BombJack - Short Review

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By Maggoo

Paragon (1214)

Maggoo's picture

20-11-2004, 00:16

Hi all, I just received my copy of Bombjack and wanted to share my first impressions about this game. I want to mention that I've been a big Bombjack fan for the original arcade machine so I was very excited to know that it was finally ported to the MSX. I tried the SG-1000 port for MSX1 but it was rather dissapointing GFX and music wise and didn't carry the spirit of the original game.

So the game comes on a single sided disk in a small box with it's user manual. Indeed it reminds me of Matra games package. The manual is short (it details the controls and how to play) but is in full color. Overall it looks very professional.

Loading takes a few second and then you get the main menu. Nothing fancy, just the animated Bombjack logo, a hi score screen and a credit screen. No options or music, the game stick to the look and feel of the original game. Indeed it really got that "arcade feeling", I think it looks pretty good. The two players taking turn mode is not present. Time to start the game and see what it's worth.

One nice detail, once the game is started there is no more loading. The layout of the screen is set up with platforms and bombs lying around and occasional bonus to collect (to get more points or destroy enemies). You'll also notice a nice background with a famous site like the Sphinx, a castle, a city, etc... The goal is to collect all the bombs of the level to go to the next one (80 levels in total). Bomb Jack has the ability to jump very high (with the holding up of the controls allowing him to go higher) and can float down in whatever direction you push the controls. Tapping the joystick button while falling slows you down. Of course there are all these strange enemies out to get Bombjack out. The different enemies move accoding to different patterns. Robots are walking on the platforms, birds are following Bombjack, balls are bouncing around, etc... The game concept is simple but addictive and as you pass levels, there will be more and more enemies and the speed will increase.

The GFX look very good. The screen layout is a bit different from the arcade version, and the score bar is on the right hand side (the original arcade had menu at the top because of a different screen size). The background GFX which were very impressive back in 1984 still look pretty good on the MSX 2. Krazilec did a very good porting those graphics into 16 colors mode (the original arcade had 32 I beleive). Also the Bombjack sprite and the other characters look nice and colorful, and best of all, there is no sprite flickering or slow down, even when there is a lot of action going on.

The game controls are excellent. I'd say they are even more precise than the original arcade. You can use either the cursor or the joystick, either way, the gameplay show now fault. Music and sound effect are PSG only and it sounds pretty good. The original theme and sound effects are well reproduced. Too bad the authors didn't include FMPac support, it would have been a nice little extra.

Overal, I think Krazilec did a great job porting Bombjack to the MSX2. The game looks and "feels" just like playing the original arcade. This is the level of quality that every arcade port should reach. Now is it worth 15€ ? It's up to you to decide if you like that kind of game. Personally I have no regret at all judging by the professional level of quality of the end product. And with 80 levels to finish, it might take you a while before you finish the game.

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By Manuel

Ascended (18162)

Manuel's picture

20-11-2004, 14:22

Thanks for the nice review! Smile

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1767)

Jorito's picture

20-11-2004, 15:27

Good work indeed! Now, add some screenies for us to enjoy, and I'd be completely happy Smile

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

20-11-2004, 15:58

Very nice report indeed! I'm looking forward to playing (and reviewing! Tongue) the game myself as well...

By Maggoo

Paragon (1214)

Maggoo's picture

20-11-2004, 19:30

Good work indeed! Now, add some screenies for us to enjoy, and I'd be completely happy Smile

Tried to but I couldn't copy the disk to a .DSK to run it on an emulator and take screen shots. Anyway, it's pretty damn close to the arcade version.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5990)

mars2000you's picture

20-11-2004, 19:50

Maggoo : if this is really impossible to create a DSK image (I'll check it, I have also the game), try paraMSX O.46 beta. This emulator has support for real (PC) drive. I can for example run Pentaro 1 (also copy protected) in paraMSX.

You can find this emulator here :
http://my.dreamwiz.com/sharksym/paraMSX.files/

By Guillian

Prophet (3450)

Guillian's picture

20-11-2004, 19:52

Here are some screenshots:

soft.mundivia.es/mpazos/bj1.png

soft.mundivia.es/mpazos/bj2.png

soft.mundivia.es/mpazos/bj3.png

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

20-11-2004, 21:20

Wow, nice GFX idd...

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8250)

[D-Tail]'s picture

21-11-2004, 11:16

Yup, that's Sutchan ^_^. Always great work Wink

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8250)

[D-Tail]'s picture

21-11-2004, 12:11

And, how unpolite of mine, thanks for the review Maggoo! You did a terrific job! Smile

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9896)

wolf_'s picture

21-11-2004, 13:12

btw.. not that I've played the game orso, but based on what I see here, I don't think there's much gfx-moving-actions on screen .. would screen 8 be possible? or 2+ screens.. etc. ?

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