2008 Competition Results: (5:8-Bit Mash Up)

2nd Place – Blast Passage – Total: 261

blast-passage

Ian:

First things first – BlastPassage is a fusion of the Atari arcade smash Gauntlet mixed with the firebombing mayhem that is BomberMan. The result of such a combination should be a blast and twice the fun of the originals. Should be, but it’s not (at least in one player mode). Lacking the urgency and pace of Gauntlet and the strategy and skill of BomberMan this game results in more of a fizzle than a pop.

Lacking the speed of either original game and without any music (and limited sound) to enhance the atmosphere, all we have is an empty, hollowed out shell where two great games used to be. At least the multiplayer aspect has remained intact, sort of.

Playing as a BomberMan character, you move around the mazelike environments of Gauntlet, dropping bombs to dispatch the ghosts, lobbers, grunts and other well known enemies back to wherever they came from, while searching for the exit to lower levels. Starting with two small bombs, you can collect power-ups that increase the number and magnitude of your incendiary devices, making your task easier. However, remember that your bombs don’t just harm enemies…

The game just lacks the fun of the original games, despite trying its best to emulate both. This mash-up, proves beyond a shadow of the doubt that both games worked best as they were. Multiplayer does improve the situation, but not to a degree where you’d rather play this instead of the originals.

The graphics appear to be original, although based on the original games rather than ripped, although lack the charm of the original games. Sound appears to be all new, although for the most part it is pretty poor. Some of the speech is incomprehensible on my laptop.

This game disappoints on all levels. A game that truly is less than the sum of its parts.

66%

Spray:

Spraydough needs fooooooood…. Yup, I’m easily bribed.

Blast Passage is a Gauntlet / Bomberman mashup an works eversoeverso well. You know how it is, poor Elf spend most of his life shooting nasties with his bow, wouldn’t it be SO much easier to arm him with incendiary devices?

Some clever level design and a superb weapon of choice makes this so much more than just another Gauntlet clone. Multi player support and online gaming, some good sound effects and the all important speech prompts make this inspired mash up playable again and again.

I’m still crap at it though, some things never change :(

80%

Oogy:

The evil forces are at work again. Not only have they re-opened the dungeons of gauntlet once again, and populated it with all sorts of meanies, but they’ve also transported a victim from another dimension into it. I guess they were getting tired of axe-wielding barbarians. If it’s any concelation, the barbarian isn’t doing too great either.

This game puts Bomberman into the mazes of Gauntlet. It’s not a bad game per-se, but I’ve only played the single player version, and it’s a bit lacking to be honest. You start of with the ability to place two bombs. The problem with this is that it’s a bit of a slow start, and I found myself circling around alot in order to keep killing enemies. It gets a little better later on, when you destroy generators, they often have power-ups which you can grab. Larger blast-radius and more bombs to place. It makes things a bit better, but as soon as you get hit by your own blast, these are taken away again.

The graphics are of the usual gauntlet variety, nothing new to see really (well except for the bomberman I guess). And the sound consists mostly of just the basic sound effects. They did re-do the Atari speech, which is a nice touch.

It’s a bit of a slow game though in single player mode, and I would’ve liked to see the ability to either throw bombs or kick them once they’ve been laid down. Right now alot of time is spent laying down bombs and circling around, hoping enemies will walk into the blast. And repeating this over and over again. It’s fun for the first five minutes, but quickly looses its appeal.

66%

Geekay:

I was scared to run this game. Being blissfully ignorant of what it was, I feared it was some gay sex thing, and knowing my luck, I’d have run the file just as the missus walked in.

Silly me, it’s Gauntlet meets Bomberman.  Neither iconic games need any introduction apart from stating that they are miles apart from each other.  Would this weird hybrid work? It does for the sheer novelty factor of it, but I’m afraid to say that I wouldn’t play it beyond doing this review and would prefer to revert back to the emancipation of their union.  “Cool! It works”, isn’t enough to make a good game.  This falls under the silly novelty of those people who have to get Tetris hacked into things that shouldn’t even run games, like digital camera LCD’s.  Just because you can doesn’t mean it’s right. Why would you want to?

I think the main problem is that using bombs instead of arrows or fireballs to kill your foe is a backward step – it’s slower and more cumbersome. There is just no pleasure in the suffering.

Because the game is full of rips, it doesn’t even have the upper hand in the graphics dept.  It, therefore, looks like a bastardised Gauntlet than a decent mash-up.

My only favourite bit was “Red Bomberman is in need of food”, done in the correct badly digitised style.

There is no questioning the authors coding talents, I just wish he’d picked up a mash-up that lasted beyond the games gimmick.

49%