Bomberman Fantasy Race
|Bomberman Fantasy Race|
European cover art
|Developer(s)||Graphic Research Inc.|
Bomberman Fantasy Race (ボンバーマン ファンタジーレース Bonbāman Fantajī Rēsu) is a racing video game developed by GraphicResearch Inc., released on August 6, 1998 in Japan for the Sony PlayStation by publisher Hudson Soft. It was released on March 31, 1999 in North America by Atlus and July 2000 in Europe by Virgin Interactive. It is a spin-off of the Bomberman series.
In Bomberman Fantasy Race, the player can select six different characters to ride on two different animal types, the Louie or the Tirra, each having unique individual skills. In the single player mode, the player must race against four CPU controlled opponents to reach first place. Creatures are able to dash, jump, and throw bombs. During the race, the player can find random items that can help or hinder their progress. Winning a race provides the player with coins which they can use to buy items, more powerful creatures, and new courses. Other modes include VS. Mode and Time Attack Mode.
Bomberman Fantasy Race is a 3D racing game featuring two single player modes and a two player mode. Players choose one of six Bomberman characters, then select the creature which they want to ride. There are two types of creatures, the Louie and the Tirra, and the player can eventually choose from six of each. Before starting a race, players purchase items at a shop with their prize money. The goal of the main single player mode is to finish the race ahead of the other four racers, who are controlled by the CPU. The player is rewarded with prize money (called Bomberman coins) if they reach at least third place. If the player reaches first place, the player will be able to play a bonus course that will reward him with more coins. Finishing a course in first place will unlock a mirrored version of that course.
In the two player mode, players are able to bet money on the race. The player who wins the race will earn all the money that the losing player bet before the race. The player with the least amount of money is the one who decides if a bet can be placed on a race.
In Time Attack Mode, players race against the clock to post their fastest lap times and course records. Players can save a ghost data to study their runs or exchange it with friends. The ranking screen posts the player's name, creature, and best time.
Players can look and exchange coins in the bank. The bank has ten boxes with a lit blue light if they have coins, and a red one if they are full. Players exchange hundred Copper coins for one Silver coin, and ten Silver coins for one Gold coin. When a safe in the bank is full, the coins are exchanged automatically. Coins can be used to buy new creatures at the stable, items, and courses.
Players are able to throw or drop bombs during a race. Other than using bombs to attack other opponents, players can use a bomb dash, giving their creatures an acceleration boost. Creatures are able to dash using stamina for a limited amount of time, and can also use a triangle jump by jumping off walls. During a race, players will come across panels that will give them different items which they can use to help their progress or hinder the progress of their opponents. Players can also find eggs among the course, and a creature can hold three eggs. The eggs function differently for each creature. A Louie will gain a speed boost, while a Tirra will form a barrier that will protect them from bomb explosions.
Bomberman Fantasy Race features six playable characters. White Bomber, the hero of the Bomberman series, decides to participate when he sees that Bagular, a recurring Bomberman villain (who enters the race to fund an evil plan), is seen among the list of participants. Black Bomber, White Bomber's ally and rival, participates in the race to earn the prize money and become rich. Another returning character is Pretty Bomber, the sly female member of the Five Dastardly Bombers that debuted in Super Bomberman 2. A Hige Hige Bandit (from Saturn Bomberman), known as Mechbomber 015, participates in the race to show everyone how good he is. A new character is Mach Bomber, a mysterious bomberman who always says that he was born to run.
Dr. Ein, Bomberman's creator, makes an unplayable appearance in the game to offer help and advice to the player, while his friendly robot Kepo, helps the player in the game's menu. The other unplayable character's in the game are a group of robots known as the Petit Rescue 7. They hand items to the player, or return them to the course if they fall into a pit or water.
After the player selects a character, they must select one of the two creature types, either the Louie (which debuted in Bomberman '94), or the Tirra (which debuted in Saturn Bomberman), which act as their vehicles. The Louie's excel at handling, while the Tirra have better speed. As the player earns coins, they can use them at the stable to purchase a better version of that creature.
- Green Louie: Not very fast, but balanced.
- Hopping Louie: Jumps higher than the other creatures, but not very fast.
- Tri Louie: Very good with the triangle jump, best for courses with many curves.
- Soaring Louie: Fastest acceleration of all the Louie's, but low stamina.
- Hyper Louie: Fastest of all the Louie's and the all-around creature.
- Blue Tirra: Faster than the Green Louie, but cannot jump as high.
- Brave Tirra: Has the best stamina, allowing it to run at top speed in a short course.
- Flying Tirra: The Tirra with the best jump.
- Mighty Tirra: Strong defense makes it hard to knock this Tirra down with explosions.
- Super Tirra: The strongest Tirra, who is an even match for Hyper Louie.
After the player purchases the four types of each creature, a fifth one will appear for purchase, the Black Louie, and the King Tirra.
Bomberman Fantasy Race features seven courses, along with a secret course. The first available course is the Bomber Circuit, which allows beginning players to learn most of the game's advanced techniques thanks to the course's straightaways. The player needs to purchase the following courses with Bomberman coins. The second course is the Bomber Coaster Lake, which takes the player through an amusement park and going around a lake, where the player can use the water fountain in the middle of the course to their advantage. The third course is the Waca Island Beachside, a course with two shortcuts that allows the player to practice their triangle jumps. The fourth course is the Bakuzan Ski Course, where the ice increases the speed of the player's creature but decreases handling, while snow slows down a creature but keeps the player in perfect control of it. The fifth course, Star Express, has Hige Hige Bandits that attack the player in UFOs. The sixth course is the Dyna Mountain, takes the player across a minefield, a cave past a bridge, a waterfall that they have to jump across, and a windy bridge. The final course is the Bomber Castle, which becomes available after the player clears all six courses. The race takes place in a Bomberman Battle Mode arena, with landmines, floating mines, and tiles on the floor that can burn the player. When the player clears all seven courses, they can purchase a mirrored version of each course. Clearing these mirrored courses will unlock the final course, Highway Star Road.
Next Generation reviewed the PlayStation version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "For all its cuteness and quirk, the somewhat stiff digital controls and tough tracks of Bomberman Racing make it a choice for fans and racing veterans only."
According to GameRankings, the game received mixed reviews, with an average score of 61% based on 8 reviews. It was reviewed by IGN who said, "although it lacks a speedy adrenaline rush, and it doesn't push technical limits to the top, Bomberman Fantasy Race is a good time." It was given 6.8 out of 10.