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Wii Virtual Console: Mighty Bomb Jack Review

by: Hollan ; edited by: Benjamin Sell ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

A platformer in which you play as a guy who dresses like Evel Knievel? It's not as cool as it sounds.

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    Mighty Bomb Jack was a port of a Tecmo arcade game onto the NES (and several other consoles at the time) in 1987. Why Nintendo decided to port this badly realized platformer to the Wii Virtual Console is beyond me.

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    This as stupid as the rest of the game. Jack (the Jack in Mighty Bomb Jack, I presume) must save the royal Pamera family by traveling through 16 levels of a pyramid. Yeah, I don't get it either. Apparently, dressing like Evel Knievel and jumping around in a pyramid counted as saving a royal family back in the 1980's. That kind of stuff just doesn't fly nowadays. Pun not intended.

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    This is one of the worst NES platformers I've ever had the displeasure to play on the Wii Virtual Console. First of all, Jack is controlled by the directional pad, and jumps and activates power ups with the 1 and 2 buttons. It is like a standard platformer: get to the exit before time runs out Mario sort of deal. However, it is so annoying to get to the exit there is no reason to even play.

    First off, there are bombs in every level that you can 'diffuse' to increase your points and there are chests everywhere too. But in order to open the chests (which contain power-ups and money) you must jump on them twice. Why is this a problem, you ask? Well, Jack jumps incredibly slowly. He jumps like he is Mary Poppins with an umbrella in hand. As he leisurely floats toward the chest, enemies pop up and surround Jack. Oh, and there is no way to off enemies either. You just can run away or jump/float over them. Is it annoying? Yes, it is. On top of that, collecting items in chests isn't even rewarded in Mighty Bomb Jack, it is punished! Well, I guess Tecmo didn't want to be responsible for the second sacking of the pyramids. If Jack collects too much stuff, he'll be sent to a torture chamber and will lose a lift unless you complete a jumping mini-game.

    There is a power-up that turns Jack blue and allows him to open chests from the side, but it doesn't do much to cut back on the already bad design choices. Why should I even want to open chests now that I'll just be punished for it?

    Each level is split up into two parts: an action part in which you avoid enemies and collect stuff, and a palace part in which Jack is trapped in a small room filled with bombs and enemies and must 'diffuse' all of the bombs to open the door.

    Besides the fact that Jack has no way to defend himself from enemies, the enemies themselves are totally insane. The pop out of thin air, change shape (from skull head to fire ball? Why?) and are generally annoying. I swear at one point I saw penguins. In a pyramid. In Egypt. Yeah. That's stupid.

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    Graphics and Sound

    Might Bomb Jack's graphics are reminiscent of Bomberman (although Jack isn't quite as cute). The backgrounds are simple and somewhat unimpressive. This game was released in 1987! I know the NES had more power than this game gives it credit for. The original Bomberman is from 1983! Five years in video game years is like fifty in real time. There is no excuse for the poor look of Mighty Bomber Jack, besides lazy developers.

    Sound-wise, it is forgettable. I honestly can't remember any of the music. I guess that means it wasn't annoying but it also left no impression whatsoever. A big fat meh.

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    1987 and the graphics look like this?

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    No! No! No! I can usually find something to enjoy about a game, even a bad one. However, Mighty Bomb Jack is one big stinker. There is nothing fun about it. The controls are annoying. Jack is annoying. Everything (besides the music) is annoying. Nintendo should have let this game fade into obscurity instead of bringing it to the Wii Virtual Console. Tecmo, shame on you!

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    Mighty Bomb Jack is a big fat waste of 500 Wii points. If you want to play a cool Tecmo game for the Wii Virtual Console, try Solomon's Key. But leave Mighty Bomb Jack alone. This game will just waste your time like it did mine.