Genre: Action
Year: 1993
Developed by: Produce
Published by: Hudson Soft
Platforms: SNES
Feeling Like: Glass Half Full

I’m halfway done the 500.
250 down, 250 to go.

I’m sorry to hijack the Super Bomberman entry to pat myself on the back, but I’m going to. I never thought I’d get near 250 to be honest. One of the reasons I picked such a high number is because this blog is just an excuse to practice my writing skills and justify keeping up with modern releases for the Top 10s. It was never meant to be finished, or even get to the halfway point. I just wanted it to be there.

Once I commit to doing entries, I tend to make good progress. An entry or two a day for a week or so, then I lose momentum. I don’t know if it’s because I can’t come up with anything meaningful to say about a particular game, or the presence of hundreds of gaming blogs/Youtube channels that chronicle their own gaming experience in a much more entertaining manner. They certainly get more views than me, and always will. Production and popularity was never a goal of mine.

But really, how many different ways can I tell you I enjoyed a game, didn’t enjoy a game or some combination of both?

Apparently, 250.

Super Bomberman is an easy one. All my experience entailed was a few multiplayer sessions in Kaz and Aslam’s basement. You ever been in a big house where every single room is cozy? That’s chez Husain. Playing sardines, birthday parties, Magic: The Gathering sessions, introductions to Doctor Who, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Final Fantasy 4. Smash Brother marathons. Watching Kaz master Civilization 2. Witnessing Aslam demolish any Mega Man put in front of him. Kasim’s wedding. A perfect setting for a perfect, bite sized adventure.

There really weren’t a lot of pure multiplayer Super Nintendo games. Oh sure, lots had two player options, but very few allowed you to play simultaneously with 3 or 4. I’m convinced Secret of Mana would be a minor footnote in gaming history without three player co-op (and the soundtrack). I wouldn’t have even looked at Super Bomberman if the enormous box didn’t lure me with the promise of four players, and the accompanying multitap.

There’s a single player campaign, but we never touched it – or at least, I didn’t. All we wanted to do was spend hours together, hollering, shrieking, laughing at the cavalcade of destruction. Multiplayer bouts were fast, strategic and hilarious. Power ups were plentiful, the maps were small and filled destructible (and indestructible) blocks. Since the controls were so simple, it meant instant familiarity. But no contest was ever boring or the same; environmental challenges always meant you had to keep on your toes. The punch glove meant a buddy could launch a bomb across the screen to your corner. Self destructions occurred often enough that it meant you couldn’t just mindlessly spam your bombs. And three other combatants mean you couldn’t possibly keep track of every move. Sometimes the match only lasted a few seconds, but that only added to the hilarity. No time to dwell on it. In the rare instance that a game would go the distance, the map itself started to self destruct so you were never on the sidelines watching for long.

In the even rarer instance where there was no winner, you saw the dreaded D-R-A-(T)W screen. Shame on all of us!

That’s all there was to it, really. Beautifully simple, wonderfully chaotic. The closest comparable I have is the Pac-Man Battle Royale Arcade. Most multiplayer games these days require a lot of learning, mechanics and a competitive edge. I don’t have it in me anymore; trying to keep up with my friends in Overwatch 2 is tough. I can’t hit the broad side of a barn, so I’ve resigned myself to being one of the team’s healers. It’s hardly throwing bombs over walls back in 1993, but I’ll take what I can get.

I stated that my goal was to improve my writing by tackling the 500. After browsing my very first entries that I posted nearly six and a half years ago, I’m not sure how far I’ve come. If I had mentioned to my past self that I would only be halfway through in the year 2022, I may not have even started. Or maybe I would receive a pep talk from a more innocent version of myself. All I know is I won’t quit. It may take another six years to finish, but I will finish. Even though the Ross Bay Cricket Club site took far too long, any consternation was erased when it was finally complete. I can point to it and say I followed through on a stupid project that nobody pressured me to do.

It feels good. Steadily Improving complete.

We’re Halfway There.

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