To make each of these variations even more challenging, the fifteen levels fight back. In one level players will need to dodge deadly laser strikes, while in another stage the wind will blow out the lit bombs. My favorite level involves a boat that sways back and forth, depending on the bomb placement. This means that an explosion can send crates and bombs from one end of the ship to the other, constantly keeping things exciting. Not every level is as creative as this boat stage, but I love what each and every one of them adds to the competition.
After twenty years, Hudson has never been able to figure out how to make a compelling single-player experience. In Battlefest it feels like they gave up, instead putting all of their energy to the multiplayer mode. Outside of sitting around and playing with bots, there isn't much for a single player to do. But who cares? After two decades, I can't imagine anybody buying a Bomberman game for the single-player mode. Thanks to the invention of Xbox Live, solo players will always be able to have another real person to battle.
Even with all of the new modes, I can't help but be a little disappointed that Hudson didn't go one step further. It would have been nice to see a graphical overhaul, perhaps something that would speed things up a little. It's amazing what Namco was able to do with Pac-Man Championship Edition, it's a shame Bomberman still looks like its ten years old. After all, this is still the same old Bomberman you grew up loving. Even with the extra modes, it still looks and plays the same. One of these days Hudson is going to add something to that gameplay that revolutionizes the whole franchise. It will be that one thing we can't believe we did without. Sadly, there's nothing daring or original in Battlefest, it's as safe as any game can be.
Bomberman Live: Battlefest offers just enough new content to warrant the purchase. It may not be the major upgrade some fans have been hoping for, but it does manage to scratch a very specific itch. The new found variety gives me hope that Hudson is on the right track with their online Bomberman sequels. Now if I could only figure out where my Xbox Live avatar was hiding all those bombs.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Bomberman's newest Xbox Live Arcade game is hardly the revelation some were hoping for, but it's a solid multiplayer game nonetheless. Fans will like the customization, while newcomers will appreciate the diverse levels and power-ups. It may not be the most original game of the year, but there are enough new modes to make Battlefest a must play!
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