Review: Bombslinger (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Review: Bombslinger (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

More than just Bomberman in the old West.
To say that Bombslinger is just a mixture of Bomberman meets the wild-wild west is a bit reductive. On the surface, this is absolutely the case, however, developer Mode4 does enough to differentiate the game from Hudson’s classic series. While the gameplay mechanics remain similar, Bombslinger sets itself apart with its interesting setting, visual style and procedurally generated stages.

Bombslinger puts gamers in control of The Bombslinger, a former outlaw turned rancher. Everything is going fine until some of his old posse track him down, kill his wife and burn down his farm. It’s up to you to get revenge for these heinous acts.
Two modes of play are available - Adventure and the multiplayer Battle mode. Upon starting Adventure mode, players are able to choose from a loadout. These include a number of different items or skills that do things like increase the amount of health players start out with, give you a revival pendant (that brings you back to life), extra bombs, increased speed and more. Starting out, Bombslinger is pretty brutal. With only one item that you can add to your loadout, you will probably find yourself getting pretty familiar with the Game Over screen. As you unlock more skills and the ability to go into the game with more items in your loadout, the game does get a bit more manageable.

Similar to Bomberman games of old, gameplay consists of navigating through screens of mazes and enemies. Once you kill all of the enemies, you are able to progress to the next screen eventually leading to a boss battle. With the procedurally generated nature of the game, every playthrough, including overall stage layout and enemy placement, is different. Couple this with the reverse difficulty of this kind of game (i.e. getting access to more powerful loadouts the more you play), Bombslinger will keep you busy for a long time. However, for people that aren’t huge fans of roguelikes, it will feel a bit grindy. Also as a side note, I found the default walking speed to be a little on the slow side. It doesn’t ruin the fun that can be had, but it is noticeable.
Bombs aren’t the only weapon at your disposal. Guns, explosive barrels and other defensive items help you along the way. These are placed randomly in treasure chests and can also be picked up after killing enemies. Some of the items, such as the guns, use a spirit meter which replenishes over time. This adds a different way to take out enemies but also has a good balance so you can’t just spam these kind of attacks without any repercussions.

A mix of top down 8-bit and up close in your face pixel art feed into the graphical style all running at a smooth framerate. The majority of the game takes place from the top down, isometric view (ala Bomberman), but when you enter the in-game shop, the game zooms down and puts players up close and personal. This gives you a look at the pixelated characters and is a fun touch that wasn’t necessary, but a cool addition nonetheless. The sound design is also excellent here, with great western guitar riffs and satisfying explosions.
Battle mode supports up to four players locally. Multiplayer offers two variants of play - standard Death Match and a Last Man Standing mode. While I couldn’t wrangle up three others to play with me, I did manage to play with one friend for some tense multiplayer action. Even with just one friend, the multiplayer mode was really highly entertaining. With four players, I could see this being a real treat in a party situation.

Bombslinger is a visual treat that has a lot to offer in terms of replayability, multiplayer visuals and sound design. Not being a huge fan of procedurally generated games, I found the game to be a bit on the repetitive side. Even with that said, Bombslinger is a well put together game that is worth checking out.

Final Score: 7.0

Review code provided by the publisher

No comments: