Video Game: Bomberman: Act Zero
Bomberman: Act Zero is a 2006 reboot of the Bomberman franchise for the Xbox 360, loosely based on the original Bomberman game's story and box art while retaining the franchise's core gameplay.Bombermen are destructive robots built to prove their worth by destroying each other: whoever comes out alive wins. The player's Bomberman (or Bomberwoman) is awakened from deactivation and thrown into battle, planning to fight its way to the surface of the Earth 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 (Admittedly just like the original game, but that was twenty years ago). 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. 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:
- A Winner Is You: Completed 99 levels in one go, without dying? Congratulations, you get to see the final level open up to what is basically a wallpaper of the start screen. Heck, the game doesn't even tell you that that is it.
- Character Customization
- 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.
- Continuity Reboot: Act Zero was meant to take the franchise in a Darker and Edgier direction. Read above to see how that panned out.
- Darker and Edgier: A prime example of how this trope can be misused.
- Jiggle Physics: Done with the female character's breasts (oddly enough, considering the tone of the game).
- The Left Hand of Doom: Bomberman has an oversized claw glove on his left hand.
- Mutually Exclusive Powerups: Penetrating Bomb overrides Remote Control, which becomes a Powerup Letdown in the midgame once all the soft blocks are destroyed. However, it's possible to take a hit and lose Penetrating Bomb but keep Remote Control.
- Nintendo Hard: 99 floors, one life, no continues, no save option. As GameSpot's Greg Mueller put it:"[It] is difficult not so much because of the way the game challenges your gaming skills, but because of the way it challenges your patience."
- Not So Different: Used as a marketing ploy for the game.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Despite retaining the series' core gameplay, Act Zero averts this by having a health meter in "First Person Bomber" mode.
- Real Is Brown