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:
- After the End: World War Whatever occurred at some point in the future and eventually got so bad that it brought the world to ruins. The Far East's Prison Program was enacted during the war, and has been active for 300 years despite its creator being long-dead.
- Canon Discontinuity: The game was followed quickly the next year by Bomberman Live, and Act:Zero was treated like it never existed by Hudson.
- Chained by Fashion: The robots wear chains.
- Chainmail Bikini: The player can choose to play as a male or female bomber. The female bomber has a costume called "Bikini Armor" that fits this trope.
- 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.
- Combat Stilettos: The female bombers wear high heels. They still manage to be pretty agile.
- Continuity Reboot: Act:Zero was meant to take the franchise in a Darker and Edgier direction.
- Darker and Edgier: Meant to be the beginning of a grittier direction for the series, this game drops Bomberman's iconic cute and cartoony look for the Bombermen in favor of realistically-proportioned androids who scream in pain when they die, a Real Is Brown color palette, and a gritty, post-apocalyptic setting.
- Death Cry Echo: When the robots die, they make a high pitched scream.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The titular Bomberman has some built into its face.
- Hotter and Sexier: Both the male and female bomber have voluptuous bodies, in contrast to the original's cute, chibi-like designs.
- Jiggle Physics: Done with the female character's breasts.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Males are heavily muscled but females have none but are just as strong, or even stronger as they manage to balance on their heels at the same time.
- Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups: 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.
- Nintendo Hard: 99 floors, one life, no continues, and no save option, making it more difficult 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."
- Non-Indicative Name: First Person Bomber is actually a third person perspective.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Despite retaining the series' core gameplay, Act:Zero averts this by having a health meter in "First Person Bomber" mode.
- Powered Armor: Worn by the robots, though it doesn't cover much.
- Real Is Brown: The overall palette of the game is quite desaturated and has a lot of gray and brown.
- The Right Hand of Doom: Or rather, Left Hand of Doom: Bombermen have an oversized claw glove on their left hand.
- Stripperiffic: The female bomber struts in a outfit consisting of a thong, bra, and high heeled boots.
- To Be Continued: The credits concludes with mentioning BOMBERMAN: The Genesis. 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.
- A Winner Is You: If all 99 levels are completed in one go, without dying, the player gets to see the final level open up to what is basically a wallpaper of the start screen. The game doesn't tell the player that that is it.