With three-person multiplayer and an honest-to-goodness story, Bomberman II is far more ambitious than the first game. In fact, the changes made to the formula here would shift the franchise’s direction from slow arcade puzzler to a multiplayer-focused, fast-paced bombing spree.
The core gameplay – bomb creatures, find power-ups, exit out of the door – is the same, but the action moves much quicker. The AI in particular is considerably more ruthless than the first game. Occasionally, you’ll be trapped between two blocks at the beginning of the level, and enemies will fly through the blocks and kill you before you have time to escape.
In the original Bomberman, you kept your power-ups until you died. Here, many of the new power-ups – like invincibility or fire – are only good for the level. The multiplayer modes are the best parts of Bomberman II, insane, frenetic fun where you and your pals blow each other up as much as possible. The single-player, while not terrible, is mediocre by comparison.
If you want single-player bombing, stick with the original. Bomberman II, like the rest of the series from this entry onward, lives and dies by its multiplayer.
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Hudson Soft GENRE: Arcade/Puzzle
RELEASE DATE: 06/28/91 – (JP), 1991 – (EU), 02/1993 – (US)