I first played this game in 2011, and I never was able to finish the entire game....until recently. What took so long? No doubt: Bomberman GB will come down as one of the most difficult games for the Nintendo Game Boy. After numerous trials and errors, and having laid down the enemy's AI behavior, it's impossible to get through this game without losing completely.
If you've played Bomberman on the NES, or any of the recent consoles/handhelds, then this game is simply what you'd expect: a grid-based adventure, using bombs to break obstacles out of your way and using its explosions to kill enemies in order to move on to the next level. At the end of each world is a boss which you must defeat before itching closer to the treasure Bomberman is on hunt for (Story Mode). As usual, the boss enemies range from simple to incredibly difficult. Hold that thought.
The names of the bosses in the later parts of the game remain a mystery. Not a single source dedicated to this game was ever able to provide the enemy/boss names, only the first four. I can't even figure out the name of the last three final bosses too! (I never found a single source on the internet that provided such information.) Besides that, the gameplay is relatively good. I haven't had any problems navigating through and through, except those situations where you geometrically lose track of where you placed the bomb(s) being killed by your own detonation(s). Nevertheless, Bomberman responds well with the D-pad and buttons.
The music isn't that bad, though it sticks to your mind after a while especially if you lost and have to start over again. However, get this: Game Show Network's defunct game show Chain Reaction hosted by Dylan Lane (aired 2006 to 2007) may have featured one of the soundtracks of this game, played at the start of the bonus round (track starts playing at 0:11 mark on that YouTube video link). Doubtful the similar musical arrangement was a coincidence, but regardless, the composer(s) of the show must be a retro gamer, listed this game as his/her personal favorites or was unaware of the similarities. Whatever the reason, I didn't think anyone would catch that, would they?
Graphically, the developers did a wonderful job creating some nice imagery and illustrations. Frankly since it's a Game Boy game and couldn't implement video cut-scenes, they are illustrations with sound effects and text. It works and looks great, nonetheless. Even better, you get the full colors of the game using your trusty Super Game Boy for the Super Nintendo. Features better stereo sound as well.
Alright so about the game: yes it gets progressively difficult nearing the final bosses. The final bosses are a three-phase action. And sadly, not knowing the names make this description harder. Anyway, Final Boss #1 spews tiny spawns targeted at you then remains stationary at the absolute center of the room, giving you time to attack. This requires proper timing and patience, and with fast music designed to toy with your adrenaline, "easy does it" as goes the saying is required. After defeating it, it 'transforms' into twin masked bosses brightened with an "on and off"-like bodies. The bright mask—"on"—is the mask that you attack. When attacked, that mask "turns off" while the other mask "turns on" and thus becomes the one you attack next. This process repeats over and over while the twin masks shoot at you. This part of the fight took a lot of time for me to get down, trying to know the behavioral patterns. Again, patience and timing is required, and also where to properly place the bombs because these masks move so much. Don't get frustrated if you lose several times because getting the pattern down will take a while to memorize. Once you have that down, you're good to go! ....Actually, not quite.
The game fools you into thinking you've completely beaten the game....until the evil face of the entire cave appears and immediately charges at you without warning. I don't seem to be alone in this as many gamers expressed anger and frustration having dealt with this element of surprise. It's impossible to stay alive on your first encounter with this (unless you've already read/watched what goes on before playing the game). Never have I figured out the way in attacking this Final Boss #3 because the mask stays put then charges at your direction until I first had to worry about Bomberman's navigation through the room. Turns out that going into this, ALL power-ups are activated and included in your inventory. One of them is being able to run fast—rollerblading. Playing this on the Super Game Boy, that button is B. If you hold down B while navigating through the room, you'll have enough cushion between you and the boss. While pressing A twice lays all the bombs down in full row on the direction Bomberman is facing. While this works, I simply used the behavioral pattern and where the mask stays while it shoots spawns at you. The mask may move fast but if you take your time, the spawns it shoots at you misfires sometimes. That gives you a quick second chance to try and attack in case you missed it the first time around. Having counted, you need to attack his boss 10 times before you're home free. After this, no more surprises: you have beaten the very last boss of the game.
You then see the final cut scene of Bomberman taking the treasure he's been after this whole time. Gamers, after all that hard work, felt smacked in the face as an insult to injury because of how the story ended. Better to give you a natural reaction than to explain, and so, here's the video of me defeating the final boss and the story ending.
Reaction(s)? Disappointed? You're not alone.
Read my entry based on this Bomberman GB game at VIDEOGAMESOTROS talking about the "deeper logic" behind Bomberman's decision.
I also don't think you should pass up getting $5 off orders over $50 at the Warner Bros Online Shop:
Bomberman is searching the depths of the earth in hopes of finding the Legendary Treasure. In the Story Mode, guide hime through 48 levels of puzzle-solving action, collecting power-up items and defeating monsters along the way. The Battle Mode is the old favorite, where one to four players battle it out on six different maps.
— There are 48 challenging levels in Story Mode!
— Classic Battle Mode on the Super Game Boy accessory!
— The SNES Multi-Player Adapter provides four player action with your Super Game Boy®
— Password save feature!
Traveling long and far in search of the Legendary Treasure, believed to grant the beholder any wish, Bomberman had finally found where the Legendary Treasure lay hidden. But at that very moment, the earth split open and Bomberman fell deep into the darkness below. And so began, the adventure of Bomberman.
ISBN / Bar Code number
0 45496 73075 8
1.33:1 (4:3) Full screen
Mono (Stereo via Super Game Boy)
E - Everyone
August 10, 1994 (JP), April ??, 1998 (US), 1998 (EU)