Thursday, December 08, 2016

Manual Stimulation: Bomberman (PC Engine)

To be frank, there aren't a whole lot of reasons to buy, own or play the first PC Engine Bomberman title in 2016.

In fact, I can only think of three reasons at the moment: 1) you're a huge fan of this Hudson-made series, 2) you have a bunch of friends as well as a bunch of PC Engine (or TurboGrafx-16) controllers and 3) you're trying to fill out your HuCard collection and this game is the best of what's left on your dwindling wish list.

Actually, I just came up with another reason: you like Bomberman's iconic cover art, which can be seen in the scan above. (As always, click on it to take a much better and closer look at its contents.)

OK, so maybe I'm being a bit harsh. The first Bomberman isn't a complete turd, after all. Still, it pales in comparison to later titles, like Bomberman '93, Bomberman '94 and Saturn Bomberman.

That's mainly because the play fields, power-ups and enemy selection in this entry fail to display the imagination and creativity that seemingly helped produce the aforementioned sequels.

Thankfully, fun can be had despite the fact that it's all rather vanilla. Plus, nabbing a copy of this version of Bomberman these days won't cost you an arm and a leg (unlike a lot of other PC Engine or TurboGrafx-16 games) and it'll also net you the surprisingly appealing instruction manual that's displayed throughout this post.

Admittedly, the Bomberman depictions in this manual are kind of wonky, but the other illustrations on hand go a long way toward making up for it.

Also, the folks who designed Bomberman's booklet covered its handful of pages with some nice pops of color.

Could this particular PC Engine instruction manual be better, flashier, more fabulous? Of course. Even as is, though, it's got more going for it than Rainbow Islands' or Parasol Star's manual, so at least there's that.

See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts about Bikkuriman World, Dungeon Explorer, Hana Taaka Daka!? and The New Zealand Story

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