The Bomber Base has received an SOS from the cosmos, signaling that Planet Phantarion is under distress. In response, Bomberman Max is quickly dispatched to investigate the planet's plight. But when all transmissions to Bomberman Max fail, it becomes clear that the evil powers of Phantarion's phantom menace have befallen our super hero as well. Now Phantarion's last hope is the original Bomberman...can he solve the mystery and rescue Max in time?
--From the GBA Bomberman Tournament instruction manual.
Imagine a world where three of the most beloved videogame franchises in history were somehow fused in a furnace fueled by fanatic fan fervor. Now open your eyes and quake puny mortal, for "Bomberman Tournament" has arrived! One part Bomberman, one part Zelda, and one part Pokemon, "Bomberman Tournament" uses the best aspects of its ingredients to a very entertaining effect. "Bomberman Tournament" features the multi-player mode that made it famous, but goes further in developing a single-player quest driven story mode that makes this title a real contender for best Gameboy Advance game ever.
After discovering "Bomberman Tournament" in the Console Classix catalogue, the same question kept nagging at me, how did I not know about this game?! There are great number of "Bomberman" games available for a range of systems, many of which I'm sure are not familiar to me, but "Bomberman Tournament's" quest driven single player mode is unique to the franchise, and stellar all around. The overhead 2-D graphics are unbelievably detailed, and colorful, the music is catchy, almost giving the impression of an updated Legend of Zelda title, except with Bomberman of course.
The stages are tackled Bomberman style, meaning the player will be using bombs to dispatch enemies and remove obstructions for Bomberman's path. In "Bomberman Tournament", players will have to interact with NPCs, fulfilling their quests and collecting items along the way. During their interactions with NPCs, players will have the chance to upgrade and modify their bombs, and collect other weapons.
The addition of the Karabons (Pokemon like creatures) was a huge step in terms of depth and content. There are over 25 Karabons that Bomberman can use to fight for him. Each Karabon has unique abilities and statistics that can be leveled up. The Karabon fights are very similar to Pokemon battles, and take place in a 2-D side view. The addition of Karabons was really surprising for me because Bomberman seemed to already have a winning formula, so why take such drastic steps to add different aspects of gameplay and mechanics? Why risk making an RPG with Bomberman instead of the traditional multi-player battlemode? Whatever Hudson Soft's reasons, the gamers are definitely benefitting from the risks that taken in developing this instant classic. "Bomberman Tournament" is my new favorite addiction in the Console Classix catalogue of games, and I'm betting it will soon become yours as well.
"Bomberman Tournament" features a multi-player battle mode wherein players try to defeat each other by setting bombs with a slightly delayed fuse.
In "Bomberman Tournament's" quest mode, the player will fight through distinct stages to save Max. Bomberman will collect Karabons (pokemon like creatures) to use on stages, and in mini-games. Karabons can be one of four types: water, fire, earth, and electricity. Karabon powers have different affects on each other, Water beats Fire, Fire beats Earth, and Earth beats Electricity. Each Karabon has unique abilities and special attacks. Certain Karabons can even be fused to imbue a single Karabon with two attributes. In his pursuit of Max, Bomberman will interact with helpful NPCs in each town, including the owner of a Bomb Shop where Bomberman can create new types of bombs.
"Bomberman Tournament" affords the player two save slots to record progress.
|A Button||Set bomb / Confirm|
|B Button||Activate karabon power / Decline|
|R Button||Bring / Close menu|
|L Button||Bring / Close map|
|Start Button||Pause game|
|Select Button||Save game screen|