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Bombastic PlayStation 2

Published by Capcom
Developed by Capcom
Released - Out Now
Price : £29.99

What an incredible object the dice is. Think of all the board games which use a dice, and other types of games too, they must number in the thousands. Of course dice are usually a means of determining a number of moves in a game but there are a few games such as Yahtzee (also known as Yacht) where the game is literally just the dice. A few years ago now, on the PSOne a game called Devil Dice was released and this was a puzzle game where you had to line up the virtual dice for them to disappear, kind of like Tetris.

As with all puzzle games the story is the not the strong point of the game and it's light on detail but just enough to add character to the game. The game begins in the home of the Aqui family. There are five Aqui-Chan (Rossi, Azul, Huang, Verde and Momo) and their mom, dad and grandmother. Years ago a handsome angel came down to Earth and fell in love with the grandmother. Needless to say this angel is the grandfather of the five Aqui-Chan however his stay on earth was cut short as he was called back to his native land, the Realm of Clouds. One night the Aqui-Chan decided to go and look for him. Their tale is told through the games quest mode.

Bombastic is the sequel to Devil Dice and once again we have an enjoyable puzzle game where the objective is to line up the dice. The basics of the game are simple. You align the dice (most of the time an Aqui-Chan walks on the dice but there are occasions when you'll have to use an Aqui-Chan to push the dice) so that the numbers match on the top face. When you've lined up the number of dice that corresponds to the number on the top face of the dice then they will explode ( in other words dice with the number 5 would need 5 dice or more to be touching to explode). A higher number will take longer to explode but will have a more powerful explosion. To add even more spice to the gameplay, when the explosion occurs then the dice that have a number that's one less (in this case the number 4) will also explode so you have to make sure that the dice your Aqui-Chan is standing on isn't one less than the dice that are about to explode. You also have some special dice such as the self-exploding dice and the wild dice that can cause chain reaction explosions even if the top face value of the dice don't match.

The game has several modes, quest mode, trial and wars. As we mentioned earlier the quest mode tells the tale of the five Aqui-Chan and their efforts to find their grandfather. The quest mode is a little different from the other modes as it isn't simply played out on a grid. You have to negotiate various puzzles and enemies in order to progress through the various realms, such as the Realm of Ghosts and Realm of Sweets, that are on the way to the Aqui-Chan's grandfather. Each Realm is broken up into four levels with the fourth level being a boss fight. The quest mode is hugely enjoyable and the only disappointment is that it's ridiculously short and can be completed in only a few hours play. Trial mode can be played as a single or two player game and offers either time limited games or open ended games that only finish when you reach level 100. There is even an attack option when you visit the Capcom website and acquire codes that will give you unique challenges. If you are really up for some dice rolling mayhem you can play a 1-5 player wars mode that is really a free for all. It's not really much fun against the AI but against four friends it makes for an amusing and highly competitive game. There are also various game styles that can be unlocked in quest and trial modes, which also add to the fun.

Visually Bombastic has been kept simple and uncomplicated and it actually works in the games favour. The Aqui-Chan are cute, cel-shaded characters, kind of like the Teletubbies with horns. The enemy characters as well as the instructor Machos are all simple characters that don't really look impressive but fit in with the mood of the game. As for the background scenery well again it's simplistic. Outside of the quest mode you have a bare black background. This may seem a little odd but trust me if there was a ton detail there you wouldn't have time to appreciate it as your eyes will be firmly on the dice.

Bombastic is absolutely fine for deaf gamers. There are various tutorial cutscenes that explain the rules and various techniques that you can employ. These aren't fully subtitled but they are sufficiently subtitled so that you can follow them. The quest mode is delivered via text so you'll be able to follow that with no problems at all. The first few levels in quest mode are really tutorials where a strange blue character named Machos tells you what to do and how to get past certain enemies. All of these tutorials are delivered exclusively in text so again you'll have no problems. Sometimes you get the odd sound coming from Machos or the other characters and there isn't any captions for this but it doesn't spoil the game at all.

If you like puzzle games then you'll be thrilled with what Bombastic has to offer. I haven't played a game like it on the PlayStation 2 since Kuri Kuri Mix. It's addictive and highly challenging. As a multiplayer game it excels but as a single player game it's not quite as appealing because of the short quest mode. Still at the excellent price of £29.99 it's definitely recommended especially if you own a multi tap as you'll be able to experience the 5 player mayhem that Bombastic offers.

Overall Game Rating: 8.0/10
An addicting, puzzling, and very enjoyable dice rolling game that's good as a single player game but a real blast as a multiplayer experience.

Deaf Gamers comment:
No problems at all. There are a couple of omissions but they don't cause any problems.