BRAWL Switch Review

Bomberman Act Zero 2?

BRAWL takes the standard Bomberman formula and tries to freshen things up by adding a grotesque coat of paint with morbid characters that feature unique abilities. However, loose controls, a nonsensical plot, and overall poor design choices make BRAWL a bad Bomberman knockoff even considering the lower $10 price tag.

The gimmick behind BRAWL is the decrepit aesthetic as the game is more goth than that one creepy chick from high school. In fact, the visuals are rather gross and really unnecessary. Playing as a psycho clown or morbid Barbie doll is more off-putting than entertaining and the horror-based announcer doesn’t add to the fun factor; the whole thing seems like it is trying too hard.  Although the game went all out with the horror theme, I still much prefer the brightly colored, comical Bomberman series instead.

Bomberman not only looks better, it also plays much better.  Despite the obvious similarities, BRAWL plays a little more like a fighting game as characters have certain abilities. Each character’s campaign vaguely highlights these differences but mostly stumbles due to sporadic difficulty and terrible controls. Each stage is essentially a horde mode, pitting the player against waves of bad guys to blow up with bombs on a maze-like grid. But many stages, especially the later levels, ramp up in difficulty and become tedious acts of attrition. There is also nothing more frustrating than getting near the end of a difficult stage only to blow yourself up because the loose controls trapped you around a bend.

At least there is both local and online multiplayer options. However, I was unable to compete in an online multiplayer match as no one else was playing. Although standing out with a unique, dark personality, BRAWL is nothing more than a poor man’s Bomberman clone.  If you are looking for a single player Bomberman, track down a copy of Bomberman Tournament on GBA. Multiplayer Bomberman fans can find a number of low cost games available on Xbox Live and PSN as well as Super Bomberman R on Switch (but this game carries a higher price).

Not To Be Confused With: Brawl Out, a Smash Bros. clone
Not As Good As: Super Smash Bros. Brawl  
Also Try: Brawl Brothers (SNES)

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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