The first thing that most gamers think of when they hear the name Hudson is Bomberman. Having been one of the company's flagship series over the years, it's little wonder why. The Bomberman games have seen releases on just about every console imaginable over the years, but it's these Turbografx-16 releases that many people consider the best of the series. Bomberman '93 basically expands on the gameplay used in the first Bomberman release on the system, and also adds a little more visual flare to the mix as well.
Perhaps what makes Bomberman such an enjoyable and addictive game is that the gameplay idea behind the game is just so simple. You basically move around a maze, dropping bombs in order to blow up obstacles in your way and defeat the enemies throughout the maze. Your goal is simple. Destroy all enemies in the maze and then bomb open obstacles in order to locate the warp point. Sounds easy, huh? Well it would be except you have a strict time limit in which to accomplish all of this. Not to mention the fact that if you accidentally open the warp point before all of the enemies in the maze are destroyed, you'll have additional enemies popping out of the warp point to deal with as well. This adds a little strategy to the mix as you have to be careful not to bomb too many obstacles while your going after the enemies in each level.
It's just not Bomberman if you're not duking it out in battle mode. The single player experience is a lot of fun, but there's nothing quite like getting 4 or 5 people together and going at it in an all-out battle royale. This mode is basically an "every man for himself" game in which you all run around the maze trying to bomb each other and take the other players out of the game. I've seen close friends actually not speak to each other for weeks at a time because one of their friends took them out during a game of Bomberman. It can be a very intense battle when you have that many people in the same maze going at it, but it's Bomberman at its very best.
Bomberman '93 is a nice step up from the first Turbografx-16 Bomberman game and features a more varied amount of playfields this time around. Bright and crisp use of the many colors, not to mention the fact that most of the areas have a lot of animation to them, all come together to make this a very good-looking visual experience. The game also features a fair amount of cutscenes that show a lot of crispness and colorful detail as well. It's a small touch, but a nice one nonetheless. The Bomberman games have never been terribly cutting-edge when it comes to the graphics style, but there's really not much need for it since the entire premise of the game is so simple. There's only so many ways you can spruce up a maze, after all. Just ask Pac Man.
There's no mistaking a Bomberman game the moment you hear the trademark music and sound effects. It's about as distinctive as any game series I can think of off the top of my head. It's kind of like it was in the 80's when you walked into an arcade and heard the Defender game blaring away. Although the sound isn't CD-quality, it's one of the best MIDI sound tracks ever heard on the Turbografx-16 system and yet another testament to the quality of the Turbografx-16's built-in sound chip. There's honestly not a bad track in the entire game, and you might actually catch yourself humming a few of these tunes even after you've stopped playing the game. The more recent Bomberman games have all used the CD soundtracks, but there's just something so timeless about the classic Bomberman sound, and this game is one of the best examples of that.
Bomberman '93 takes a very simple gaming premise and builds an extremely playable game out of it. If you're only buying Bomberman '93 for the single-player game, you're really only scratching the surface of what this game truly has to offer. Do yourself a favor, invite a bunch of people over for a party and hand 5 people a controller and see what all the Bomberman fuss is really about. Bomberman was a party game before there was even such a thing as party games. Either way Bomberman '93 is a terrific addition to your Virtual Console library and a good reminder that a game doesn't have to be overly complicated to be a lot of fun.
VC Tip: You can hold down the R button on a Gamecube controller when you choose to start Bomberman from the Wii Menu in order to play 5 player bomberman on the Wii.