Neo Bomberman / ネオ・ボンバーマン
Arcade (Neo Geo MVS)
Traditional (defeat all enemies)
1 to 2
1 May 1997 (JP)
White Bomber, Black Bomber and many other combatants have gathered together for the Bomberman Tournament. However, Bagura has appeared in a mobile fortress to spoil everything, namely by kidnapping most of the combatants and stuffing them into cages!
White Bomber and Black Bomber set out to rescue their friends and to stop Bagura, who has a new fearsome foe under his command - Atomic Bomber!
After a five year hiatus (discounting a brief excursion with puzzle games), Bomberman returns to arcades and under Hudson Soft's wing again, bringing something a little more familiar to the table than the madcap insanity of Irem's Bomberman World.
The game transplants many of the staples of the Super Bomberman series to arcade with ease, including its 2-player co-op and giant screen-filling bosses. Neo Bomberman seems particularly inspired by Super Bomberman 4, carrying over its unique features like organic and mechanical egg types, the ability to stow spare eggs, and rescuing ally Bombermen trapped in cages.
Despite the similarities, the game is otherwise brand new, with an almost entirely unique cast of characters, enemies, and rideable creatures. Alongside some of the most impressive 2D graphics the series has seen (taking the art style of Super Bomberman 2 to the next level!), it introduces a tournament-style battle mode, pitting a single player against increasing odds in a bid to become the World Bomberman Tournament champion.
Although the game has a built-in English and Spanish translation, there's no record if the game was officially published overseas, nor did it see a release on the Neo Geo AES home console. It's unclear if Neo Bomberman was a successful endeavour for Hudson - the only time it's been officially acknowledged was in the Bomberman The Music soundtrack CD! - but it stands out as an experiment on new hardware that, if nothing else, lends a certain novelty and mystique to it.