Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bomb

This is my third review for Big Mean Flash Gamer, and it was while compiling the screenshots for this piece that I realised something. So far, all of the games I've reviewed have been released through Armor Games. This is a little strange because, for as long as I can remember, I've loved the Armor Games website, and they've produced some of my favourite online games.

But it has become increasingly clear to me that they've released more than their fair share of dreck in recent times, and it is with a heavy heart that I have to add Bomb to the list of games that suck giant donkey balls.

Bomb is described on the Hallpass website as a "good remake of classic Bombermen." This is misleading on two counts. One, there is nothing good about this game. And two, this is not a Bomberman remake. Oh, there are bombs, all right, and you do spend a lot of time blowing up walls, but that's about the only similarities between this and Bomberman. If you really want a Bomberman clone, go play Pyromasters. It looks better, plays better, and is more fun than Bomb could ever be.

But I digress. There are a few things about Bomb that I actually like. Unfortunately, all of these things happen before the first level. First of all, how can anybody not like this section about the developer?



Wow, he doesn't even know who he is. And evidently, he doesn't know how to make a decent game, either. The instructions are simple enough, but have one glaring typo:



OK, so you can see that too, right? It says "Put a pomp" - I'm not losing my vision here, am I? Please tell me that "pomp" is the Chinese word for "bomb."

Things get no better as you watch the intro to the game itself. In fact, at one point, things get downright weird.



"Oh my gosh"? I'll say - aliens are invading and your bunk mate is fucking naked. I came here to blow up stuff; now I'm looking at some boy's naked ass. I can think of much stronger phrases for this picture than "oh my gosh."

So naturally, you walk outside to see what the hell is going on, and you get confronted by the monster from Little Shop of Horrors.



He's in your presence? My God, the nerve of that guy! Well, I'm sorry, your Highness, but he just travelled across the galaxy, you'll have to excuse him for not remembering his manners. Why don't you go back to your naked buddy and cut the plant creature some slack?

Well, at that point you find that the house is missing and you're in some weird dimension with monsters everywhere. Wait, I thought aliens were invading? And where did you find all those bombs anyway?

We have no time to answer such logical questions - there's bombing to be done! You start off in some green field. There are rocks that you can't destroy, and plants that you can. Your job is to go around the playing area and kill everything that moves.



This plant was strolling back and forth between the bushes when you swept in, tossed an incendiary device into his path and blew him to kingdom come. Yay for you. I must say, the cartoonish animation does look pretty sweet, and the explosions are impressive. But everything moves so incredibly slowly, including your character. I think if I was running around, throwing bombs with short fuses at monsters, I'd move as fast as I can. Not this guy though. Oh no, he's all man - he don't give a shit about no bombs and monsters!

Anyway, kill all the monsters (which isn't difficult at all) and you start to bounce around happily:



Yay! You get the opportunity to buy items like more health, extra bombs, etc. You can buy magic, which you'll never use, and timebombs, which you will, but we'll get to that in a moment. First of all, I want to talk about the second level, and more, specifically, this section:



Not content with being a poor Bomberman clone, it also attempts to rip off Frogger - the difference being, of course, that Frogger is still fun after all these years. You can blow up all the hedges around you, if you want, and uncover some power ups. After that, it's down to the bottom half of the level.



I want you to look at this screenshot and wonder at how difficult this could have been. You're going into an enclosed area full of monsters, with only one way in or out. You're gonna need fast reflexes and a whole lot o' luck, right?

Of course not! These fuckers move as quickly as arthritic snails! And they're all bunched together so you can take out two or three at a time. Ninety seconds later, it's back to the shop.



There's plenty I could buy right now, but the time bombs will be the most useful item for level three. Level three looks like it should be the simplest of the lot, but looks can be deceiving, and this level pissed me off more times than I want to share.



You have this square of bushes on the left hand side, and you have to blow them up so that they resemble the X made of stones on the right hand side. Sounds easy enough. But on three sides of that square is a single path that you have to run up and down until you make some space for yourself. This is why I got the time bombs - if I'd just used normal bombs, I would gotten caught in the blast. And the really annoying thing is that once you get caught, you get sucked back into the fucking bomb, so you lose all of your health and have to start the level all over again. And you better be damn careful about where you place your bombs, because the last thing you want is to get all the way around, drop a bomb in the wrong place and completely fuck up the pattern. Do that and you have to begin again. This is so frustrating I can't even begin to tell you. What is the point of this level? What do I achieve from it? I came here to blow up plant creatures, now I'm doing some form of extreme landscape gardening.

With a little patience, you'll make the X shape and get to face the first boss. And look at this guy - it's fucking huge!



On top of that, it spawns smaller monsters, so you have to look out for them as well. This is going to be a battle of epic proportions!

Wait, where's it going?



Apparently, there's nothing this monster fears more than a ten-year-old boy with highly unstable explosives in his pocket. It moves off to the right of the screen and stays there, allowing you to amble over, plant a few bombs, and then walk away to safety. I've dealt with a lot of crap because of this game, but bugs in the boss level are about all I can take.

I didn't want to play any more, but even if I did, I had no choice in the matter. Each level took forever to load, but after that first boss fight, it didn't want to load at all. And it's not just because my computer is a piece of shit. This game is just bugged to hell.

This is the last screenshot I was able to get:



There's nothing going on here. The words are flashing, the monsters just sit there and die, and I can't move. I'm not really pissed off - I hated the game anyway, and only would have spent even longer ripping into it. I'm just really disappointed. This isn't just any old flash game - this is an Armor Game! Armor games don't have this many bugs in them. This is the biggest slur on the name of an otherwise reliable company. The maker of Bomb should be ashamed of himself for making such a shitty game, and the guys at Armor should be ashamed for putting their name on it.

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