Video Game / Bomberman: Act Zero

Bomberman: Act Zero (stylized BOMBERMAN Act:Zero) is a 2006 reboot of the Bomberman franchise for the Xbox 360, loosely based on the 1985 Famicom/NES Bomberman game's story and box art while retaining the franchise's core gameplay.

Bombermen are destructive Artificial Human Weapons born in an underground facility to prove their worth by destroying each other: whoever comes out alive wins. The player's Bomberman (or Bomberwoman) is awakened and thrown into battle, planning to fight its way to the surface to escape.

Act Zero is one of the most infamous and critically panned reboots in gaming history. Not only did the new grim and gritty design win no new fans, but the gameplay was considered tedious and repetitive, giving the player 99 levels with no save options, one life, and no continues (less forgiving than the two decade old original). The game also introduced First Person Bomber, which places the camera behind the player — in what's technically a Third Person View — who must control it while they play because it doesn't adjust otherwise. There are literally no other gameplay changes in this mode besides a Life Meter. It worked about as well as you'd expect. The multiplayer, the Bomberman franchise's cornerstone, had its problems as well, offering no offline multiplayer and generally feeling as thin as the rest of the game.

In short, it bombed. Even Hudson Soft, despite a brief attempt to defend the game, eventually abandoned it.

This game provides examples of:

  • Checkpoint Starvation: There are no checkpoints and no save option. If you want to beat the game, you have to do it all in one go without dying.