IGN Review of Bomberman Land Touch! 2
To write a from-scratch review of Bomberman Land Touch! 2 would almost be like repeating myself a little more than a year later: what was said about Bomberman Land Touch! back in 2006 can be fully applied to its just-released sequel. Bomberman Land Touch! 2 is a impressively fun collection of mini-games strung together with a basic (but strangely satisfying) adventure game. The true king of the package is the fantastic battle mode both online and off, and it's one of those multiplayer games that really shouldn't be missed. The only knock against the sequel is the shameless recycling to create a new SKU.
Hudson's been shooting in the dark for years trying to find a place for its Bomberman characters outside of the multiplayer arena. The studio's tried all sorts of genres, from sports to adventure games with various levels of success. But it was last year when the development studio pulled from concepts it had been working on with other publishers – most notably the Mario Party series for Nintendo – that Hudson finally nailed the target. The result was Bomberman Land Touch!, a culmination of several dozen competitive, touch-screen mini-games, without the lagging downtime of a boring board game holding it down. Instead, Hudson fleshed out the Bomberman world and characters by scripting an adventure game with some clever puzzles and challenges that required a bit of item collection along the way.
The company didn't forget about Bomberman's roots in this new DS game, either. What made the franchise and the characters such a huge part of the Hudson line, the outstanding Battle Mode, was also fleshed out for play on the handheld in Bomberman Land Touch! Hudson made it the definitive version with tons of customizable options as well as making it eight player local with a single cartridge, and then throwing in four player online competitions that worked surprisingly well. It would be hard for Hudson to top this package. And unsurprisingly, because of the "recycling" issue Hudson doesn't top it with this sequel.
Bomberman Land Touch! 2 really doesn't try to be anything more than "Bomberman Land Touch! Again." The characters from the original are back with a brand new story and a new adventure that marches through the established Bomberman Land universe, and utilizes the same exact engine and many of the visuals that the team created for Bomberman Land Touch! The experience is a little different due to the new plot and puzzles, as well as a good amount of mini-games to complete. Some challenges, like the Soccer Kick where you flick the ball through three Bomberman goaltenders with the stylus, or the stone-skipping challenge that's not unlike those Flash Yeti game downloads. But then you're faced with the shameless recycling of some mini-games from the original game that reminds you that this sequel isn't fully original.
On the whole, the Bomberman Land Touch! 2 adventure design is still just as fun and fulfilling as the 2006 original with some new twists and surprises, but it will look, sound and feel very, very familiar to anyone who's played the first Bombmerman Land Touch!.
Hudson once told us that what the team created for the Battle Pack in Bomberman Land Touch! back in 2006 would be the definitive version, with the intention of having the Battle Pack work universally with future iterations of Bomberman games that included it – kind of like what Nintendo did with Mario Bros. in all of its Game Boy Advance Super Mario games. But apparently the company needed to go back for a tweak or two since this sequel includes what's being touted as "Battle Pack 2." New power-ups and new maps on top of the same awesome multiplayer focus established in the original: up to eight players compete in an enclosed arena planting bombs in a non-stop, strategic action environment. Hop online and it's four players, but you definitely don't lose the intensity.
What you might lose, however, is the critical mass. Bomberman Land Touch! 2 isn't attracting the online crowd like the first game did, so you might find tracking random battles against unknown competitors a bit on the tough side. And since Battle Pack 2 isn't compatible with the first Bomberman Land Touch!'s online mode you won't be matching up with the original version.
As long as you keep up with the Friend Code system, you're golden, because online match-ups still work really well if you've got a solid internet connection. And it's still some of the greatest competitive multiplayer you'll experience on the Nintendo DS.
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