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Eat! Beat! Auditorium! Asteroids! Bomberman!

Bomberman Live: Battlefest

  • Xbox Live Arcade - 800 Microsoft Points (6.80)
  • PSN - 7.99
  • WiiWare - 1000 WiiWare Points (7.00)

For a series boasting more than 80 variants, the chances are that you'll know whether or not you like Bomberman's maze-based bombfest by now. For me, extended sessions are more like ritual humiliation than entertainment, but that's largely down to how much I suck at it.

Completely un-shockingly, this follow-up to the 2007 release doesn't tinker with the classic formula too much, adding a few new rather superfluous new modes, collectibles and features for the die-hard followers to enjoy.

For the uninitiated, it's a formula that hasn't dated a jot. It's still the same chaotic game it ever was, where you try to snag your opponents in your blast radius before they do the same to you. Part luck, part judgement, it's almost sickeningly compulsive; despite being perpetually tormented, you'll always come back for more.

4

Not the face!

Some might consider this feature-laden edition to be the ultimate version that is, if you value the ability to play with your Avatar (on the XBLA version, at least) or like the idea of team play modes like Capture The Flag and VIP. Some might also get off on new costumes or the new cluster bombs or laser bombs, but I'd wager that they probably need to get out a bit more.

The truth is that Hudson's perennial classic is still best played in its original form without the associated fluff, so if you've held out for the last 27 years, perhaps it's time you succumbed to being continually blown into little chunks by your friends.

8/10

Beat Sketcher

  • PSN - 7.99

If only Sony Japan had roped in Rolf Harris for this one. The hyperventilating cuddly Aussie certainly knew how to combine music and marker pens to memorable effect, but I guess he didn't really crack the lucrative Asian market. Sad times.

While we ponder the future of Rolf-based videogames, this latest downloadable Move effort gets on with the important business of showcasing the creative flexibility of Sony's glowing wand.

5

Art for art's sake.

Playable over a range of modes, the most engaging from a gameplay perspective is undoubtedly the 12-stage Challenge Mode, where the idea is to try to paint over sections of a template in time to the music. The more accurate your painting, the better the score.

Beyond that, much throwaway fun awaits. Paint challenge tasks you with trying to paint as much of the screen as possible within a time limit, while Line challenge involves drawing as long a line as possible within 15 seconds without touching the sides of the screen or the line itself. Meanwhile, in the join-the-dots Rainbow challenge you must dodge the various shapes littering the screen.

In terms of multiplayer, Theme Battle gives you 30 seconds to show how bad you are at drawing, while Four-Frame Relay gives you a chance to create your own comic strips and upload them to Facebook.

For those with infinite patience and actual artistic skill, then Creation Mode might offer some entertainment, giving you the chance to show off your talents, or, more likely, import pictures to daub obscenities over.

Beat Sketcher, then. A classic case of 'fun with tech demos'. Can you guess what the score is yet?

6/10

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