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Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman

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Released: 1994

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Game Boy

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Hudson

Submitted by: Craig Hawkins

Nintendo characters continually prove themselves as the hardest, baddest bunch in the gaming universe. In recent years Mario killed off the remains of Sonic's dignity when the fat plumber publicly humiliated Sega's speedhog in the 100m sprint at the Olympics. Elsewhere, whilst impatiently waiting for an adventure that didn't involve saving that stupid princess, Link got an itchy Master Sword and went about cutting up the entire cast of Soul Calibur 2. Solid Snake, meanwhile, foolishly believed he could take on Kirby in a fight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The Metal Gear star's head currently resides above bubblegumface's fireplace.

But nothing compares to 'the incident', the time when Wario stumbled across a secret gateway to Bomberland. 'OH, NO!' exclaims the back of the box. You'd better believe it. Wario wanted to claim the land and all its treasures and have its inhabitants serve as his minions. When met with resistance, Wario wasn't interested in taking any prisoners. Armed with a fistful of dynamite, he murdered everyone. Bombermen, Bomberwomen, Bomberbabies. A whole race blown away by a solitary Nintendo character.

Of course, this is all spoiled somewhat by you being able to play the game as Bomberman as well, with Wario taking the enemy role. The two share identical gameplay, special items, levels and bosses. It says 'Wario Blast featuring Bomberman' on the title screen, but a more honest title would be 'Bomberman featuring Wario', being as it is a Westernised paintjob of Bomberman GB. The cutscenes and story from the Japanese release were removed and not much in the way of Wario ones replaced them. Just to confuse matters further, there's another game called Bomberman GB in the US which goes by the name of Bomberman GB 2 in Japan.

As one in the series of Super Game Boy cartridges, in addition to receiving an increased colour palette, the SGB adapter opened up Wario Blast's battle mode exclusively to the SNES. Yes, despite the existence of a GB link-up cable, Wario Blast was a solo experience on Game Boy. Perhaps to my detriment, I completed and enjoyed the single player campaign. Playing alone, you'd regularly find CPU opponents committing suicide off-screen, inducing empathy from the solitary gamer.