kept cranking out a new one not unlike a Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street film. Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of parts 3-5. While 5 did sport the best graphics of the series, the game was never based on visuals. The maps were hit or miss for me (moreso miss than hit) and it just no longer had the "soul" that the first one on SNES possessed in abundance. But maybe I'm just biased and speaking with nostalgia goggles. All I know for sure is... given the choice to play any of the five, I would select Super Bomberman anyday of the week and twice on Sundays. For more on the sequels see Super Bomberman 3-5
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
The critics loved the hell out of this game. It earned Game of the Month honors by EGM, earning scores of 9, 9, 9 and 9. GameFan awarded it with ratings of 70%, 84%, 90% and 90%. Super Play Magazine gave it a massive score of 92%. In their Top 100 Best SNES Games list, Super Bomberman was ranked #23. Just take a look at some of the comments to your left. Just about everyone agreed that it's one of the very best party games around, "addictive" and "loads of fun." Throw out any high praise phrase you want, and it probably fits the bill. And the game earned its high accolades for good reason. I have yet to meet one person who does not enjoy the four player mode with three friends in tow. And if you don't like it, then there's probably something not quite right with you. It's multi-player gaming at its finest. Sorry, I have to say it: this game's DA BOMB You have to be a pretty darn terrible miser to not like this game...
Super Play, like the rest of the world, was enamored with it
Super Bomberman is synonymous with the term party game. You could lock four friends up in a room for 24 hours with only a Super Nintendo and this game and they would probably come out pretty happy, still, in the end. Probably. It's the game that anyone can pick up and enjoy. It's a classic concept: you drop some bombs, scurry around the corner, hope for the best, pick up icons, look for opportunities to trap the competition and taunt when you win. For my money it's the most fun single-screen four player game ever made. Its hide-and-go-boom gameplay will never get old. Before the series got crazy with animal pals, mad bombers and such, this great game proves that you just can't beat a classic. It has a certain charm that later sequels simply lacked
For my money it's the most fun four player party fest on the SNES
I have such fond memories of this game from 1993 to 1994. My game crew and I played it so much that the battle tune is embedded in my mind. My oldest friend always did his infamous "L-Maneuver." He'd drop bombs in an L-formation, scurry away and hope for the best. I can still hear his laugh and his shout of "L-Maneuver!" to this day. Man, we spent countless late Saturday nights in his room bombing each other. There was something real pure and innocent about it. MAGICAL, even. For one night, we were free to just be kids. No worrying about school/homework/chores. For that one magical night, all we concentrated on was being the last bomberman standing. Playing for hours on end with losers switching off, it truly was some of the best gaming times of my youth. Super Bomberman will *always* hold a very special place in my gaming heart. While subsequent sequels added in mad bomber options, animal friends and even up to ten (!!!) players (Saturn Bomberman), I still think I prefer Super Bomberman by a hair (all things being considered equal, i.e. four people on hand, not eight). It had the most appealing stages for me, has a "purity" later games lost (I'm not a huge fan of the animal pals) and the nostalgia definitely does not hurt. What can I say... it's a classic party game every Super Nintendo fan would be crazy not to have. [^ I can see that your friend's influence lives on... the text above is one giant L-Maneuver! -Ed.]
Graphics: 7 Sound: 8 Gameplay: 10 Longevity: 10
This original classic quintessential party game holds up well to this day, and is a must-own for any SNES fan. Its frenetic and fast-paced gameplay is a reminder of video gaming magic. With three buddies in tow, it's tough to find a better title to play than Super Bomberman
"DAMN, Y'ALL ALWAYS GOTTA KILL THE BLACK GUY FIRST!"