Working on a new Bomberman must be pretty hard. Now that pretty much everyone alive knows the ins and outs of the gameplay, coming up with new ideas in order to entice people to buy yet another game in the series doesn't sound like our idea of fun. Fun, it seems, is also something developer Hudson didn't want you to have during Bomberman Land's main campaign.
Before we get to the negatives, it's worth spending some time on what Bomberman Land does well. Although by no means the best version of the classic Bomberman gameplay mechanics, Bomberman Land on the Wii supports up to four players in six modes. The classic gameplay of dropping bombs to blow up walls and eventually your opponents is as fun on Wii as it ever has been.
The problem is that other versions offer more multiplayer options and functionality, making this Wii version something of a disappointment. Still, if you're after a great multiplayer game for your non-gaming family's new Wii, then this is far more entertaining than anything that involves you waving your arms about like a puppet - the gameplay is so simple that anyone can play too. Bomberman truly is a game well ahead of its time in that respect.
Sadly, the multiplayer is where the game's redeeming features begin and end. The bulk of the experience is a role-playing game of sorts, with mini-games being high on the agenda. The plot is pretty terrible and centres on you travelling to a theme park of some description in order to battle the best bombers in the world. The park is split into sections, with entry only granted by performing well in a series of tournaments built around mini-games.
Problems quickly set in when you realise these mini-game tournaments are dastardly hard, and the game is quick to punish you. The only way to progress is to spend far too much time learning each mini-game, which would have been acceptable had the games been enjoyable to play - they're not. You'll be using the Wii Remote as you have in various other mini-game collections already available for the Wii, and those on offer here aren't nearly good enough to warrant playing over and over again.
All you really need to know about Bomberman Land on the Wii is that it's great fun in multiplayer and not worth playing alone. Its simple gameplay fits perfectly in the Wii's targeted audience of casual and novice gamers, and experienced players can rarely refuse a game if offered. With a much cheaper, multiplayer Bomberman available on the Virtual Console, though, it's hard to recommend Bomberman Land.