The best Bomberman battle mode?

I’m sure lots of us here have played a Bomberman or two over the years. The inclusion of '93 and '94 on the PCE Mini got me thinking about the series and how I felt the original Super Bomberman was the best game in the series for Battle Mode. But, I don’t really have any business saying that because it’s literally the only one i’ve played for a significant amount of time!

Super Bomberman 1 - Had it when i was a kid and hired the multi-tap many times! Before i knew anything about the game really, other than it was highly regarded in magazines, I was quite reluctant to buy it - at the time it was $105 AUD! But boy did I get my moneys worth in the end!

Super Bomberman 2 - Hired it I think, and played on emu briefly quite some time ago.
Super Bomberman 3, 4, 5 - Only played these on emu briefly, again quite some time ago.

Bomberman '93 - Got this for the Wii shop channel but ultimately didn’t play it much - the blurry emulation turned me off, and lack of Punch ability was the first time i really considered what it was about Super Bomberman 1 that made it so good for me.

Saturn Bomberman - I have this but i’ve only really played single player. Got it too late (all my friends have gone!) and don’t have the hardware for big multiplayer. I feel like very few people who claim the Saturn version is best, have actually played it in 8p+!

Bomberman Blast (Wii) - I got this after '93 let me down and played it a bit but don’t remember much about it. I think it was serviceable if a little slow?

But then, there are a tonne more Bomberman games! Here’s a great site with a stack of info on most of them:

Looking around, most people seem to prefer the PCE, Super or Saturn versions, or one of the much later games you could play online. But i’m interested to hear the real reasons why people prefer one game’s battle mode over another, from people who have sunk decent time into them! Even just between the 5 Super games, the available items vary quite a lot. Things are removed, added back, or return in different forms like the rideable creatures.

For me, as I mentioned before, the Punch ability which can pin down people and be tricky to avoid because of screen wrap was a key item that I really enjoyed having. Plus, i like the freedom the Remote Bomb item gives as well. Super Bomberman 2 replaced the Punch with the Glove, but it’s not quite the same. Saturn Bomberman doesn’t have Remote Bombs but has several other unique items. Super Bomberman 4 has a stupid amount of rideable creatures, some of which are functionally equivalent of just getting an item - It seems like it’d be too much to take in! '94 doesn’t seem to have the speed-up item in battle mode - to me that seems like a killer exclusion, but am i wrong?!

There’s a perfectly balanced and most fun item set there somewhere, but which game has it?
Is it best to have very few items like the earlier games or the kitchen sink like the later ones?
I think I want to track down a copy of Super 3 and 5, then really give them a proper go, and compare them with '94 when I get the PCE Mini.

Interested to hear everyone’s thoughts!

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We play these three:

Simply because that is the only hardware I have with 4+ controllers :slight_smile:

I’ve not owned or played them all, but mechanics we enjoy are players still being to influence the game (but not win) after dying. This option is called Miso Bomb (DC), Bomber Cart (PS1) or Revenge (Wii).

Hyper Bomberman mode (DC) is also well worth trying - it’s a really nice change to the normal battle mode.

This wiki goes into details of all games and modes:

As shameful as it is, I’ve never played Bomberman multiplayer.

My favourite memories are of the original Bomberman 64. Sure it’s not the classic style but I thought it worked well at the time (haven’t played it in years though).

Ah, i should have mentioned that i’ve played that too, back when it came out! I enjoyed it a lot as well. I also have the 2001 Bomberman 64 which was exclusive to Japan, but found that one disappointing. It suffers from lots of slowdown in multiplayer.

I never played Bomberman in multiplayer until the DS games, shockingly. It might be because the earlier games I played had an emphasis on single-player, like the GB games and Bomberman Hero on N64.

I really enjoyed the DS games’ multiplayer mode. From what I understand the same mode was included and refined alongside all the DS games (think of it like Mario Bros. on the GBA Mario Advance titles), with the last release being the standalone Bomberman Blitz on DSiWare. Online multiplayer on that was fantastic - and the tunnels splitting the stages into two parts were a great way to contain eight players.

I probably spent the most time on Bomberman Blast on WiiWare due to its online functionality. As mentioned above it is a bit slow though items, level themes and item handicaps can fix this. It’s packed with modes and levels. The fun level layouts and items bring about a sort of zaniness that Mario Kart Wii brought to the console. For instance, one item is a rocket belt which temporarily flies you off the stage, but you have to shake the Wii remote to charge it up. Great risk/reward mechanic for avoiding blasts and it’s silly too.

The online mode puts Super Bomberman R to shame as well, with far less input lag in the controls, customisable messages to display above your character and much more customisability.

From what I recall, Blast was the only console Bomberman which Hudson developed in-house that generation. Ultra on PS3 and Live on 360 were outsourced to Other Ocean.

I played this in 10 player(!) at a convention one year, but I remember the massive tangle of wires down the middle more than the game itself…

I feel less embarrassed now! That said there’s an equally interesting discussion/thread to be had on Bomberman single player modes.

I was blown away by Bomberman 2/Custom Battler Bomberman on DS when I acquired a copy last year. From what I recall the lead designer on Ninja Cop/Ninja Five-O was heavily involved with it.

Another hidden DS gem you say?!

Definitely, it was only released in Japan and Europe as well. In Custom Battler Bomberman you uncover parts in stages to customise your character with. You can only equip a limited number (each part uses up a different amount of EP depending on effect) but they change your starting parameters for things like speed and explosion radius, while also granting you abilities like remote detonation capabilities, infrared sensing, nitro, long throw if you have the right combination of parts equipped.

Equipping your character makes for a Bomberman with some pretty demanding and frantic level design. Because there’s no longer a need to cater for the situation where you have no powerups at all each level feels like a self-contained challenge from the start, and there’s plenty of variety in mission objectives, as well as level gimmicks like heat panels, spikes, pits and magnets.

(And yep, Ninja Cop’s Gen Suzuki was the lead game designer on this)


I was sold already but now I’m sold again.

I’ve never heard of this either! Thanks for the recommendation. :slight_smile:

As for best battle mode, I dunno I’ve mostly played Super Bomberman 3 the last few times I’ve played any battle mode with friends and I think that’s pretty fun. :man_shrugging:

So i convinced my wife to play a few rounds last night, we tried out Bomberman '93 and Bomberman Blast, both on the Wii.

I’d forgotten a lot about Blast it seems! It actually has an item select/frequency tuner, although we just played with defaults to see what it felt like. My first thought was “i have no idea what i want to set these items to” lol. At first we tried with 6 CPU but that seemed a little hectic, so we reduced it to 2 CPU and the smaller stage layout. That seemed to change the items itself as well.

The Bombermen start off with a 2 block fire radius and quite a slow walk speed. In this one you can speed up and speed down (also fire down and bombs down). The icons are different than the older games for those. It does feel a little sluggish as i remembered, though I think part of that feeling might be the animation on the characters. They have long legs and arms that move all over the place when you’re walking, which can seem erratic and detached from the actual walking speed. This one has the Punch ability, but it felt as though there was more risk - both from the animation playing out when you miss-time a punch, and because it seemed easier to accidentally kick instead of punch when you had both items.

I don’t think you can use classic controllers which sucks! We had to open the manual which I was surprised was still available since it was through the Wii Shop Channel… to find the controls for a rocket item i was unfamiliar with. It turned out to be ‘shake the remote’ … ugh lol

Anyway we still had fun with it! When we tried Bomberman '93 it was at first a bit jarring. There’s a lot less items on the field, you start with slightly faster movement (it seems… it’s hard to compare the simpler animated sprites with the erratic 3d models) and your initial radius is 3 blocks. There’s no speed-up item, which I thought would be terrible, but it didn’t feel too slow (which is what makes me think it was faster than the starting speed in Blast). The simpler item set does reduce the variety, but at the same time it felt like there was a bit more strategy. Or at least, we were getting better at Bomber-fundamentals because we had less to work with and could better make our strategies, by virtue of having less to deal with from the CPU.

Next up I’ll try and get her to play Saturn Bomberman, which will be a little difficult since she’ll have to migrate from the living room to my gaming room :smiley:

The best new item! With pretty good shaking controls imo - you charge up your rocket jump so there’s an element of risk reward since you have to drop the controls and shake it for a few seconds for lift off.

I never got into it much either.

I played some Bomberman 64 multiplayer which isn’t really the same thing, and also tried a few other installments here and there.

But it’s kind of hard to get into for me.

I started Bomberman 2 on DS and am really enjoying mission mode. It feels like a gentle tutorial of how to really play Bomberman well, which each skill or poperup gently introduced in a level scenario with specific goals.

Thanks for the recommend @harborline_765

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Saturn bomberman is my fav. The regular battle mode has so many options and it’s easily the best looking 2d one for me. I’ll play any bomberman game regardless and have no qualms against any of the other ones. Heck the N64 one that came to the west is my most played one and I have fond memories of it

I really liked the super bomberman 5 battle mode. It had this “skill point” system where you could “create” a character (basically pallet swaps of the playable characters) and use skill points to give that character powerups, like remote control bombs. The catch is that the better the power up, The more skill points it costs. So of you equip the remote bomb power, you probably could only equip one extra fire or bomb. It made it not about luck (no stage power ups) but solely on your build.

I’ve been playing Super Bomberman R Online since it arrived on Stadia yesterday and its BATTLE 64 mode is tremendous!

It’s basically Bomberman battle royale but on a much larger scale than we’ve seen in the series. 64 players are split up into groups of 4, spread across 16 interconnected Bomberman battle arenas.

The doors connecting each arena close during battle rounds - forcing you to come to terms with your opponents. Between each round arenas disappear off the map and you have to migrate to a new one.

This, combined with everyone slowly getting more and more powerful, slowly ups the ante toward each delicious finale. You see, if you defeat all enemies within an arena during a round you’re rewarded with a mountain of powerups.

It’s also got Louies(!), and the designers decide to set everyone to having two lives. Die once and you’re still in the game, but flashing red. Defeat a flashing player and they’ll drop an extra life heart.

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Bomberman 2/Custom Battler Bomberman really does rock.

Been thinking about great modes in Bomberman and I have been a bit disappointed by the normal single player in Saturn Bomberman. Aside from the cool boss fights it’s pretty standard, but with some gorgeous graphics to go with it. The Master mode, which only gives you one life to make it through a tough pyramid, is very cool though!

If you dig Bomberman 2 on DS, check out Bomberman GB 3 on Game Boy - lots of really neat ideas throughout the entire game. Like the DS game being the last in its series, I was shocked that so much inventiveness was packed into the last Bomberman game on the platform that would have otherwise been okay to phone in! Game Boy/Color/Advance OT + Collecting Thread - Get into it! - #519 by harborline_765

64 player battle Royale Bomberman has been freed from Stadia exclusivity - check it out! It’s on practically everything.