Bomberman: Act Zero is an action video game developed by Hudson Soft for the Xbox 360 in 2006 and published outside of Japan by Konami. It is noteworthy for its departure from standard titles in the Bomberman series; it features more realistic graphics and a dark, dystopian future setting.
Players, as Bombermen, must destroy each other to fight their way to the surface of the Earth and escape. Players can customize their character including their gender. The game is viewed from an overhead perspective, like other Bomberman titles. The levels have a number of pillars throughout that require players' characters to navigate down hallways; there are sometimes obstacles in these paths that can only be destroyed by bombs. The bombs are also necessary to defeat opponents. An alternate mode called "First-Person Battle" where players view the action from behind the player-character and are able to maneuver the camera. In the standard mode, the Bomberman can be killed by a single bomb (including their own); in FPB mode, they are given a life meter and can take multiple hits. In both modes, the Bombermen can pick up different power-ups (including speed, bomb count, bomb strength, and bomb duration). Both modes last for 99 floors; if the player-character dies, players must restart from the beginning. The game features an online-only battle mode called "world battle" which supports up to eight players.
Why It Sucks
- Konami made a terrible decision of using the Bomberman brand. This game isn't even a Bomberman game. It tries to go for a darker and edgier tone and a more futuristic setting, a stark contrast to previous Bomberman games, in an attempt to appeal to a more "hardcore" and "mature" audience. Bomberman's redesign ended up being considered one of (if not the) worst video game character redesign of all time.
- It lacks a save feature. The game saves data relating to other stuff in the game, but you must be connected online in order to save. You must complete all 99 levels in one try, and if you die anywhere in any of the levels, you have to start the game all over again. To add insult to injury, the ending is just a short cutscene that's not worth the hassle of completing the game legitimately.
- Tedious and repetitive gameplay. As every stage uses the same graphics and textures, the game quickly gets boring.
- Long loading times.
- Unbalanced AI.
- Poor collision detection.
- Forgettable music.
- Poor story.
- No local multiplayer mode. The only multiplayer in this game is the online multiplayer.
- The camera system during "First-Person Battles" is awful. Also, the "First-Person Battle" isn't actually first person, but rather in a behind-the-player Third-Person perspective.
- The customization is rather limited in that you can only choose your character's gender and armor color.
- It should be mentioned that for no reason at all, the female models have jiggle physics.
- This game doesn't even use the same formula.
- Terrible graphics, especially for an Xbox 360 title.
- Bomberman’s redesign is atrocious. It looks like a heavily edited version of the version of Bomberman depicted on the first game’s NES box art.
- None of the characters from the original series appear in this game expect for Bomberman of course.
- Sluggish controls.
- The announcer sounds like she's bored out of her mind.
- The Louies cannot be used as power-ups in this game at all.
- You can't kick bombs like you can in other Bomberman games.
- This game felt rushed as there was no save feature, lots of errors, long load times and more.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Thankfully, Bomberman's redesign did not stick, as Super Bomberman R used the iconic Bomberman design everyone knows and loves.
Bomberman: Act Zero has received overwhelmingly negative reception from both critics and fans alike for its long loading times, bad collision detection, forgettable soundtrack, use of the same textures and graphics for every stage, tedious and repetitive gameplay, lack of a save feature, unbalanced A.I. and the series' unwelcome shift to a darker and more futuristic setting. The First-Person Bomberman mode was also criticized for its bad camera angles and the fact that it is played in a third-person perspective rather than a first-person perspective.
The game was also mocked just because of Bomberman's redesign, for example, when ScrewAttack made the Death Battle Bomberman vs Dig Dug episode, the game was mocked in the episode for looking NOTHING like a normal Bomberman game.
It holds an average score of 34 from Metacritic from 41 reviews. Yahoo! Games' Mike Smith felt that the designers didn't understand what made Bomberman great. He criticized its "generic, gritty brushed-metal-and-armor heroes". GamePro's Patrick Shaw felt that it shouldn't be used to introduce players to the series and that fans of the games should skip it. In the March '07 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, SeanBaby listed Bomberman: Act Zero as one of the Top 10 Worst Games of 2006, describing it as "the Bomberman game that sucks."
On GameFAQs, Bomberman: Act Zero has a rating of 1.88/5, making it the 10th lowest rated puzzle game on the Xbox 360 and the 136th lowest rated Xbox 360 game in total.
The game has been named one of the worst video games of all time by GamesRadar and The Guardian. In 2010, GameTrailers ranked the game number one on their list of the "Top 10 Worst Sequels".
Following this game, the series largely went dormant, with only a few downloadable games released in the years that followed. There wouldn't be another entry in the series that got a physical release until Super Bomberman R, over a decade later.