- Developer: Gameloft
- Wii Points: 800
- In Real Money: GBP 6 / EUR 8
Following the release of the surprisingly agreeable Block Breaker Deluxe, another of Gameloft's mobile phone games gets WiiWared up. As the title so carelessly reveals, it's a pool game - although the absence of in-game clocks makes it tricky to verify the "midnight" part of the equation.
What you do get is a series of pool halls, ranging from ramshackle redneck bars to swanky Vegas pads, and a selection of characters to represent you in the green baize arena. Much like Block Breaker Deluxe, the presentation is dripping with cheese - not least because the characters are so obviously traced over celebrity photos. Mike is a dead ringer for P Diddy, Elisa is Lucy Liu while Travis is either Sawyer from Lost or Owen Wilson. Jury's still out.
In game terms you can choose from US 8-Ball and 9-Ball, or the familiar red and yellow of UK 8-Ball, and there's also a bunch of trick shot challenges. Control is nice and simple - the d-pad aims, the 1 button allows you to set spin and angle, while holding down the B trigger lets you take your shot with a forward thrust of the remote. It's only this bit that lets the game down, with a rather sluggish feel to the shot-taking mechanism.
As always with Gameloft's efforts, the mostly solid gameplay is simply undersold by some rough edges that betray the title's Java and/or Flash roots. It's certainly not the best pool game you'll ever play, but for the price it should prove more than enough for most people's needs.
- Developer: HudsonSoft
- Wii Points: 1000
- In Real Money: GBP 7.00 / EUR 10.00
It's hard to get excited about the arrival of Bomberman on any platform or download service, such is his ubiquity, but there's a comforting familiarity about it all the same. A console without Bomberman feels somehow bereft.
Of course, the Wii already has Bomberman on the Virtual Console, but this is a modern edition for those who are drawn to the series for more than just nostalgia. Much like the version available on XBLA, Bomberman Blast offers a impressive spread of gameplay modes and options - all of which can be mixed and matched to your liking.
In Air Raid you can't set bombs, but they drop continually from the sky. Dodging the splash damage from each wave becomes a frantic scramble. Bomb Bowling has arrows on the map showing where kicked bombs will go; hoof an explosive round the corner, and take out your opponents. UFO Mania, on the other hand, lets you get abducted and lob bombs from a spaceship.
There are also options to play with no hard blocks or no soft blocks, while optional hazards include volcanic steam, grasping zombie hands and potholes. Or you can stick with the basics, and just play the Bomberman you know and love. There's also multiplayer for up to eight players, both local and WiFi, and you can even form teams to take online. Getting connected proved a bit of a chore, but once I had a full lobby the following games were smooth and lag-free.
It's Bomberman, basically, with as many bells and whistles as you want - or don't want, depending on your tastes. It's perhaps a tad pricey at 1000 Points; 800 would have made for a much more irresistible impulse purchase. All the same, it's hard to quibble over such a dependable game.