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.
The game has 99 levels with no save options, one life, and no continues. The game also introduces First Person Bomber, which places the camera behind the player (which is technically a Third Person View). There are no other gameplay changes in this mode besides a Life Meter, and multiplayer is online-only.
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.
- After the End: The Far East's Prison Program was enacted during World War Whatever, and has been active for 300 years despite its creator being long-dead.
- Chainmail Bikini: Bikini Armor, which makes it very dark and gritty.
- 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.
- Darker and Edgier: A prime example of how this trope can be misused.
- Hotter and Sexier: For whatever reason.
- Jiggle Physics: Done with the female character's breasts (oddly enough, considering the tone of the game).
- The Left Hand of Doom: Bombermen have an oversized claw glove on their left hand.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: A prime example: males have muscles like no tomorrow but females have none but are just as strong, or even stronger as they manage to balance on their heels at the same time.
- Ms. and Mr. Fanservice: Are well built but are quite creepy due to their dead-looking eyes and weird Powered Armors makes them look more weird.
- Mutually Exclusive Powerups: Penetrating Bomb overrides Remote Control, which becomes a Power-Up 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.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The game was followed quickly the next year by Bomberman Live, and Act:Zero was treated like it never existed by Hudson.
- Nintendo Hard: 99 floors, one life, no continues, and no save option, making it less forgiving than the two decade old original. 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."
- One-Hit Point Wonder: Despite retaining the series' core gameplay, Act:Zero averts this by having a health meter in "First Person Bomber" mode.
- Walking Panty Shot: The female Bomberman struts around like this. For unexplained reasons.
- Powered Armor: Not that it covers much.
- Real Is Brown: This is used to a crippling, crippling fault.
- Screaming Warrior: When they die, although it sounds more like a Screaming Woman or that they Scream Like a Little Girl, adding to the grittiness.
- To Be Continued: The credits concludes with mentioning BOMBERMAN: The Genesis. Obviously, it never happened.
- Video Game Remake: In a roundabout way, Act:Zero attempted to be this to both the story and the box art◊ of the 1985 Bomberman.